Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Quick Invitation and Call to Prayer

If you're at all like me, you may have groused, groaned, mumbled, grumbled, or even uttered an oath upon stepping out of doors into the extreme cold these past couple days.

I don't guilt myself with that, nor do I think you should, but I do see an opportunity in it for growth in virtue and for efficacious prayerful offering. And so that's what I'm going to do, and I decided I'd invited you to do the same.

As Wednesdays are a traditional day of fasting and penance anyhow, and as it will still fall at least somewhat in the cold snap for most of us here in America, I'm inviting my friends and readers to make tomorrow, Wednesday, January 8, a day of fasting and prayer for the less fortunate.
"Christ of the Homeless" (1982) by Fritz Eichenberg
In addition to the ordinary means of fasting by abstinence from meat and reduction in victuals, I'd also recommend trying to make a spiritual offering of the suffering involved in encountering such cold weather - and yes, it is a kind of suffering, and maybe for some of us (depending on various conditions we might have and the like) a greater suffering than for others.

But of course we can also take the opportunity to pray through this experience as well, reminded as we are by this suffering of the cold that there are many more less fortunate who suffer much more terribly, without shelter and proper clothing, dependent upon the charity of others. (And, needless to say, while I won't go so far as to challenge us to go looking tomorrow for an opportunity for charity, I hope we will hold ourselves ready to act upon such an opportunity should it arise.) All of which is to say, there should be no lack of substance for meditation and reflection as we imagine what it must be to lack shelter on days such as this: Hospes eram, et collexistis me (Mt. 25:35).

So, I hope you'll join me in making a special offering of suffering this cold weather tomorrow (Wednesday, January 8th), adding to it prayer and fasting, offering any part of our discomfort through it all up in prayer to God, calling for His generous blessings upon the less fortunate and acting in reparation for whatever sins of mankind might be contributory to making them so unfortunate.

+ A.M.D.G.

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