Prayers and Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent

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nuns having a snow ball fight
Prayers and readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent:

Stay with me, and then I shall begin to shine as you shine:
so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from you.
None of it will be mine. No merit to me.
It will be you who shines through me upon others.
O let me thus praise you, in the way, which you do love best,
by shining on all those around me.

Give light to them as well as to me; light them with me, through me.
Teach me to show forth your praise, your truth, your will.
Make me preach you without preaching — not by words,
but by my example and by the catching force, the sympathetic influence, of what I do –
by my visible resemblance to your saints,
and the evident fullness of the love which my heart bears to you.

— John Henry Newman


Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness.

– Martin Luther King Jr.


On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

– Mark 2:17


Almsgiving is the mother of love, of that love which is characteristic of Christianity, which is greater than all miracles, by which the disciples of Christ are manifested.

– St. John Chrysostom 4th century


The dieter says: Sweets are bad, I cannot have them ever. The faster says: Sweets are good; I will not take them now. The dieter is condemned to bitter bondage, to a life which dares not let food in. But the faster is a person preparing for a feast. Lent leads to Easter, and to mirth and weight of glory.

– Robert Farrar Capon


Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels unawares.

– Hebrews 13:2


When I give alms, do I look into the eyes of my brother, my sister? Am I capable of giving a caress or a hug to the sick, the elderly, the children, or have I lost sight of the meaning of a caress? These hypocrites were unable to give a caress. We will be judged by the way we behave toward this brother, this sister.

– Pope Francis


The value of fasting consists not only in avoiding certain
foods, but in giving up of sinful practices. The person who
limits his fast only to abstaining from meat is the one who
especially lowers the value of it.
Do you fast? Prove it by doing good works. If you see
someone in need, take pity on them. If you see a friend being
honored, don’t get jealous of him. For a true fast, you cannot
fast only with your mouth. You must fast with your eye, your ear,
your feet, your hands, and all parts of your body.
You fast with your hands by keeping them pure from doing
greedy things. You fast with your feet by not going to see
forbidden shows or plays. You fast with your eyes by not
letting them look upon impure pictures. Because if this is
forbidden or unlawful, it mars your fast and threatens the safety
of your soul. But if you look at things which are lawful and
save you increase your fast, for what you see with your eye
influences your conduct. It would be very stupid to eliminate or
give up meat and other foods because of the fast but feed with
your eyes upon other things which are forbidden.
You don’t eat meat, you say. But you allow yourself to listen to lewd things.
You must fast with your ears, too. Another way of fasting with your ears
is not to listen to those who speak
evil or untrue things about others. “Thou shalt not receive an
idle report.” This is especially true of rumors, gossip,
untruths which are spoken to harm another.
Besides fasting with your mouth by not eating certain foods,
your mouth should also fast from foul language or telling lies
about others. For what good is it if you don’t eat meat or
poultry, and yet you bite and devour your fellow man?

– St. John Chrysostom


Fast from judging others; Feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; Feast on the unity of all life.
Fast from apparent darkness; Feast on the reality of all light.
Fast from thoughts of illness; Feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute; Feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; Feast on patience
Fast from pessimism; Feast on optimism.
Fast from worry; Feast on God’s providence.
Fast from complaining; Feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives; Feast on affirmatives.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; Feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility; Feast on non-resistance.
Fast from bitterness; Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; Feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety; Feast on eternal truth.
Fast from discouragement; Feast on hope.
Fast from facts that depress; Feast on verities that uplift.
Fast from lethargy; Feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from suspicion; Feast on truth.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; Feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from shadows of sorrow; Feast on the sunlight of serenity.
Fast from idle gossip; Feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm; Feast on prayer that sustains.

– William Arthur Ward