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5 Reasons Your Prayer Time Matters to the Church

We all know it is important to pray. Asked, we would certainly acknowledge that our prayer life is important. And we would likely assent to any addendum that reading Scripture should be key to any healthy personal prayer life. But far too often, when we sit on our own with our Bibles in our laps in the early morning light, or attempt to grab 15 minutes of quiet during nap time, it can seem we are praying in isolation.
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The Jewish Jesus

Image: Christ Among the Doctors, Giotto. Lower Church Assisi, 1310s. Make no mistake: Jesus was born Jewish. By the time that he was executed by the Romans, many Jewish people would have considered Jesus as guilty of blasphemy because of certain actions and his teachings about God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Many Christians are reluctant to admit that Christ was born, lived, and taught as a pious Jew of his time. They may feel that such an admission shows disloyalty to Our Lord. Some even believe that Christianity has replaced Judaism. Nothing could be further from the truth. 
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Advice Worth Ignoring for Families

  Smart people learn from their mistakes. Smarter people learn from the mistakes of others. The smartest people learn from good advice. A pithy observation. Also, it would seem, good advice. No one learns solely from his own experience. If he tried, he’d find life a lot more frustrating, and perhaps a lot shorter. All of us learn, for better or worse, by others’ guidance. The aim is to get better at separating good guidance from bad. 
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My Lord, the Healer of Wounds

 
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Saints in the Making

Image: Dick Vos. Occasionally, we will hear someone say, “She was a saint,” but we’re more likely to hear, “He was no saint,” or to say with a shrug, “I’m not a saint.” Our concept of saints is that they are extraordinary people who, for the most part, lived long ago and possessed special divine favors that the majority of us neither have nor comprehend. We admire and venerate them, but their alabaster perfection is beyond us. Becoming a saint is frightening because it seems to demand the impossible. Why would God demand from us what is not attainable? Or do we not understand what makes a person—a sinner like any of us—a saint? 
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The Father and His Prodigal Son

Image: The Return of the Prodigal Son, 1907. Mayer Stained Glass, CHS Cathedral. Each year, I’m privileged to visit the Holy Land to promote the nearly 800-year-old mission of the Franciscans there. With each visit, I discover something new. God is always at work, opening up new insights for any pilgrim who visits this ancient land.
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Mother Teresa's Journey of Grace

Image: Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province. Mother Teresa was born into a loving family. Her parents, Nicholas and Rosa, nurtured their children and the young Bojaxhiu family flourished. During the day, their devoted mother cared for the children while their father was at work. When evening approached, Rosa would rush about and prepare to greet Nicholas. No matter what had happened during the day, Rosa was always smiling when Nicholas returned home. Growing up in the midst of this joyful existence was a pleasure for Aga, Lazar, and Agnes.
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Mother Teresa: A Saint Who Conquered Darkness

One of Mother Teresa’s deepest fears after she founded the Missionaries of Charity was that she or one of her sisters and brothers would do or say something to cause scandal or detract from the Order’s mission. In all likelihood this explains, at least in part, her reluctance to speak publicly of the interior locutions she had experienced for seven or eight months after the call within a call came on the train to Darjeeling. 
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Mother Teresa: ‘The Saint of the Gutters’

On October 19, 2003, Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who died in 1997. The process leading up to the beatification has been the shortest in modern history. In early 1999—less than two years after Mother Teresa's death—Pope John Paul waived the normal five-year waiting period and allowed the immediate opening of her canonization cause.
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Mother Teresa’s Road to Sainthood

Scarcely two years after the death of Mother Teresa in September 1997, the Archbishop of Calcutta at the time, Monsignor Henry D’Souza, requested that Pope John Paul II dispense with the five-year waiting period required before beginning the process of beatification and canonization. 
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