TUESDAY III LENT: since my infancy you have led me as if by the hand
Do not let us be put to shame, but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy. Deliver us by your wonders…(Dn 3:42-43)
But no, you are my Father, it is you who since the most fragile days of my infancy have led me as if by the hand. Everything you have done for me in the course of my life is too present to my memory, I feel again still today too vividly the effects not to count on your infinite goodness, not to throw myself with total abandon into your paternal bosom, fully resolved to do this time and always everything you demand of me, were it to cost me my life.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Retreat journal before being consecrated bishop, 7-14 October 1832, EO XV n 166
You opened the eyes of the blind,
healed the sick,
forgave the sinful woman,
and after Peter’s denial confirmed him in your love.
Listen to my prayer:
forgive all my sins,
renew your love in my heart,
help me to live in perfect unity with my fellow Christians
that I may proclaim your saving power to all the world.
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I hear the words from Azariah and am reminded of end the Lord’s Prayer.
But it is Eugene’s prayer to You that I realize my sin and ask for mercy. In reading Eugene’s retreat notes I realize that I have been struggling with the word “Father”, making your name synonymous with that of my earthly father’s. But it was you who kept me safe and carried me; it was you who sent angels to guard me, others to check on me and some to walk with me. I did not recognise you and your endless love. And so I pushed back, often with great strength: too afraid that I might see that you did not love me. That would have been too much to bear.
At this moment I do not see the three of you in one, but only the one.
Forgive me so that I might go deeper to forgive my father. Forgive me for glossing over your name out of fear and turning to pretend that I had it all together – for it is my brokenness that you wait to receive with the tenderness of a lover only so as to heal and bring me to wholeness.
“Listen to my prayer; forgive my sins, renew your love in my heart, help me to live in perfect unity with all my brothers and sisters so that I too may proclaim your saving and healing love to all the world.” Amen