SUNDAY  V LENT: I adore Him as he sighs and weeps outside Lazarus’s tomb

And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” (John 35-36)     

At the same time I certainly do not boast to being insensitive to the blows that seem at times about to crush us…

Jesus Christ is our only model and he did not set us an example of that kind. I adore Him as he sighs and weeps outside Lazarus’s tomb and I despise and abhor displays of stoicism, insensitivity and egoism from people who seem to want to outdo this prototype of every perfection, who so wanted to sanctify every aspect of our sad pilgrimage.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 11 January 1831, EO VII n 380


Lord, when we are overwhelmed with grief and doubt your love and purpose, help us to know that you are with us and grieving alongside us. Give us enough faith to believe that You are good and that You care for us. Deepen our faith when we experience life in a ‘tomb’ so that when we enter a season of bright light we will not forget your grace. Amen.

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Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk. 1:38)   

Mary Immaculate received Christ in order to share him with all the world, whose hope he is. In her, we recognize the model of the Church’s faith and of our own.

OMI Rule of Life Constitution 10        


O Mary, Blessed Mother of God,
when the angel greeted you
you were surprised and fearful;
yet, in wonder you listened and
opened your heart to the divine message.
Generous and loving God,
like your daughter Mary,
help me to know and do your will
in this life and In the next.


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FRIDAY IV LENT: let me be surprised by the wonder of your love

When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from. (John 7:27)   

On his return to Aix as a new priest, Father Eugene was conscious of his mission to lead people to know who Jesus Christ was.

My chief occupation will be to love him, my chief concern to make him loved. To this I will bend all my efforts, time, strength, and when after much toil I have succeeded in winning but a single act of love towards so good a Master, I will rightly consider myself very well paid.

Eugene de Mazenod’s retreat notes, December 1812, EO XV n. 109          


Father ever ancient, ever new, give me the grace to see you with new eyes and to be surprised once again by the wonder of your love and work in my life.

-Author unknown

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THURSDAY IV LENT: when we ourselves had turned away from you

The LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once to your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them…” (Ex. 32:7)

Faced with such a deplorable situation,
the Church earnestly appeals to the ministers
whom she herself enrolled in the cause of her divine Spouse,
to do all in their power,
by word and example,
to rekindle the flame 
of faith that has all but died in the hearts of so many of her children.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Preface to the Rule of Life


Lord, when we ourselves had turned away from you on account of our sins, you brought us back to be reconciled, O Lord, so that, converted at last to you, we might love one another through your Son, whom for our sake you handed over to death.

(Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation II)

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WEDNESDAY IV LENT: Can a mother forget her infant?

Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.

(Is. 49:15)

The Church, that glorious inheritance purchased by Christ the Saviour at the cost of his own blood, has in our days been cruelly ravaged. The beloved spouse of God’s only begotten Son is torn with anguish as she mourns the shameful defection of the children she herself bore.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Preface to the Rule 


God, our Father, through the life, death and resurrection of Christ your Son, you bring together in your Spirit, from all nations, a people to be your own.

Keep the Church faithful to its mission: may it be a leaven in the world, renewing us in Christ and transforming us into your family. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Roman Missal)

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TUESDAY IV LENT: Fill me with the healing power of your spirit

Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked. (Jn 5:16)

There is within you an immortal soul made in the image of God whom it is destined to possess one day, a soul ransomed at the price of the blood of Jesus Christ, more precious in the eyes of God than all earth’s riches, than all the kingdoms of the earth, a soul of which he is more jealous than of the government of the entire universe.

Christians, know then your dignity, with St. Leo I will call you sharers in the divine nature…

Notes for the first instruction in the Church of the Madeleine EO. XV n. 114


Lord, I ask you to touch me
with your power.

For if you created me from nothing,
you can certainly recreate me.

Fill me with the healing power of your spirit.

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“When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.”    (Mt. 1:24)

Among all the Saints which the novices are especially to honor, Saint Joseph will hold the first place, as much because of his singular privilege in being associated with the mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ as because he is the patron of recollected souls who live a hidden life… They will often pray to him… and join his name almost always with those of Jesus and Mary.

(1896 Directory for those in first OMI formation)


O glorious Saint Joseph, remind all who work that they are not alone in their labor, their joy or their sufferings, because Jesus is by their side, with Mary, his Mother and ours, supporting them, wiping the sweat from their brow, and setting a value on their toil. Teach them to use their labor, as you did, as a supreme means of attaining holiness. Amen.

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SUNDAY IV LENT: my God illuminates my darkness

“We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”   (Jn. 9:4-5)

I lie low, I need to think, to have light, I ask God to grant me enlightenment, my need all the greater in that people’s plans seemingly pit themselves against the inspirations of the Holy Spirit…

Letter to Henri Tempier, 31 August 1833, EO VIII n 459


Give us faith to say with the psalmist, “Lord, you light my lamp; my God illuminates my darkness.” May your light of hope shine in the darkness for families today. Show us glimpses of your presence with us and the comfort you bring.

In the busyness of today, help us to take a moment to be still and sit with you. To slow down, breathe deeply, and release our burdens to your strong hand. You are trustworthy, good, and true, and we thank you for caring for us so deeply and beautifully. Open our eyes to see you at work today. Give us your light.

In Jesus name, Amen.


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SATURDAY III LENT: There is a secret to be loved, it is to love

“For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice…” (Hos. 6:6)

“There is a secret to be loved, it is to love. Also, for the Basotho, the Matebele, even the unbelievers, in seeing them we can ask ourselves what to do to convert them? The answer is on every page of the Gospel: we must love them, love them in spite of everything, love them always. The good God has wanted that we do good to a person in loving that person. The world belongs to the person who loves it most and proves it.

 Blessed Joseph Gerard OMI  (see


Lord, like St. Teresa of Calcutta says, may I be “a little pencil in the hand of a writing God Who is sending a love letter to the world.”

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FRIDAY III LENT: Teach me today to love you more

Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mk. 12:29-31)

You, you alone will be the sole object to which will tend all my affections and my every action. To please you, act for your glory, will be my daily task, the task of every moment of my life. I wish to live only for you, I wish to love you alone and all else in you and through you. I despise riches, I trample honours under foot; you are my all, replacing all else. My God, my love and my all: Deus meus et omnia.

Notes made during the retreat in preparation for priestly ordination, December 1-21, E.O. XIV n.95


God of Goodness, I come into your presence so aware of my human frailty and yet overwhelmed by your love for me.

I thank you that there is no human experience that I might walk through where your love cannot reach me.

If I climb the highest mountain you are there and yet if I find myself in the darkest valley of my life, you are there.

Teach me today to love you more.

Help me to rest in that love that asks nothing more than the simple trusting heart of a child.

– Author Unknown

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