Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday of the First Week of Lent

About Reading Through Lent

My dear old mother has more sense than any of you. I felt like her when I saw this place - felt that I must have it - that never, never, never could I let it go; only she thought it was the houses and the kitchen ranges and the linene and china, when it was really all the human souls to be saved: not weak souls in starved bodies, sobbing with gratitude for a scrap of bread and treacle, but fulfilled, quarrelsome, snobbish, uppish creatures, all standing on their little rights and dignities, and thinking that my father ought to be greatly obliged to them for making so much money for him--and so he ought. That is where salvation is really wanted. My father shall never throw it in my teeth again that my converts were bribed with bread. I have got rid of the bribe of bread. I have got rid of the bribe of heaven. Let God's work be done for its own sake: the work God had to create us to do because it cannot be done except by living men and women. When I die, let God be in my debt, not I in God's; and let me forgive God as becomes a woman of my rank.

Then the way of life lies through the factory of death?

Yes, through the raising of hell to heaven and of humanity to God, through the unveiling of an eternal light in the valley of the shadow. Oh, did you think my courage would never come back? Did you believe that I was a deserter? That I, who have stood in the streets, and taken my people to my heart, and talked of the holiest and greatest things with them, could ever turn back and chatter foolishly to fashionable people about nothing in a drawing room? Never, never, never, never: Major Barbara will die with the colors!

George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara

Actually there are are only two philosophies of life: one is first the feast and then the headache: the other is first the fast and then the feast. Deferred joys purchased by sacrifice are always the sweetest.
Fulton J. Sheen

Both responses, feasting and fasting, are based on the knowledge that food is gift. Both portray a relationship to God. . .The abuses of feasting or fasting all stem from a single fact: the failure to remember that food is God's gift. Those who eat to excess suffer from the delusion that they sustain their own lives and that the lives of all other creatures are insignificant. Those who fast only to win the acclaim of others or to force God's own hand also presume that they sustain their own lives.
Irene Nowell

Most quotes taken from the compilation A Lent Sourcebook: The Forty Days, ed. by J. Robert Baker, Evelyn Kaehler and Peter Mazar.  Liturgy Training Publication, 1990. 

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