Throughout the Lenten season, the catechumens, those preparing to be baptized and/or to enter the Catholic Church, are being scrutinized. On the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent, usually at Mass, the catechumens will be prayed for by the universal Church, according to the pattern of the ancient prayers called "the scrutinies." In these prayers, we ask the Lord to read (e.g. Acts 1:24), search (Ps 139:23), purify (e.g. Acts 15:9), and strengthen their hearts (e.g. 1 Thes 3:13). This "open-heart operation" is absolutely essential, and only God can perform it (Jer 17:10; Jn 2:25), for the human heart is tortuous, twisted, deceitful, and humanly incomprehensible (Jer 17:9).
Although the scrutinies are primarily for the catechumens, we all need to have our hearts scrutinized and purified by the Lord. Ask Jesus to remove from the inner recesses of your heart (Mk 7:21) all that is not of Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to pour out in your heart His divine love (Rm 5:5). Then, filled with this love, speak from the abundance of your heart (Lk 6:45). Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
|PRAYER:||"Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, make our hearts like Yours" (see Mt 11:29).|
|PROMISE:||"If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if one should rise from the dead." –Lk 16:31|
|PRAISE:||For over a decade, Sarah has faithfully devoted several hours weekly to adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.|
Reprinted with permission from Presentation Ministries, a lay association of the Catholic Church that focuses on evangelization and discipleship through Bible teaching, daily Mass, the charisms of the Holy Spirit, and Small Christian Community. Their ministries include: