Saturday, February 23, 2008
Priere Du Jour - Prayer of the Day!!!!
Prayer and Devotions
Coming Back to the Father
by Father Todd Arsenault, LC
Resolution: Make sure that you make a good examination of conscience today.
February 23, 2008
Saturday of the second week of Lent
Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32
Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So to them he addressed this parable. "A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."' So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.' But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, 'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.' He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'"
Introductory Prayer: I come before you, Lord, a sinner in awe of your great love and mercy. I believe in you, and I put you at the center of my life. I humbly put all that I am before you and, like the apostles, recognize my littleness before your grandeur. With the help of the Blessed Mother’s intercession, I place this meditation into your hands, trusting that you will give me the graces that I need most.
Petition: Lord, help me to recognize my complete dependence on you for grace to live according to your will. Help me to detach myself more each day from the enslaving clutches of sin and vice in my life.
1. Living for the Moment The younger son had it fixed in his head that he was losing out on life. He wanted to be where the action was, and he wanted to be there now. Much of what he perceived to be good was as he imagined, but it didn’t go much further than just having a good time and doing things as he pleased. He was reckless, and he caused much hurt by his actions. In life, it is so easy for us to put ourselves before others and to get what we want. We can find ourselves hurting those we love most. Christ is calling us to see our life not through the mindset of living for the moment, but through the eyes of eternity.
2. Reality Check The young man loses everything. He hits rock bottom. All that he had before is a distant memory. He remembers how secure he was when he was living with his father; he remembers how good even the hired hands had it. He sees that he has nothing to keep him where he is – out of his father’s grace – and so he begins the march back to his father. When we mess up and sin, we need to have this same attitude of contrition. Lent is a time wherein we can renew our relationship with Christ through the sacrament of confession. Like the younger son, we need to humble ourselves, realize that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and make our way back to the Father.
3. The Father Receives Us with Open Arms There wasn’t even time for the son to finish his prepared speech when his father smothered him with kisses and hugs and treated him like royalty. The Father treats us like this each time we run to him for forgiveness. He wants to hear our repentance, but more than anything he wants to build us up through his grace and presence in our life. This is the Father’s greatest joy: to have us back, safe and sound in his grace. He loves us so much that he makes this sacrament available to us 24/7. He wants our heart.
Conversation with Christ: Christ, thank you for the grace of confession whereby I am reunited to the Father of mercy. I am a sinner and have wandered far from you in my life. Yet you never give up on me; you seek me out and draw me back to yourself. With your grace I continue to strive to overcome my faults, defects and sins.
Resolution: I will make sure that I make a good examination of conscience today.