11 Mar Isaiah 58:6-7 (The Pretzel)
Welcome God now with this LIFE Group Devotion (website, Facebook).
“This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; Setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; Clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own.” Isaiah 58:6-7 (full readings)
Steve’s Reflections: Did you know that the pretzel is a food invented for Lent? During a time when the Church asked that the faithful abstain from any foods containing animal derivatives the pretzel was born – it contains no milk, butter, or eggs. The pretzel, then called bracellae (“little arms”), was invented by a monk who rolled the dough to mimic the crossed arms of prayer as a reminder of the reason for the season. We recognize Lent as a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving as prescribed by the Church. Many people will give up or fast from certain things during these 40 days as a way of denying the self. The hunger pains and sacrifices we make during this period first and foremost imitate Christ’s example. To fast is to become Christ-like. We fast because it was what Jesus did for 40 days and nights in the desert. It builds discipline, so we may be better equipped to handle future temptation. Jesus faced the temptation in the desert while fasting. Self denial is one of the most powerful and hated prayers of the devil. Why? Because it humbles us and turns our focus outward toward our brothers and sisters all around the world who feel these sorts of pains everyday. Lastly, the hunger we feel reminds us of our need everyday for a steady diet of God. In reality, fasting and almsgiving are just the tip of the iceberg of what the Lord is calling each of us to do. Today’s verse from Isaiah speaks of what the Lord is really expecting of us as we prepare for the Risen Lord – releasing, untying, setting free, sharing, sheltering, clothing, and “not turning your back on your own”. Dear Lord, where am I bound up? Where do I need to be set free? Give me the grace to step out in faith to share, shelter, and clothe those in need.
Faith Challenge: Have you started your Lenten sacrifice? Consider doing something extra this Lenten season to help those most in need in your community.
Sr. Francelle’s Devotion: Forgiveness “Forgiveness is more than staying away from those who hurt us – it calls us to love our enemies. We’re called to be children of our heavenly Father. We are inspired to do this because Jesus did it.”
Counter-Culture News: LSN, Vatican, AFA, Priests for Life, Live Action
Our Prayers: Prayer to end abortion, Spiritual Adoption, Alpha Center, Peters family (JP). Add Prayers on our website. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, running, etc. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now.
Feast Day: St. John Ogilvie, Scottish Martyr (d. 1615) “John came of age when neither Catholics nor Protestants were willing to tolerate one another. Turning to Scripture, he found words that enlarged his vision. Although he became a Catholic and died for his faith, he understood the meaning of “small-c catholic,” the wide range of believers who embrace Christianity.”
Faith Quote: “Look at His adorable face. Look at His glazed and sunken eyes. Look at His wounds. Look Jesus in the Face. There, you will see how He loves us.” ~ St. Therese of Lisieux
Through Christ Our Lord,
* Pray/Fast: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. Fast from things that take your eyes off Jesus. Those who pray together stay together, and close to God!
* Save Unborn (& family): Abortion reality (images)…#1 death cause (23% pregnancies). Prov 24:11 & Jer 1:5. “A great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish.” Mother Teresa
* Evangelize:Make room for unbelievers & re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Matt 28:19.
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