Thursday, February 11, 2016

Prayer: "The Beginning of Lent" by John XXIII (1963)

O Lord Jesus, you who at the beginning of your public life withdrew into the desert, we beg you to teach all people that recollection of mind which is the beginning of conversion and salvation. . . .

It is Lent.

Do not let us turn into “broken cisterns,” which can hold no water (Jer. 2:13), nor imitate the unfaithful servant (Mat. 24:45-51) nor the foolish virgins (Mat. 25:1-13); do not let us be so blinded by the enjoyment of the good things of earth that our hearts become insensitive to the cry of the poor, of the sick, of orphan children, and of those innumerable brothers and sisters of ours who still lack the necessary minimum to eat, to clothe their nakedness, and to gather their family together under one roof. . . .

May this prayer rise … from every house where people work, love, and suffer. May the angels of heaven gather the prayers of all the souls of little children, of generous-hearted young men and women, of hard-working and self-sacrificing parents, and of all who suffer in mind and body, and present their prayers to God. From Him will flow down in abundance the gifts of His heavenly joys, of which our Apostolic Benediction is a pledge and a reflection.