Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
I may have linked some of the featured resources in the past, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen or linked this Index of excellent Lent Resources from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship website. Check it out!
Dr. Emily’s post at Barnstorming today is MUST reading & listening.
She features a prayer by St. Francis of Xavier, and a musical rendition of that prayer by the Benedictions of St. Mary from their “Angels and Saints at Ephesus” album.
O Deus, ego amo te,
O God I love Thee for Thyself
Nec amo te ut salves me,
and not that I may heaven gain
Nec quod qui te non diligent,
nor yet that they who love Thee not
Æterno igne pereunt.
must suffer hell’s eternal pain.
Ex cruces lingo germinat,
Out of the bud of the wood of the Cross
Qui pectus amor occupant,
wherefore hearts’ love embraces
Ex pansis unde brachiis,
whence out of extended arms
Ad te amandum arripes. Amen.
you lovingly take us. Amen.
~Prayer of St. Francis Xavier “O Deus Ego Amo Te” 18th Century Traditional
From our July 2004 archives, originally posted by Canon Kendall Harmon at TitusOneNine.
Kendall Harmon posted this on Titusonenine. It moved me deeply:
O! Blessed Lord, who art the Comforter of all sad and sin-sick Souls, comfort me. I humbly entreat thee, in this height of my Fears and Sorrows. But first convert me, and then comfort me. I am over-laden with Sins, which overload me with Sorrows. And do thou, O God, rid me of my Sins, that I may get rid of my Sorrows. Nay, rid me of my Sins, tho’ for my just Punishment in this World, thou leavest me under my sorrows. Whatever befal my Body, for just Punishment of my grievous Crime, for which I am here in Custody; let true Repentance set my Soul safe, and secure it of they everlasting Mercy, for the Merits of thy dear Son, and of my sweetest Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.
John Kettlewell (1653-1695)
If you visit the Biola Lentan devotional site today, and click on the music link at the bottom of the page, you will be treated to a stunningly beautiful and powerful arrangement of John Donne’s Hymne to God the Father (Wilt Thou Forgive…) – one of my favorite Lenten hymns.
The hymn is performed by “The King’s Men,” a six member, vocal a cappella ensemble from the Conservatory of Music at Biola University.
A Hymn to God the Father lyrics:
Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
With thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more
I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by thyself, that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And having done that, Thou hast done;
I fear no more.
I’ve recently downloaded three books I plan to read during Lent:
- A.W. Tozer: The Crucifed Life (the Kindle version is currently $1.99)
- W.A. Criswell: The Scarlet Thread (now available as an eBook for FREE from the Gospel Project)
- Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prohpet, Spy
I’d love to hear from our readers what you’ll be reading during Lent… Thanks in advance. I always love good book ideas!
Yesterday for Ash Wednesday, Jessica Snell wrote a guest blog post at Clutter Interrupted. She focused on how to keep Lent simple:
Lent is about simplicity.
It’s about concentrating on the good and important things, and letting the superfluous extras just fall away.
If you’re having trouble thinking of what to give up, just ask yourself:
- What’s important?
- What is missing from my life?
- What do I want to concentrate on?
- Where do I want to seek the Lord’s help in overcoming my sins?
And then start there. Usually you’ll find that if you’re trying to do one thing well, the unimportant things are crowded out. Take the next forty days as a chance to seek the Lord’s face. As you come into his presence, you’ll find that everything else pales in comparison to his mercy and love. Let the unimportant things fade away. You are going to spend some time sitting at the feet of your Lord.
Yes, above all, Lent is about coming to Jesus and sitting at His feet, seeking Him and casting off all the things (our sins) that hinder us from close fellowship with Him. Lord, help me, help us to come and be with You this Lent.
Read more from Jessica about celebrating Lent as a family at her blog Homemaking Through the Church Year. And don’t forget the booklet series “Let us Keep the Feast” (ideas for celebrating Advent, Epiphany and Lent as a family) which Jessica helped edit.
MUST READING. Truly.
The thing we need to remember as we try to get at this problem of sin is that it is very hard to get at it at all. There is so much that protects it from our inner eyes. The axiom of the Reformers is apropos here: “What the heart desires, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.” When we try to get at the motives of the heart, the mind and will are forever getting in the way justifying ourselves. These are like layers of garments swirling around the heart of our sin. But in Christ we can pray that through the work of the Holy Spirit, who convicts our hearts of sin; the liturgy’s use of Psalm 51 and the Litany of Penitence’s brutal naming of sins; and with the Scripture’s constant entreating us to turn to God’s mercy and forgiveness; these will rend or tear through the layers and layers of these garments eventually leaving the sinful heart revealed that we might by grace turn and look to Jesus Christ—to his cross and death.
[...] Begin with the Lenten disciplines and we will go awry every time [...] Begin and remain in a grace-filled repentance that yields a torn and contrite heart and God’s grace shall abound. Then we may seek God’s guidance about self-denials and devotionals and whatever else we find to mark our mortal nature in grace. Yet we dare not side step the word of apostolic proclamation—“We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
I enjoyed Ann Voskamp’s Advent Devotional “The Greatest Gift”, so I went to her blog, A Holy Experience, today to see what she might be posting for Lent. She’s got a devotional post today from John 4:13-14 (part of a year-long Scripture memory project of passages from John’s Gospel).
“Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,
but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.
The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
In reflecting on that passage, she identifies a key question to be asking on Ash Wednesday, and throughout the 40 days of Lent:
Maybe the one big question to be asking myself on Ash Wednesday is:
Give up something or don’t — the point is:
How am I giving more of myself to Jesus?
Here’s more from Ann Voskamp on Lent, including information on how to download her free short Lent / Easter family devotional “Trail to the Tree.”
Go to First Things – NOW! Two fantastic Ash Wednesday reflections. I particularly appreciated the entry about Christina Rossetti and her Ash Wednesday poems. I’d never known the history…