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Lent and the Parable of the Rich Man and His Harvest

                            Friar Jim shares his own personal feelings about Lent and explores the parable of the rich man and his harvest. 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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Year of Mercy: Prayers for Life and Death

Image: Regola - S. Maria dell'Orazione e Morte, Wikimedia Commons. If a pilgrim walking to Rome for a Holy Year fell mortally ill far from home or a poor tenant farmer died working in a field or an unidentifiable victim of murder was found, a group of courageous Christians buried these anonymous or forgotten dead with dignity.
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How Much Does God Love You?

Image: Marco Basaiti, Call of the Sons of Zebedee. Academia of Venice. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. —Jeremiah 31:3 Although he had absolutely nothing to gain from it, God wanted to share his very life with man. As a result, he began the process of creation. In the first two chapters of the book of Genesis, we see how the Lord created the heavens and the earth from nothing. He then populated the earth with numerous creatures. The Father's act of generosity culminated with the creation of man.
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Year of Mercy: Visiting the Sick in the Jungle

Image: Taryn Hill, a second-year resident from Austin, Texas, examines a young girl at a clinic in Akawini, Guyana, March 18. (CNS photos/Bob Roller) WAKAPOA, Guyana (Catholic News Service)—The indigenous families living in this South American jungle village came early to see the American doctors running a free health clinic. They paddled dugout canoes for miles on the placid waters of the Wakapoa Creek, gave their names and sat on wooden benches to wait for what may be their only doctor's appointment in a year. Nylon hammocks and silky mosquito nets in which the doctors slept hung on the walls around them.
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Lenten Recipes: Rolled Sole with Fennel and Citrus

Hospitality is an important ministry of Benedictines, but also with that comes the need for a spirit of flexibility! You never know when a guest can appear needing a meal or a place to spend the night. Being a Type-A personality and a perfectionist, this gift is not something that comes naturally to me. My life at the Villa was a wonderful time for me to breathe and let God take the reins.
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Christ: Our Remedy for Suffering

Image: Jayakumar Ananthan. “Just offer it up.” Some of us grew up hearing this phrase from our Catholic parents. Even if we heard that phrase repeatedly, we most likely didn’t understand fully what it meant. Certainly this is a foreign phrase to our Protestant brothers and sisters. It sounds strange—after all, what does God want with my broken arm or seven stitches in my knee?
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Walking with God: Take Nothing for the Journey

Image: Ybrayym Esenov. I find there are two types of people who attack me when they discover I’m Catholic. The first are lapsed or disgruntled Catholics who claim to be revolted by the Church but can’t stop talking about it. The second type, the Pharisees, are always trying to get me to say something bad about other (in their eyes, lukewarm) members of the Church. None of these folks can bear the hideous gap between how a follower of God should be and how a person who claims to be a follower of Christ actually is.
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Why Should I Go to Confession?

Image: Redd Angelo. Why Do I Need to Confess That? If anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure…to you all. —2 CORINTHIANS 2:5 Who do my sins hurt? Who do your sins hurt? Only you? A popular misconception is that our sins hurt only us. It’s common for me to hear someone say, “What’s the big deal with (blank)? I’m only hurting myself.” OK, I’ll say this as lovingly as I can: “That’s a crock!” Sin runs deeper than that.
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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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