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First Friday of Lent: Amendment and Penance – A Time of Renewal Daily Reflections for the Lenten Season
An excerpt from A Time of Renewal: Daily Reflections for the Lenten Season:
Amendment and Penance
“It is of great spiritual benefit to avail ourselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation often during this holy season, and so let us continue our consideration of this great gift ministered to us through our Holy Church. Just as there is no sacramental absolution without contrition and without the actual confession, so the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not valid unless we are determined to do penance and to amend our lives. To whom do we confess? To Almighty God. But we never sincerely confess to God what we have not first confessed to ourselves. The first confession is confessing to myself in true confrontation that I am guilty, I have sinned, I am at fault. If we do not have that first confession in the truth, that cleansing self-confrontation, we will not rightly confess to God. We cannot tell God anything he does not know, and we cannot rightly express to God what we have not expressed in truth to ourselves. “
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