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“Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near,” (James 5:8). 
Today is Ash Wednesday and the start of a new Lenten season. Today Pope Francis encourages the faithful to live “in the presence of the Father [who] gives us a much deeper joy than worldly glory can give us. May our attitude this Lent be one of living in secret where the Father sees us, loves us and waits for us. Naturally, exterior things are important too, but we must always choose to live in the presence of God.
Let us do what we can, in prayer, in sacrifice, and in acts of charity, humbly before God. This way we will be worthy of God the Father’s reward.” May each of us have a blessed Lent.
 New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Irish Province of Society of Jesus, Sacred Space for Lent 2015, (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2015).
 Pope Francis, Audio-message to the young people of the Prelature of the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii., www.vatican.va.
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Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadLord, open my lips. — And my mouth will proclaim your praise. Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord, the King who is to come. Psalm 95 Come, let us sing to the Lord and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us. Let us approach him with… Enter Prayer
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Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
“The heart that is taken and pressed with a desire of praising the divine goodness more than it is able, after many endeavours goes oftentimes out of itself, to invite all creatures to help it in its design.”
St. Francis de Sales was born in Savoy, France in 1567. He showed himself to be incredibly bright during his studies in rhetoric, philosophy, theology and law. He became ordained and supported the Counter-Reformation in his district. In 1602, he became bishop and devoted his work to integrating the decrees from the Council of Trent. Also, he co-founded the Visitandines with St. Jane Francis de Chantal, an order dedicated to humility, gentleness, and sisterly love. St. Francis de Sales was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1877. Amongst his most read and revered writings are Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God. 
Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD
 Francis de Sales, Treatise on the Love of God (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1884), 221.
 F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 531, 1446.
 Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.
I have a request.
This is not our usual topic and it’s not anything we will repeat, not at least for a very long time, but I feel this has enough benefit to justify reaching out to you.
Before I get to the topic for which I am writing, I must say thank you to all who have prayed for this ministry and for the generous outpouring of financial support you have given. Your outpouring has taken the financial responsibility off my shoulders. My family and I appreciate the relief and we appreciate knowing that Divine Office means enough to you that you give so generously. I assure you that your prayers and financial support will be fully dedicated to our mission to bring everyone everywhere into praying the Liturgy of the Hours.
And while you have relieved me of the financial burden of this ministry, my workload is heavy, I continue joyously devoting many unpaid hours every week to this work. It is my highpoint, but also one of stress because I have my “day job” that provides for my family.
The businesses that hire my software development company to build software put a lot of trust in me. They make large investments with the trust that the results will deliver a good return on their investment. In the process of building software I get intimately connected to the business and its people. I form a strong empathy for the challenges they face and occasionally, when what they do brings great good into the world, I become their champion. I have just such an organization that deserves support because what they do is making a positive change in the world by changing, for the better, its leaders.
They teach a leadership style where love and power and clear purpose can co-exist and now these teachings are available in a new book, Mastering Leadership. It is this book that I believe can benefit you, if you are a leader, or anyone you know that is a leader now or aspiring to be a leader. Don’t forget our clergy who get placed in positions of leadership with little or no training as leaders!
I am not being paid to promote this book, but I am their champion. I believe what they are doing is good and worthy of my (and your) support. I came to respect this organization and what they do, while earning an income for my family, through their considerable investment in technology tools that facilitate evolving the world’s leaders. In my opinion, the book is a must-read for leaders.
I could sing the praises of this company and their book, but instead I will simply ask you to read the reviews then consider anyone you might know that would benefit from this book and pick it up for them!
Link: Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results
Thank you for supporting and may God bless you!
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Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadJanuary 17 Saint Anthony, Abbot Memorial “And again his soul was free from blemish, for it was neither contracted as if by grief, nor relaxed by pleasure, nor possessed by laughter or dejection, for he was not troubled when he beheld the crowd, nor overjoyed at being saluted by… Enter Prayer
Coming soon, January 22 is the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. Praying the Liturgy of the Hours, you can always just pause the recording during the intercessions on Morning or Evening Prayer and add a personal intention. But we are also proposing something a bit different, hoping to inspire your prayer life:
Pro-Life Rosary Prayer Intentions
The Joyful Mysteries
For parents facing an unexpected pregnancy, that they lovingly accept the precious life God has entrusted to their care.
That the family and friends of expectant parents might reach out and support them as they prepare to meet their child face to face.
That the love of the Blessed Mother and the Christ Child may be a source of strength for every expectant mother, especially mothers living in poverty, and that they both will be surrounded by joy and love.
That fathers of young children will model St. Joseph in devoutly practicing their faith, so that they lead their children to God by their words and example.
The Finding of Jesus in the Temple:
For all children who have been lost and forgotten, that they may be led to a place where they are treasured, protected and loved.
The Luminous Mysteries
The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan:
That all baptized Christians will be open to the Holy Spirit and bear witness to the sanctity of life.
The Wedding Feast at Cana:
For all husbands and wives, that they treasure the priceless gift of married love by generously accepting children through procreation and adoption.
The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God:
That those who pray and work for greater respect for human life will be guided by the Beatitudes and reveal the face of Christ to others.
That our world will be transfigured by the witness of faithful Christians so that all may understand the priceless value of every human being.
The Institution of the Eucharist:
That through our worthy reception of the Eucharist and frequent Eucharistic Adoration, Jesus will teach us to love sacrificially the least and neediest among us.
The Sorrowful Mysteries
The Agony in the Garden:
For all who are suffering from abandonment or neglect, that compassionate individuals will come forward to offer them comfort and aid.
The Scourging at the Pillar:
That the victims of violence, torture and slavery will be delivered from their suffering, find healing and know that God is close to them.
The Crowning with Thorns:
That the persecution of Christians will end in a new era of tolerance and respect for the religious freedom and conscience rights of all.
The Carrying of the Cross:
For all who labor under burdens that seem too great to bear—due to illness, age, poverty, cruelty or injustice—that our prayers and aid will lighten their crosses.
For an end to the death penalty and for the release of all prisoners of conscience and all who have been wrongfully convicted.
The Glorious Mysteries
For all who have lost loved ones, and especially for parents of a child who was miscarried, aborted or stillborn, that they will find peace in the promise of the Resurrection.
For all who struggle with addictions, that through Christ’s triumph and ascent into glory, they may triumph over their temptations, and gain strength and peace.
The Coming of the Holy Spirit:
That the Holy Spirit will open the minds and hearts of those who now reject the Gospel of Life and allow them to be convinced of the truth and goodness of all that the Church professes concerning human life.
The Assumption of Mary:
For mothers who have died at the hands of abortion providers, that they may experience reconciliation and together with their children know God’s peace.
The Coronation of Mary:
For all mothers, that they might come to know the wonder of their vocation.
This and more on USCCB website
May 13 Our Lady of Fatima Optional Memorial Today is the anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady to three shepherd children in the small village of Fatima in Portugal in 1917. Appearing to the children, the Blessed Virgin told them that She had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman… Enter Prayer
Merry Twelfth Day of Christmas!
The gift today is Twelve Drummers Drumming!
The twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of belief in The Apostles’ Creed.
The twelve points of the Apostles Creed are as follows:
1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell.
5. On the third day he rose again.
6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
12. and the life everlasting.
Merry Twelfth Day of Christmas!
We love you so much!
Merry Eleventh Day of Christmas!
My True Love gave to me ~ Eleven Pipers Piping!
The eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful and loyal Apostles (minus Judas who betrayed Jesus).
Today we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Patron of in-law problems, against the death of children, widows, death of parents, and opposition of Church authorities
Two hundred years ago, Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton founded the Sisters of Charity of St. Josephs’, the first new community for religious women to be established in the United States. She also began St. Joseph’s Academy and Free School, the first free Catholic School for girls staffed by Sisters in the US. Her legacy now includes six religious communities with more than 5,000 members, hundreds of schools, social service centers and hospitals throughout America and around the world. She was canonized on September 14, 1975 in St. Peter’s Square by Pope Paul VI.
The remarkable life of Elizabeth Ann Seton spans the full spectrum of human experience. She was a New York socialite, a devoted wife, the mother of five children, a dedicated volunteer in charitable organizations, a convert to Roman Catholicism, an educator, friend of the poor, catechist. She was a tireless servant of God. Her story is one in which you would find much inspiration.
Merry Eleventh Day of Christmas
We love you!
Merry Tenth Day of Christmas!
My True Love gave to me Ten Lords a-Leaping!
The Ten Lords a-Leaping are the Ten Commandments.
These ten beneficial laws were given by God to show us how to live a better life now and please God forever. Jesus Christ explained that the Ten Commandments and all of God’s laws are based on God’s most prominent characteristic: LOVE.
God gave humanity the Bible to reveal His way of life—His way of love. The do’s and dont’s of God’s Ten Commandments show us how to apply love in every aspect of life. Jesus Christ summarized all of God’s laws in two great commandments. “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
The 10 Commandments expand on these two great commandments, with the first four commandments telling us how God wants to be loved, and the last six commandments showing how to demonstrate love for other people. God’s ultimate goal is not to have the Ten Commandments inscribed on tablets of stone, but to have them written in our hearts and minds so that we will remember them and always live by them
The Ten Commandments List
1. I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.
2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the LORD’S Day.
4. Honor your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
Paul explained: “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:9-10).
Today is the tenth day in the octave of Christmas and the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. From Apostolic times, the Church has professed that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10). The day marks the occasion when the Child received the Name Jesus as had been foretold by the angel. The feast is meant to impress on us Christians the dignity of the Holy Name. It is a relatively new feast, stemming out of devotional piety. It is not difficult to find in it some liturgical or scriptural reference.
Merry Tenth Day of Christmas
We love you!
Merry Ninth Day of Christmas!
The gift on the Ninth Day of Christmas is Nine Ladies Dancing!
Those nine ladies represent the Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit!
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.
We pray today that you will be able to share these gifts.
Also on the Ninth Day of Christmas we celebrate the lives of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzus (Nazianzen) both Bishops in the Catholic Church.
St. Basil was a man of vast learning and constant activity, genuine eloquence and immense charity. This earned for him the title of “Great” during his life and Doctor of the Church after his death. Basil was one of the giants of the early Church He was learned, accomplished in statesmanship, a man of great personal holiness, and one of the great orators of Christianity. He is the Patron Saint of hospital administrators.
Basil and Gregory were born in Asia Minor in the year 330. This area is modern-day Turkey. Basil’s grandmother, father, mother, two brothers and a sister are all saints. Gregory’s parents are St. Nonna and St. Gregory the Elder. Basil and Gregory met and became great friends at school in Athens, Greece. Basil became a well-known teacher. One day his sister, St. Macrina, suggested that he become a monk. He listened to her advice, moved to the wilderness and there started his first monastery. The rule he gave his monks was very wise.Both Basil and Gregory became priests and then bishops. While he was Bishop of Constantinople, Gregory converted many people with his wonderful preaching. This nearly cost him his life. A young man planned to murder him. He repented at the last moment and begged Gregory’s forgiveness. Gregory did forgive him and won him with his gentle goodness.
Many of Gregory’s speeches, letters and poems were published. His writings are still important today. Many writers have based their works on his. Gregory’s friend Basil had a very kind and generous heart.
He always found time to help the poor. He even invited people who were poor themselves to help those worse off. “Give your last loaf to the beggar at your door,” he urged, “and trust in God’s goodness.” He gave away his inheritance and opened a soup kitchen where he could often be seen wearing an apron and feeding the hungry.
What a good message that we should use our wisdom, knowledge and time to help the people around us.
Merry Ninth Day of Christmas
We love you all!
Merry Eighth Day of Christmas (and Happy New Year to all!)
On the Eighth Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…..Eight maids a-milking.
From a literal sense milk was a luxury in the 15th and 16th century because with no refrigeration it would spoil quickly.
So milk, in and of itself, was a generous gift.
The eight maids a-milking represent the Eight Beatitudes, a wonderful and generous gift to Christians everywhere.
Jesus promises us happiness. In fact the word “blessed” means “happy.” The Beatitudes are at the core of Christ’s teaching.
They fulfill the promise made to the Jewish people by pointing beyond earthly happiness to the eternal happiness of heaven.
The reward promised in each of the Beatitudes is primarily heaven.
* Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
* Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
* Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
* Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
* Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
* Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
* Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
* Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
We love the Beatitudes so the Eighth Day has so much to offer us all.
Merry Eighth Day of Christmas!
We love you!
Liturgy of the Hours for January 24
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