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The Bridegroom and Fasting - Part 3

Posted on 19th March, 2021

 

GOSPEL OF ST. MARK, 2, 18-22      THE BRIDEGROOM & FASTING - PART 3

 

In this holy season of Lent I pray that Our Lord “support me in doing battle against the spirit of evil…armed with the weapon of self-denial”.8  I experience my weakness, lack of generosity of the spirit of self- sacrifice; I am reminded of Our Holy Mother’s words, “But so niggardly and slow are we in giving ourselves wholly to God that we do not prepare ourselves as we should to receive that precious thing which it is His Majesty’s will that we should enjoy only at a great price.”9  I apply her words to myself: “How true it is!

Eagle with its prey

 

Jesus the Bridegroom, I His bride:  To “witness to that love which always gives first place to Christ their divine Spouse who gave His life for them…God wishes His brides to be free and attached only to Him”.10  Our Holy Father, St. John of the Cross, wisely affirms, “For it is the same thing if a bird be held by a slender cord or by a stout one; since, even if it be slender, the bird will be as well held a though it were stout, for so long as it breaks it not and flies not away…And thus the soul that has attachment to anything, however much virtue it possess, will not attain to the liberty of Divine union”.11  The Church impresses upon me the great importance and opportunity this time of Lent has for my spiritual advancement in Divine union and so I take to heart this prayer: “Look with favour on your family, Lord, and as at this time we restrain the desires of the body may our hearts burn with love of you.”12

 

My Carmelite vocation is especially directed to a life of fruitful self-abnegation as a means of striving in my own feeble way to dispose myself for union with Jesus, and also for the salvation and sanctification of souls, so infinitely loved by Him.  “I strongly urged you to live every moment of your vocation with the greatest generosity, in prayer and penance, in the solitude of the cloister…”13

 

 

8 THE DIVINE OFFICE, VOL II, Ash Wednesday Concluding Prayer pg.9

9 LIFE 11, 1

10 RULE AND CONSTITUTIONS of the Discalced Nuns of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, 1991, pg. 48 no. 27

11 THE ASCENT OF MOUNT CARMEL, St. John of the Cross, BOOK 1 CH. 11, no.4.

12 THE DIVINE OFFICE, VOL II, 1st Week of Lent, Tuesday Lauds Concluding Prayer

13 RULE AND CONSTITUTIONS of the Discalced nuns of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, 1991,  TO THE DISCALCED CARMELITE NUNS UPON THE APPROVAL OF THEIR FUNDAMENTAL LEGISLATION, Pope St. John Paul II, pg. 12 no. 4

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