Cross of Ashes
Vade Mecum 2013:
A Journey through Lent




Holy Thursday
March 28, 2013

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” John 13

Meanwhile, back in Iraq and the US of A, here's how the US government practices "Servant leadership" --

My children have no future.
But what happened to the “better future” for the untold number of Iraqis who died in the charnel house that resulted from the American invasion?  Where can we find the “better future” of the nine-year-old girl killed by an air strike in Baghdad‘s Al-Nasser marketplace on March 28, 2003?  Or the 12-year-old boy killed by a car bomb in Al-Ula market in Baghdad's Sadr City on July 1, 2006?  Or Dawoud Nouri’s eight-year-old daughter who was beheaded in Kirkuk on April 21, 2007?  What happened to their opportunities "to forge their own future”?
http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175666/tomgram%3A_dahr_jamail%2C_%22my_children_have_no_future%22


Tuesday of Holy Week
March 26, 2013

Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved,
was reclining at Jesus’ side.
So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.
He leaned back against Jesus’ chest and said to him,
“Master, who is it?”
Jesus answered,
“It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.”
So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas,
son of Simon the Iscariot.
After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him.
So Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag,
Jesus had told him, “Buy what we need for the feast,”
or to give something to the poor.
So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night. John 13

The Crucifixion of Tomas Young
Tomas was in Iraq for five days when he was wounded. Now, paralyzed, he has decided to stop eating and intends to die of starvation in order to end the misery he experiences in his life.  I continue to wonder if the US Catholic Bishops are satisfied with the results of their posture of moral relativism about the Iraq war.
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_crucifixion_of_tomas_young_20130310//




The Sunday of the Lord's Passion
of the Palms
March 24, 2013

I think all that is necessary to say today is contained within this video.



Today is also the Remembrance of the Martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador,
who was murdered by his own government 33 years ago today because he defended the poor
and denounced and exposed injustice, corruption, and evil.  For more information about the
life and ministry of Oscar Romero, visit http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/romero.html.

For more Holy Week social justice resources, visit http://www.justpeace.org/hlywk.htm.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The Solemnity of St. Joseph

The poor, the poor! As I thought about them, I immediately thought about Saint Francis of Assisi,
about war, whilst the vote counting went on, until all ballots were counted.
Francis was a man of peace, a man who loved and protected creation.
In our times, our relationship to Creation is not that good, right?
He was the man who gave us a spirit of peace, a poor man ...
How much I would like to see a poor Church for the poor.
Francis, the Bishop of Rome, regarding why he chose his regnal name



Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Thus says the LORD:
In a time of favor I answer you,
on the day of salvation I help you;
and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people,
To restore the land
and allot the desolate heritages,
Saying to the prisoners: Come out!
To those in darkness: Show yourselves!
Along the ways they shall find pasture,
on every bare height shall their pastures be.
They shall not hunger or thirst,
nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them;
For he who pities them leads them
and guides them beside springs of water.
I will cut a road through all my mountains,
and make my highways level.
See, some shall come from afar,
others from the north and the west,
and some from the land of Syene.
Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth,
break forth into song, you mountains.
For the LORD comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted.

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you. Isaiah 49




Satu
rday of the Third Week of Lent

Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week,
and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 18

Heat Spike Unlike Anything in 11,000 Years!
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study looking at 11,000 years of climate temperatures
shows the world in the middle of a dramatic U-turn, lurching from near-record cooling to a heat spike.

Research released Thursday in the journal Science uses fossils of tiny marine
organisms to reconstruct global temperatures back to the end of the last ice age.
It shows how the globe for several thousands of years was cooling
until an unprecedented reversal in the 20th century.

Scientists say it is further evidence that modern-day global warming isn't natural,
but the result of rising carbon dioxide emissions that have rapidly grown
since the Industrial Revolution began roughly 250 years ago.
More at . . .
http://news.yahoo.com/recent-heat-spike-unlike-anything-11-000-years-191131579.html




Friday of the Third Week of Lent
A day of abstinence

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions. Mark 21

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkivkORaeJA&feature=share&list=AL94UKMTqg-9ATaZH_LAlvhwZci74gnRVo


Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

Deus meus, adiuva me.
Tabhair dom do shearch, a Mhic ghil Dé
Tabhair dom do shearch, a Mhic ghil Dé
Deus meus adiuva me.

My God, help me.
Give me love of thee, O Son of my God.
Give me love of thee, O son of my God.
My God, help me.

Into my heart that it may be whole, O glorious King, swiftly bring love of thee.
Glorious King, swiftly bring love of thee into my heart that it may be whole.
Lord, give what I ask of thee – give, give speedily. O bright and gleaming sun - give, give speedily.
O bright and gleaming sun - Lord, give what I ask of thee.

This thing which I hope and seek, love of thee in this world, love of thee in that,
love of thee in this world, love of thee in that, this thing which I hope and seek.
Love of thee, as thou wishest, give me in thy might (I will say it again).
Give me in thy might (I will say it again) love of thee, as thou wishest.

I seek, I beg, I ask of thee that I be in Heaven, dear Son of God.
That I be in Heaven, dear Son of God, I seek, I beg, I ask of thee.
My Lord, hear me. May my soul, O God, be full of love for thee.
May my soul, O God, be full of love for thee.
My God, help me.



Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent
March 6, 2013

"President Barack Obama has the legal authority to unleash deadly force—such as drone strikes—against Americans on U.S. soil without first putting them on trial, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in a letter released Tuesday."
More at . . .
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/holder-yep-obama-could-kill-americans-u-soil-213059085--politics.html

Lacrimosa dies illa
Qua resurget ex favilla
Judicandus homo reus.
Huic ergo parce, Deus:
Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem. Amen

Full of tears shall be that day
On which from ashes shall arise
The guilty man to be judged;
Therefore, O God, have mercy on him.
Gentle Lord Jesus,
grant them eternal rest. Amen.



The T
hird Sunday of Lent
March 3, 2013

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
“Give me a drink.”
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
“How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?”
Jesus answered and said to her,
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water.” John 4

Two Afghan boys, gathering firewood, were killed on Saturday by fire from a NATO helicopter.  The US government says it was an "accident" but it admits the helicopter deliberately fired on the boys, killing them and their donkeys, because they thought they were Taliban.  How that translates into "accident," I am not sure, but the regime in Washington is a master of twisting words to justify its atrocities.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/world/asia/two-afghan-boys-accidentally-killed-by-nato-helicopter.html?ref=world




Saturday of the Second Week of Lent

March 2, 2013

Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
That dwells apart in a woodland,
in the midst of Carmel.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
as in the days of old;
As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
show us wonderful signs.

Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but delights rather in clemency,
And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our guilt?
You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins;
You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
and grace to Abraham,
As you have sworn to our fathers
from days of old. Micah 7

Sicut Cervus -- "As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God."


Thursday of the Second Week of Lent
February 28, 2013

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’ Luke 16

Torture Inc: America's Brutal Prisons
By Deborah Davies

Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq?

They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for BBC Channel 4 . It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying.

The prison guards stand over their captives with electric cattle prods, stun guns, and dogs. Many of the prisoners have been ordered to strip naked. The guards are yelling abuse at them, ordering them to lie on the ground and crawl. ‘Crawl, motherf*****s, crawl.’

If a prisoner doesn’t drop to the ground fast enough, a guard kicks him or stamps on his back. There’s a high-pitched scream from one man as a dog clamps its teeth onto his lower leg.

Another prisoner has a broken ankle. He can’t crawl fast enough so a guard jabs a stun gun onto his buttocks. The jolt of electricity zaps through his naked flesh and genitals. For hours afterwards his whole body shakes.
More at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8451.htm (the event described above occurred at a Texas prison during the reign of Governor George Bush)

Dies Irae "Day of Wrath" is a 13th century hymn that once was part of the Requiem Mass, about the Last Judgement.



Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
February 27, 2013

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, “What do you wish?”
She answered him,
“Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.”
Jesus said in reply,
“You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”
They said to him, “We can.”
He replied,
“My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20

23 mind-blowing facts about inequality in America.
http://www.businessinsider.com/new-charts-about-inequality-2011-11#the-share-of-national-income-going-to-the-top-1-has-doubled-since-1979-this-chart-really-says-it-all-1




Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent
February 26, 2013

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23



Monday of the Second Week of Lent
February 25, 2013

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”  Luke 6

ATONEMENT: A troubled Iraqi veteran seeks out a family he harmed.
In the early hours one morning last September, Lu Lobello rose from his bed, switched on a light, and stared into the video camera on his computer. It was two-thirty. The light cast a yellow pall on Lobello’s unshaven face. Almost every night was like this. Lobello couldn’t sleep, couldn’t stop thinking about his time in Iraq. Around San Diego, he’d see a baby—in a grocery store, in a parking lot—and the image would come back to him: the blood-soaked Iraqi infant, his mother holding him aloft by one foot. “Why did you shoot us?’’ the woman demanded over and over. Other times, Lobello would see a Mercedes—a blue or white one, especially—and he’d recall the bullet-riddled sedan in the Baghdad intersection, the dead man alongside it in the street, the elderly woman crying in broken English, “We are the peace people! We are the peace people!” He’d remember that the barrel of his machine gun was hot to the touch

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/10/29/121029fa_fact_filkins#ixzz2Lvxdo11B



The Second Sunday of Lent

February 24, 2013

Jesus took Peter, John, and James
and went up the mountain to pray.
While he was praying his face changed in appearance
and his clothing became dazzling white.
And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah,
who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus
that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep,
but becoming fully awake,
they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus,
“Master, it is good that we are here;
let us make three tents,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
But he did not know what he was saying.
While he was still speaking,
a cloud came and cast a shadow over them,
and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.
They fell silent and did not at that time
tell anyone what they had seen. Luke 9


Bug Splats in Afghanistan
"If the (civilian) victims of Mr Obama's drone strikes are mentioned by the state at all, they are discussed in terms which suggest that they are less than human. The people who operate the drones, Rolling Stone magazine reports, describe their casualties as "bug splats", "since viewing the body through a grainy-green video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed". Or they are reduced to vegetation: justifying the drone war, Obama's counterterrorism adviser Bruce Riedel explained that "you've got to mow the lawn all the time. The minute you stop mowing, the grass is going to grow back".

Like George Bush's government in Iraq, Obama's administration neither documents nor acknowledges the civilian casualties of the CIA's drone strikes in north-west Pakistan. But a report by the law schools at Stanford and New York universities suggests that during the first three years of his time in office, the 259 strikes for which he is ultimately responsible killed between 297 and 569 civilians, of whom at least 64 were children. These are figures extracted from credible reports: there may be more which have not been fully documented."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/17/us-killings-tragedies-pakistan-bug-splats







Friday after Ash Wednesdsay


This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
  Isaiah 58



The Thursday after Ash Wednesday
February 14, 2013

Jesus said to his disciples. . .
“All who wish to follow me must deny themselves,
and take up the cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save their life will lose it,
but whoever loses their life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for anyone to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit their self?”





Ash Wednesday
February 13, 2013

From Psalm 51
Have mercy on me, God, according to your merciful love;
in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.
Thoroughly wash away my guilt; and from my sin cleanse me.
For I know my transgressions; my sin is always before me.

Against you, you alone have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your eyes
So that you are just in your word,
and without reproach in your judgment.

A clean heart create for me, God;
renew within me a steadfast spirit.
Do not drive me from before your face,
nor take from me your holy spirit.
Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;
uphold me with a willing spirit.

I will teach the wicked your ways,
that sinners may return to you.
Rescue me from violent bloodshed, God, my saving God,
and my tongue will sing joyfully of your justice.

Lord, you will open my lips;
and my mouth will proclaim your praise.
For you do not desire sacrifice or I would give it;
a burnt offering you would not accept.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.

The Five Pillars of the Observance of Lent:  Prayer, Repentance, Fasting, Alms-giving, Abstinence

Links to selections of Holy Scripture for prayerful reading (lectio divina) during Lent:  http://www.justpeace.org/scripture.htm





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