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Jesus Sees Your Heart

Jesus Sees Your Heart

Dear Friend,Have you ever had a hard time learning something? Sometimes, no matter how hard you study, you still might not get the grade you hope for. Maybe the person next to you doesn’t even have to study to get an A+. I see more than just grades. I know what effort you put into your work.Or perhaps you know someone who’s a good athlete and makes lots of goals. Maybe you go to every practice and try very hard, but you just don’t shine as much on the field. I see the true effo...
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Saint Francis Xavier

Saint Francis Xavier

This great missionary was born at Xavier Castle in Spain in 1506. He went to the University of Paris when he was eighteen. Here he met Saint Ignatius Loyola, who was about to start the Society of Jesus. Saint Ignatius tried to get Francis to join him. At first the happy-go-lucky young man would not think of it. Saint Ignatius repeated to him the words of Jesus in the Gospel: "What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" At last, Francis sa...
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5 Christmas Tips When Family Members Have Left the Church

5 Christmas Tips When Family Members Have Left the Church

Do you have family members who are away from the Church and are not sure what to say to them when they are home for Christmas?I've been there. I was an atheist for over ten years. But every year, I went to Christmas Mass with my family. I am not sure why. Sometimes I felt annoyed during the homilies or unmoved by the liturgy, but there were other times when I felt something stir within me. Granted, I never felt motivated enough to return to the Church after attending a Ch...
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Finding Everyday Miracles Through Advent

Finding Everyday Miracles Through Advent

by Geraldine Ann Marshall (author of Spider’s Gift: A Christmas Story)Creator of all, thank you for everyday miracles: for spider webs shining with rainbows, for golden honey on warm biscuits, and for cricket symphonies. And thank you for the greatest miracle of all: the birth, life, death, and resurrection of your Son, Jesus. Help us to know your miracles in our lives and to share our gifts with everyone we meet. (Spider’s Gift: A Christmas Story)In Advent, we are waiting: waiting f...
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Everyday Grace: Holiday Survival

Everyday Grace: Holiday Survival

So Thanksgiving is almost upon us, a time to express gratitude to God in the company of family and friends. But in a time of deep divisions between people, holidays that bring us together can also tear us apart. Here are three tips for surviving and thriving this Thanksgiving: Take the high road. You will never, ever regret it. Even when someone seems to be baiting you, be graceful, change the subject, acknowledge that they have a right to their opinion. Avoid alcohol. Drinking only intensifies ...
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How to Make an Advent Wreath

How to Make an Advent Wreath

How do I make an Advent Wreath?  If your family doesn’t already follow this tradition, why not start? You can buy Advent wreaths, but all you really need are three purple candles and a pink one. Place them in a circle and arrange some pine branches and pine cones around them. Or, you can make safe “candles” with toilet paper (cardboard) rolls and tissue paper – don’t light these! All you need to do is paint three of the toilet paper rolls purple and one of them...
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Teach Us To Pray

Teach Us To Pray

With so much tragedy and anxiety in the world, it’s more important than ever to remember that God is with us through everything. We’re not alone. But sometimes the same routine prayers don’t seem to make a difference. Perhaps this is a good time for you to try a different form of prayer, for a different season of life. Vocal prayer is what we’re all most used to. We say words to God, either from an established prayer (Our Father, Hail Mary, etc.) or simply speaking to God...
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3 Steps to Memento Mori

3 Steps to Memento Mori

Memento mori (literally, “remember that you have to die”) is an ancient practice of reflection on mortality, the reminder that this life is not forever. French painter Philippe de Champaigne illustrated it in his painting Still Life with a Skull, showing the three essentials of existence: a tulip (life), a skull (death), and an hourglass (time). The practice isn’t meant to be depressing, but rather to remind us of where our real life lies. Remember that every day on e...
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All Saints Day

All Saints Day

This feast day grew out of the love and devotion of God's people. It is so much a part of ourselves to feel gratitude for these saints and to honor them. Yes, all of the women, men and children who have died loving God very much and are now in heaven.Some passed through purgatory to be purified for the Lord's presence. They stayed there until the moment when they were ready to see God. They are with him now forever. Some saints have been singled out for their own feast day. The Chur...
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Getting back to the basics as a faith community

Getting back to the basics as a faith community

As we celebrate the Feast of the Divine Master this weekend, and as Advent approaches, it’s a good time to ask ourselves what we’re doing to live Christ every day in our lives. Here are three suggestions: Worshipping: Take an hour out of your schedule to spend with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. You can pray, read, listen to uplifting music, or just stay quietly with him. Reading: The Gospels are the story of Jesus’ life, and the Epistles are how St. Paul teaches us to live th...
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