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Lent Is a Journey Inward

Ash Wednesday is just a few days away. Many of us will be spending the next few days deciding what to give up. But Roger Lopez, OFM, encourages us to slow down and really think about what this season means. Lent isn't about what external temptations we want to give up. Lent is more an internal journey of discovery and oneness with God. 
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The Third Order of Saint Francis: A Note

When I was perhaps ten years old my mother and father, devout Catholics who sought a deeper and more intimate spiritual experience than just their parish life, began attending meetings of the Third Order of Saint Francis, one of the many tertiary clans in the Church; the first two Orders being men and women who have sworn vows and belong to one of Catholicism’s many congregations of priests, monks, brothers, and sisters.
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Faith and Family for February 27: Bear Good Fruit

Read LK 6:39-45 Jesus told his disciples a parable, "Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,' when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite!  Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother's eye.
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Temptation and the 40 Days of Lent

Lent is right around the corner. Now is a good time to ready ourselves for this holy season. One of the most significant aspects of the season of Lent, in fact, is to remind us of how Jesus entered into the human experience. We face that fact when the Passion and death of Jesus are revealed to us during Holy Week.
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Lent: Entering into Silence

"Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, Return to the Lord, your God" Joel 2:12, 13. Lent is not an intellectual exercise, but an affair of the heart. We remember prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We say we’ll do better at something, or not do something else at all. Whatever sin or addiction has plagued us since the turn of the year, the one we have not yet managed to get rid of despite our New Year’s resolution to somehow dislodge it at the roots, Lent presents us with another chance. But how?
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What to Focus on during Lent

Lent is upon us—and it is the perfect time to look inward and focus on our unworthiness so that we can thank God for his goodness. Friar Frank Jasper tells us that the Lenten journey is unique to each of us, though we are all on the same journey. Enjoy these words of wisdom as we prepare for the holiest season of the year. 
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Trusting God in the Desert: A Lenten Meditation

Some years ago I heard a psychologist give a talk in which he shared this insight: A love relationship is a relationship of trust. And if you allow a relationship of trust to become one that always demands proofs and evidence, you run the risk of undermining that relationship.
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Faith and Family for February 20: Love your Enemies

Read LK 6:27-38 Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
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Saint Francis and Prayer

Our lives are so easily fragmented between responsibilities to friends, family, employers, neighbors, and the larger human family that we may think we don’t have the time or energy for prayer. That was the experience of Francis of Assisi up until his mid-twenties. Then he discovered that prayer was more real than many of the things he had been considering more important.
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Notes from a Friar: A Look at Hell

A lot of people have questions about heaven, hell, and purgatory. To better understand hell, let’s review a bit. Everything about God and us centers on relationship. Heaven is complete and perfect union with God for eternity. Purgatory is union with God (through sanctifying grace), which is imperfect and incomplete.
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