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A Doer’s Prayer

This time of year, for many, can be an overwhelming confrontation with all that there is to do. The holidays fade away. The decorations come down. We return to the world, carried along by our resolutions or our goals, our dreams for the year, or our need to make up for lost time over the holidays. We are thrown back onto the treadmill. Each day is just another step forward on the doer’s march.
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Let Children Express Themselves

Yes, we want children to express themselves—thoughts, feelings, frustrations. Yes, we want them to know we’re ready to listen, even to what we’d rather not hear. Yes, the more open they are, the better. No, they can’t express themselves however they wish.
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Faith and Family: A Less Than Warm Welcome

Read LK 4:21-30 Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying: "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.  They also asked, "Isn't this the son of Joseph?" He said to them, "Surely you will quote me this proverb, 'Physician, cure yourself,' and say, 'Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'" And he said, "Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
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The Secret Challenge of Lenten Giving

Every time Lent comes around, the perfectionist in me starts showing its face more than usual. I always start the season with the intention of doing more than just giving up chocolate or something simple like that, but sometimes I go a little overboard with my Lenten commitments and end up having to ease up on some of them.
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Saint Francis and the Marrow of the Gospel

Many people have lost heart today because we feel confused and powerless. The “powers and principalities” seem overwhelming: consumerism, racism, militarism, patriarchy, climate change, the corporate juggernaut. We feel helpless to choose our own lives, much less a common life, or to see any overarching meaning. The world is so complex, and we are so small. What can we do but let the waves of history carry us and try to keep afloat somehow? 
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Finding God in the Darkness of Depression

  I have a passionate devotion to Divine Mercy. I sing the Chaplet and pray this prayer of surrender, “Jesus, help the signature of my life be the signature of your Divine Mercy, ‘Jesus, I trust in you.’ ” And I strive to live that surrender minute by minute. But as I fell deeper and deeper into the dark hole of depression a couple of years ago, the prayer began to sit on my heart like a heavy weight. It made it hard for me to breathe.
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What Drew Me to the Franciscans

For Roger Lopez, OFM, his road to the Franciscans wasn't paved with struggle or strife—it was paved with food. After his meal with the friars was over, he noticed how the brothers immediately began working together to wash dishes, put away food, and clean the kitchen. In those simple acts, Friar Roger saw the makings of a family, a family he wanted to join.
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Why This Mom Doesn’t Meditate

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to become more meditative. It was part of a new-year resolution, having found myself drifting away from the reflective nature of my faith, focusing more on the actions than the message. Mass had become less about being spiritually connected; more about making sure that my kids were paying attention.
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Faith and Family: Telling the Story

Read LK 1:1-4; 4:14-21 Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus,  so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region.
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The Rich Man and His Harvest: A Gospel Parable

There are 18 parables in the Gospel of Luke. One of the shortest ones contains one of the most powerful messages. It’s about the rich man who had a magnificent harvest. He faced a conundrum: “What shall I do with this fantastic harvest? My barns will never hold all of this since they still have some of last year’s harvest.” His solution makes sense and, in fact, helps him plan for what he anticipates will be big harvests for years to come.
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