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40 Days of Lent: Day 15

                  0:48                 POWERED BY WISTIA     Loading... Playing in 540p   ● Auto ○ 224p ○ 360p ○ 540p ○ 720p ○ 1080p   Switch to Flash   About Wistia              Make the Confiteor a daily prayer during Lent, and recite it in the morning or before bed. I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
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The Test of Gethsemane

Image: Agony in the Garden, Andrea Mantegna. Being Put to the Test "A common soldier dies without fear, but Jesus died afraid.” Iris Murdoch wrote those words and they teach one of the lessons of Gethsemane. The Garden of Gethsemane is also the place where we are put to the test. What does this mean?  The great spiritual writer Henri Nouwen once wrote a book, In Memoriam, within which he tried to come to grips with his mother’s death. The manner of her death had surprised him and left him struggling with some painful doubts and questions. Why? 
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St. Peter's Regret and Road to Redemption

Image: The Last Supper, Artist Unknown. Museu Nacional de Belas Artes. An incident in the Gospels can help us put the worst act we have ever committed into perspective. It’s what St. Peter did to the Lord on the evening of Holy Thursday. Peter, the leader of the apostles, did something he would never forget. On the night Jesus was arrested, he denied knowing him and being his disciple. And, shockingly, he did this three times. Worse yet, Peter was not being tortured (though many years later he would be, as would many Christians who were burned, beaten to death, or crucified for their faith).
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The Passion and the Cross

Image: Louis Moncouyoux. In the Gospels, Jesus tells us that there exists a certain secret, a hidden wisdom, which, should we grasp it, is the key to unraveling all the deep secrets of life. Conversely, should we miss it, we will never really understand life. However, for Jesus that secret is not some exotic, gnostic, or hidden code, accessible only to intellectual elites or certain religious cults. For Jesus, the hidden secret that holds the key to everything is the cross: the wisdom of the cross and the brokenness of the one who died on the cross. If we grasp that reality, we will have the key to understanding the rest of life; if we do not grasp that wisdom, the meaning of life will always be somewhat of a riddle to us.
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Wanting for Oscar, not Spiritual Gold

Our guest blogger today is Mary Claire Kendall. The Academy Awards have not always looked favorably upon Hollywood’s most celebrated stars. Bob Hope, legendary comedian, television personality, and film star, hosted the ceremony a record 19 times, but never won, nor was he nominated for a competitive Oscar. Each year, he told jokes about this lack of recognition at the Oscars, “or as it’s known at my house: Passover,” he famously quipped.
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Casting for Oscar Gold

Vivien Leigh, in Gone with the Wind. One of the more interesting Hollywood stories is how an actor or actress ends up playing an Oscar-winning role.
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40 Days of Lent: Day 10

                            Get to daily Mass. If you can’t get to Mass daily, try at least to go on Fridays as well as Sunday in gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice. Maybe you can go another day or two per week as well.
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A Reflection on Psalm 139

1  You have searched me,   Lord ,     and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise;     you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down;     you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue     you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before,     and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,     too lofty for me to attain.
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Seeking God through Prayer

Image: Stefan Kunze | unsplash.  Lent is supposed to be a time to fast, pray, and help those in need.The Gospel reading for today, Thursday of the first full week of Lent, focuses our attention on prayer. There are many types or prayer—praise, adoration, meditation, liturgical prayer, and so forth. Today, however, the focus is prayer of petition, asking God for our needs, or at least what we think we need. The first reading narrates how Queen Esther’s prayers were answered and how her people, in bondage, were saved from the wicked designs of Haman, the king’s official who wanted to kill all the Jews.
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Lent: Focusing Our Attention on God

How do we make the most out of Lent this year? Our guest blogger, Marcellino D’Ambrosio, author of 40 Days, 40 Ways: A New Look at Lent, offers suggestions.                            
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