The Holy Season of Lent began this year on 14 February 2018 - ASH WEDNESDAY.
As of today, a weekly spiritual video talk will be posted every Sunday on this Friends of Divine blog until Palm Sunday - the 6-part DIVINE LENTEN 2018 WEEKLY VIDEO REFLECTION SERIES - so that every one of us will seek to live for Jesus with no self-willed barriers in our hearts and mind but to proclaim the Glory of God.
On Holy Thursday, a Eucharistic Adoration service will be posted.
Let us open our hearts to the call of Pope Francis' LENTEN 2018 Message:
"By devoting more time to prayer, we enable our hearts to root out our secret lies and forms of self-deception, and then to find the consolation God offers. He is our Father and he wants us to live life well."
"Almsgiving sets us free from greed and helps us to regard our neighbour as a brother or sister. What I possess is never mine alone. How I would like almsgiving to become a genuine style of life for each of us! How I would like us, as Christians, to follow the example of the Apostles and see in the sharing of our possessions a tangible witness of the communion that is ours in the Church! For this reason, I echo Saint Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians to take up a collection for the community of Jerusalem as something from which they themselves would benefit (cf. 2 Cor 8:10). This is all the more fitting during the Lenten season, when many groups take up collections to assist Churches and peoples in need. Yet I would also hope that, even in our daily encounters with those who beg for our assistance, we would see such requests as coming from God Himself. When we give alms, we share in God’s providential care for each of His children. If through me God helps someone today, will He not tomorrow provide for my own needs? For no one is more generous than God."
"Fasting weakens our tendency to violence; it disarms us and becomes an important opportunity for growth. On the one hand, it allows us to experience what the destitute and the starving have to endure. On the other hand, it expresses our own spiritual hunger and thirst for life in God. Fasting wakes us up. It makes us more attentive to God and our neighbour. It revives our desire to obey God, who alone is capable of satisfying our hunger."
The first video of the 6-part DIVINE LENTEN 2018 WEEKLY VIDEO REFLECTION SERIES at the top of this post is "REPENTANCE LEADS US TO THE LOVE OF GOD” by Rev. Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C., Director – Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor. Kerala. India
In this Spirit-filled homily, Fr. Augustine explains with insightful wisdom why Jesus' first preaching, " 'Repent! The Kingdom of God is at Hand' (Matthew 4:17) is a message of great value for every one of us - a message of great hope! We know the prophets of the Old Testament came down to the people and often when they spoke , it was the language of fire and brimstone falling from Heaven to burn the human race. A God who was waiting to punish and eliminate the human race because of our sin."
"But the tone of Jesus is altogether different - a tone of God's Mercy and Forgiveness - giving you and me a great hope! We know how sinful we are. We know there is "'unfreedom' in the very centre of our hearts."
"What does it mean to repent? To repent means "I turn to God. I look at His Face. I turn away from my sins...I turn away from all that is captive in my heart. I turn to God and say, "I surrender! I place all the wretchedness in my heart in the Hands of God. That is what repentance means"
"Often people mistake repentance for guilt feelings. The two are very different. Repentance comes out of love. I know my God loves me. I know that He will forgive me. But guilt does not come from love. It comes from pride. Guilt feeling leads us to sadness but repentance leads us to love - to believe in the God who saves me."
Fr. Augustine explains with enlightening clarity why true repentance of a single person bring great rejoicing in Heaven!
Next Sunday, Rev. Fr. Michael Payyapilly V.C., Director, Tabor Divine Retreat Centre, Mumbai, India will be sharing the Word of God on a heart-provoking topic - "WHY CONFESSING TO A PRIEST MATTERS".
Please do share this Divine Lenten 2018 Weekly Video Reflection series with your loved ones, prayer groups and friends to make this sacred season of Lent a truly transforming experience in our Christian life.