Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life with fear. Rather, look to them with full confidence that, as they arise, God to whom you belong will in his love enable you to profit by them. He has guided you thus far in life. Do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all trials. Whenever you cannot stand, He will carry you lovingly in his arms.
Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same Eternal Father who takes care of you today will take care of you tomorrow, and every day of your life. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace then, and put aside all useless thoughts, all vain dreads and all anxious imaginations.
~ Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Jesus we bring ourselves to you today, knowing that in just a few days we will enter into our Church’s most sacred time, the celebration of your Paschal Mystery. We believe in your saving grace, Lord, and are here because you have called us to new life in you. We line the streets of Jerusalem, waving palms and rejoicing in your triumphant message of hope, love, and redemption. We keep watch with you in the garden where you will be betrayed and condemned to death. With compassion we wipe your face and walk with you to the cross, where you will be mocked and crucified. In sorrow, we look on from a distance as you are placed in the tomb. Lord, while we linger these next few days on your suffering, help us to remember that many in our world continue to suffer without hope. So many still hunger and thirst for your peace. While many of us have found in you what sustains and nourishes us, what fills our wells and waters our fields, there are still many among us who are broken, afraid, who feel alone, and who need the gentle hands of human kindness. And so it is with gratitude and humility that we thank you for these last few days of Lent. May they be a time of letting go and opening ourselves to the promises and beauty of Resurrection at Easter, when we arrive at the tomb and find it empty. With rejoicing in our hearts made new, gather us around that glorious vigil fire, help us to be bold and courageous, give us the strength we need to share your water, light, and life with those who need it most.
~ Rebecca Board Liljenstolpe
Christ Has No Body
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
~ Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)
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