(Ecc 3:1-7) All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
BISHOP DAVID L. RICKEN: 10 things to remember for Lent
MEDITATION: Thoughts by St Theophan (1815-1894)
Satan entered into Judas, and taught him how to betray the Lord; he agreed, and betrayed Him. Satan entered because the door was opened for him. What is within us is always closed; the Lord Himself stands outside and knocks, that we might open. What causes it to open? It is opened by sympathy, predisposition, or agreement. If all of this is inclined in the direction of the Lord, He enters. If satan enters, and not the Lord, the person himself is guilty. If you do not allow thoughts pleasing to satan, if you do not sympathize with them, or dispose yourself to their suggestions and agree to do them, satan walks nearby and then leaves, for he is not given power over anyone. If he takes possession of anyone, it is because that person gives himself over in slavery to him.
The source of all evil is one's thoughts. Do not allow bad thoughts and you will forever close the door of your soul to satan. That bad thoughts come — what can you do? Nobody on the earth is without them; there is no sin here. Chase them away, and that will end everything. If they come again, chase them away again — and so on for your entire life. When you accept thoughts and become engaged in them, it is not surprising that sympathy toward them appears as well; then they become even more persistent. After sympathy come bad intentions either for these or other bad deeds. Vague intentions then define themselves by an inclination toward one thing or another. Choice, agreement and resoluteness set in, and then sin is within! The door of the heart is opened wide. As soon as agreement forms, satan jumps in and begins to tyrannize. Then the poor soul is driven wearisomely like a slave or a pack-animal into doing indecent things. If it had not allowed bad thoughts, nothing of the sort would have happened.
Catholic NewsNewer subscribers may also be interested in a meditation that first appeared in the Trib Times in 2004, The Pain of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Readings & Meditations for Lent & Holy Week
Statements of Archbishop Chaput
ORTHODOX LENT PRAYER: “Grant unto me, Thy servant, the spirit of chastity, meekness, humility, patience and love.”
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The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living
43. A brother said to a hermit, 'I don't find any disturbance in my heart.' The hermit said, 'You are like a door swinging open. Anyone who likes can go inside, and come out again, and you don't notice what is happening. If you had a door that was shut you wouldn't let wicked thoughts come in, and then you would see them standing outside the door and fighting against you.''
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