John Wesley on #Lent

English: "John Wesley," by the Engli...
English: “John Wesley,” by the English artist George Romney, oil on canvas. 29 1/2 in. x 24 3/4 in. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I believe there is no liturgy in the world, either in ancient or modern language, which breaths more a solid, scriptural, rational piety, than the Common Prayer of the Church of England.”  –  John Wesley

While not exactly a Lenten prayer, it is in the Lenten spirit,

O JESUS, POOR AND ABJECT, UNKNOWN AND DESPISED,
have mercy upon me, and let me not be ashamed to follow Thee.

O JESUS, HATED, CALUMNIATED, AND PERSECUTED,
have mercy upon me, and let me not be ashamed to come after Thee.

O JESUS, BETRAYED AND SOLD AT A VILE PRICE,
have mercy upon me, and make me content to be as my Master.

O JESUS, BLASPHEMED, ACCUSED AND WRONGFULLY CONDEMNED,
have mercy upon me, and teach me to endure the contradiction of sinners.

O JESUS, CLOTHED WITH A HABIT OF REPROACH AND SHAME,
have mercy upon me, and let me not seek my own glory.

O JESUS, INSULTED, MOCKED, AND SPIT UPON,
have mercy upon me, and let me run with patience the race set before me.

O JESUS, DRAGGED TO THE PILLAR, SCOURGED, AND BATHED IN BLOOD,
have mercy upon me, and let me not faint in the fiery trial.

O JESUS, CROWNED WITH THORNS, AND HAILED IN DERISION;

O JESUS, BURDENED WITH OUR SINS, AND THE CURSES OF THE PEOPLE;

O JESUS, AFFRONTED, OUTRAGED, BUFFETED, OVERWHELMED WITH INJURIES, GRIEFS, AND HUMILIATIONS;

O JESUS, HANGING ON THE ACCURSED TREE, BOWING THE HEAD, GIVING UP THE GHOST,
Have mercy upon me, and confirm my whole soul to Thy holy, humble, suffering Spirit.

O Thou who for the love of me hast undergone such an infinity of sufferings and humiliations, let me be wholly “emptied of myself,” that I may rejoice to take up my cross daily and follow Thee.

Enable me, too, to endure the pain and despise the shame; and, if it be Thy will, to resist even unto blood!

– REV. JOHN WESLEY (at age 20). Friday morning prayers – “A Collection of Forms of Prayer for Every Day in the Week”, 1733.

Further, Wesley observed Lent (and the Stations of the Cross)

 

Peter Chrysologus – The Lenten Journey #Lent

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.
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If your Lenten journey doesn’t last the year through, I think it is a waste.
Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450), Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church
Sermon 8 ; CCL 24, 59 ; PL 52, 208

Exercises for Lent: almsgiving, prayer, fasting

My dear brethren, today we set out on the great Lenten journey. So let us take our food and drink along in our boat, putting onto the chest the abundant mercy we shall need. For our fasting is a hungry one, our fasting is a thirsty one if it isn’t sustained by goodness and refreshed by mercy. Our fasting will be cold, our fasting will flag if the fleece of almsgiving doesn’t clothe it, if the garment of compassion does not wrap it around.

Brethren, what spring is for the land, mercy is for fasting: the soft, spring winds cause all the buds on the plains to flower; the mercy of our fast causes all our seeds to grow until they blossom and bear fruit for the heavenly harvest. What oil is to the lamp, goodness is to our fast. As the oily fat sets the lamp alight and, in spite of so little to feed it, keeps it burning to our comfort all night long, so goodness makes our fasting shine: it casts its beams until it reaches the full brightness of self-restraint. What the sun is to the day, almsgiving is to our fast: the sun’s splendor increases the light of day, breaking through the dullness of the clouds; almsgiving together with fasting sanctifies its holiness and, thanks to the light of goodness, dispels from our desires anything that could petrify. In short, what the body is for the soul, generosity acts similarly for the fast: when the soul leaves the body it brings about death; if generosity abandons the fast, it is its death.

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Thomas Merton on Ash Wednesday #lent

English: Ashes imposed on the forehead of a Ch...
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“Ash Wednesday is for people who know that it means for their soul to be logged with these icy waters: all of us are such people, if only we can realize it.

There is confidence everywhere in Ash Wednesday, yet that does not mean unmixed and untroubled security. The confidence of the Christian is always a confidence in spite of darkness and risk, in the presence of peril, with every evidence of possible disaster…

Once again, Lent is not just a time for squaring conscious accounts: but for realizing what we had perhaps not seen before. The light of Lent is given us to help us with this realization.

Nevertheless, the liturgy of Ash Wednesday is not focussed on the sinfulness of the penitent but on the mercy of God. The question of sinfulness is raised precisely because this is a day of mercy, and the just do not need a savior.” – Thomas Merton HT.

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