Three crosses stand on Calvary's height;
One must be chosen, so choose aright;
Like a saint you must suffer, or a penitent thief;
Or like a reprobate, in endless grief."
~Hymn quoted by St. Louis Marie de Montfort in his letter to the Friends of the Cross
"Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust you shall return."
Today, let us cultivate more of a silent and recollected atmosphere - outwardly, yes - but most importantly in our hearts. Remember your Lenten resolves and offer them to Jesus, and beg for His help you accomplish them. Also, ask for the grace to accept whatever God would like to send you this Lent. There are many graces un-given simply because we do not ask. Ask, and ye shall receive.
May today be the first day of a beautiful and holy Lent.
"By His wounds, we are healed."
Take the time this month to meditate on Our Lord's Passion. It will prepare you for Lent itself by instilling the proper inner atmosphere of acknowledgement, sorrow, and gratitude for this great gift. Really consider what Our Lord went through for you before you decide what type of prayer, penance, and almsgiving you will practice this Lent. Pray to Jesus and Mary for guidance in that. Then, in just a few short weeks when Lent arrives, walk into it not in a scramble for "what to give up" or depression for the sadness of the season, but with the firm intention grow closer to Our Lord who created and redeemed us.
"For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."
... and for the glory of Thy people Israel.
The beautiful words of the righteous Simeon as he held the Christ Child in his arms and the mystery that we contemplate today - the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Today is also known as Candlemas because it is the day that candles are blessed for the year. Holy Mother Church never does anything by accident, and we can reflect on the beauty of having candles (which are themselves a symbol of Our Lord) blessed on the day when Simeon proclaimed Christ the light of revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of Israel.
The Sisters were blessed to celebrate this feast with the traditional blessing of candles and procession with the beautiful chants prescribed for this occasion. Following the procession, we assisted at the Mass of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Extraordinary Form. During the Mass, we held lit candles during the Gospel and the throughout the Canon to represent that Jesus Christ is present in a very special way during these parts of the Mass. It is truly a grace to live the traditions of the Church!