Friday after Ash Wednesday
There’s a prayer that has special significance for Fridays of Lent.
Praying this before a crucifix on a Lenten Friday
(with the usual conditions of Holy Communion the same day,
Sacramental Confession within a week before or after,
prayers for the pope’s intentions–at least an “Our Father” and “Hail Mary”–
and no attachment to sin), makes one eligible for a plenary indulgence
(i.e., to have the Church open Her treasury of graces
to pay all the moral (not monetary!) debts you’ve incurred,
that you would otherwise pay in Purgatory):
Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus,
while before Your Face I humbly kneel;
and with burning soul, pray and beseech You to fix deep in my heart
lively sentiments of Faith, Hope and Charity,
true contrition for all my sins and a firm purpose of amendment;
while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Your five wounds,
calling to mind the words which David, Your prophet, said of You, my Jesus:
“They have pierced My hands and My feet, they have numbered all My bones!”
The Lord heard and had mercy on me;
the Lord became my helper
Show gracious favor, O Lord, we pray,
to the works of penance we have begun,
that we may have strength to accomplish with sincerity
the bodily observances we undertake.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Isaiah 58:1-9 (fasting is supposed to make us generous)
Psalm 51: 3-19 “A broken, humbled heart, O God, You will not scorn”
+Matthew 9:14-15 (there is a time to fast)
The food I eat
is not the point;
a change within
…and He has other ways
of making us
Does my fasting (or other sacrifice) feed my pride–do I feel like “God owes me”–
especially in comparison to others?
Or does it open my heart to those who are physically, spiritually and/or emotionally hungry?