Ash Wednesday: A Time of Reflowering – A Time of Renewal Daily Reflections for the Lenten Season
An excerpt from A Time of Renewal: Daily Reflections for the Lenten Season :
“We have come to the beginning of Lent, and I hope we will not allow ourselves to think of it as “just another Lent”. There is a very deep sense in which there is not another Lent and then another and another after that. This Lent is unlike any other. It is this acceptable time. We do not know if there will be another Lent for us, but we do know God has brought us to this acceptable time, to this prolonged day of salvation. This is the acceptable time, and the Apostle Paul is begging us not to receive the graces of this time in vain (see 2 Cor 6:1). He is also implying that there will be struggle, that this is a great testing ground, and that as we grow in our awareness of our need for redemption and in a very humble attitude toward others, so do we nourish the will to make a sustained effort to do better. By all of these things we enter into the mystery of our communal life in the Church. We are responsible for one another’s holiness. We influence each other all the time, and we should grow in the awareness of this. It simply cannot be denied that we are conditioned and affected by one another. Human beings invariably are. Every Christian has a vocation to holiness. Now as we enter into Lent, I hope we will all be deeply conscious of our involvement in one another’s holiness, of our sharing of penance and of sacrifice, and very especially of our responsibility for one another’s growth in holiness this Lent.”
Mother Mary Francis. A Time of Renewal: Daily Reflections for the Lenten Season . Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.
From the book’s description:
Mother Mary Francis, abbess of a Poor Clare Monastery for over forty years, left an enduring legacy in her writings and in the conferences she gave to her spiritual daughters. In this work she presents beautiful meditations on the liturgical season of Lent, revealing the treasures of the liturgy to Christians in all walks of life. Her insight into Holy Scripture and her poet’s heart engendered reflections that illuminate the daily Mass readings in a fresh and attractive way.
These meditations enlighten the reader to see conversion as positive and enriching, and help us to understand that the generous embrace of Lenten penance has a purpose and brings a wondrous reward: deeper union with God. She was a true daughter of Saint Francis of Assisi, who found perfect joy by turning away from self to God.
As a spiritual guide, Mother Mary Francis excels in the art of persuasion, aware that the human heart cannot be forced but only gently led to holiness. She makes this goal attractive and desirable by tirelessly explaining why striving for holiness is the happiest and wisest way to live. This book provides a wealth of material for plundering the riches of the Lenten season and for deepening one’s spiritual life. Her meditations are profound and timeless, not changing from year to year, thus providing a lifetime of Lenten meditations in this one volume.
Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C., (1921-2006) was for more than forty years the abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Roswell, New Mexico. She became recognized as an authoritative voice for the renewal of religious life through her many books, including A Right to Be Merry, But I Have Called You Friends, and Anima Christi. To learn more about Mother Mary Francis and the Poor Clare Nuns of Roswell, NM visit their website at https://poorclares-roswell.org