Week One: March 31 - April 3

Day One: Facing Obstacles

Prayer from Saint Francis de Sales

I will not look forward to the trials and crosses of this life with dread and fear.
Rather, I will look to them with full confidence that, as they arise, God, to whom I belong, will deliver me from them.
He has guided and guarded me thus far in life.
I will but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead me safely through all my trials.
Whenever I cannot stand, He will carry me lovingly in His arms.
I will not look forward to what may happen tomorrow because the same Eternal Father who cares for me today will take good care of me tomorrow and every day of my life.
Either He will shield me from suffering or He will give me the unfailing strength to beat it.
I will be at peace then and put aside all useless thoughts, vain dreads, and anxious imaginations.


Day Two: Self-Assessment

Rate yourself (on a scale of 1-10) in these areas:

a. Physical (exercise, nutrition, sleep, etc.)
b. Mental/Academic (personal or professional development)
c. Emotional (appropriateness in assessing situations & responding)
d. Spiritual (energy & passion for life)
e. Social/Relational (how you engage with others)
f. Professional (where you are vs where you want to be)
g. Financial (make more than you spend)
h. Economical (how you manage your life, household, possessions)
i. Familial (family relations that you want to improve)
j. Prayerful (daily conversations with God)

In what ways are you satisfied/dissatisfied with your current status? What are you willing to change in each of these ares, e.g., transfer 20 minutes/day to exercise?

a. Name one action you are willing to do to impact physical health for the next 7 days
b. Name one thing you would like to do differently regarding your spiritual/prayer life
c. Name one area (a-j above) that you want to make top priority in the next 30 days

Day Three: Spirituality that takes us higher or deeper

Quote from Trinity by Leon Uris

A Shanachie spirit speaks and says:

"We live with a number of rooms inside us. The best room is open to family and friends; and we show our finest face in it. Another room is more private and very few are permitted in. There is another room where we allow no one to enter--a room of the most intimate thoughts we keep unshared. And in every person, there is one room more--it's an inner chamber into which God, alone, has access. So hidden away is it that we don't dare enter it ourselves. Locked inside are all the mysteries we cannot solve, all the pains and sorrows we wish to forget, all the truths that are too deep to comprehend. And there is also a special chamber inside God, Himself, into which none can enter but you. There, the last of our rooms gets unlocked, and all that is unknown to you escapes and it is revealed to you that contained (also there), are the secret things of the Father. And it is there that we catch a glimpse of the reason that we exist."

Day Four: Five-Finger Prayer

When you retire to bed this evening, fold your hands. Starting with the thumb, closest to you, pray for those to whom you feel closest in life. Then listen to God. Next pray with your pointer finger for those who point the way. Contemplate how you point the way for those who look up to you. Then the middle finger, the tallest, pray for those who carry the heaviest burdens in our society because by their position, they tower or we look up to them. Pausing after each finger, move on to the fourth, the weakest, and pray for those who are weakest in our society at this time (the sick, the dying, the vulnerable, marginalized, forgotten...). Conclude with the pinky, the smallest finger and pray for yourself; listen to what God is telling you.

Day Five: Passage Listings for Five Lenten Gospels

Matthew 4: 1-11
Matthew 17: 1-9
John 4: 5-12
John 9: 1-41
John 11: 1-45