O Lord, who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of thy Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore Thee, a heart to delight in Thee, to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ's sake, Amen.
"Watch out! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.2When
you give to someone in need, don't do as the hypocrites do-blowing
trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts
of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they
will ever get.3But when you give to someone in need, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.4Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Teaching about Prayer and Fasting
you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on
street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell
you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.6But
when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray
to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will
when you fast, don't make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they
try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for
their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will
ever get.17But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face.18Then
no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows
what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will
Teaching about Money and Possessions
19"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.20Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
"When your heart is thus established in Christ,
and you are an enemy of sin, out of love and not out of fear of
punishment, Christ's sufferings should also be an example for your whole
life, and you should meditate on the same in a different way.... If a
day of sorrow or sickness weighs you down, think, how trifling that is compared with the thorns and nails of Christ. If you must do or leave undone what is distasteful to you: think, how Christ was led hither and thither, bound and a captive. Does pride attack you: behold,
how your Lord was mocked and disgraced with murderers. Do unchastity and lust thrust themselves against you: think, how bitter it was for Christ to have his tender flesh torn, pierced and beaten again and again. Do hatred and envy war against you, or do you seek vengeance: remember how Christ with many tears and cries prayed for you and all his enemies, who indeed had more reason to seek revenge
. If trouble or whatever adversity of body or soul afflict you,
strengthen your heart and say: Ah, why then should I not also suffer a
little since my Lord sweat blood in the garden because of anxiety and
"One can thus find in Christ strength and comfort against all vice
and bad habits.... And they are called true Christians who incorporate
the life and name of Christ into their own life, as St. Paul says in Gal
5, 24: "And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with
the passions and the lusts thereof." For Christ's Passion must be dealt
with not in words and a show, but in our lives and in truth.... But
this kind of meditation is now out of use and very rare, although the
Epistles of St. Paul and St. Peter are full of it. We have changed the
essence into a mere show, and painted the meditation of Christ's
sufferings only in letters and on walls." --
Martin Luther, "How to Contemplate Christ's Holy Sufferings"
Something to Think About
Easter approaches, are your words and actions marked by humility?
Whatever you're doing to prepare for Easter, are you doing it to honor
Christ, or to be noticed by others?