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Birthday of Mary

Birthday of Mary

When we celebrate the feast days of the saints, we usually celebrate the date on which they died because that is the day they were born into the joys of heaven.But the birthday of Mary, our Blessed Mother, is an exception. We celebrate her birthday because she came into this world full of grace and because she was to be the Mother of Jesus.The birth of Our Lady was like a dawn. When the sky starts to turn a rosy pink early in the morning, we know the sun will soon come up. In the same way, ...
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Everyday Grace: When Prayer Is Difficult

Everyday Grace: When Prayer Is Difficult

The truth is, sometimes we just don’t feel like praying. Maybe we don’t believe that our prayers are being answered. Maybe something has happened that has shaken our faith. Maybe we just don’t know what to say…or do.How can you get your prayer life back on track? Use short prayers. God really just wants you to talk to him. Maybe you’re putting it off because you don’t have a lot of time to spend. Try talking to God as if he were standing right beside you...
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Everyday Grace: Feeling Discouraged?

Everyday Grace: Feeling Discouraged?

When we read about the saints, it’s easy to contrast their lives with our own, and to feel sometimes that we’re not quite rising to the occasion. Most saints lived in different worlds, and had different graces suited to their times; but God has called us to live in this world. That’s a good reminder when we’re feeling discouraged! Here are some other ways of coping: Offer it all up to God. All that drudgery and discouragement and lack of time, all those events and expecta...
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Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Alphonsus was born near Naples, Italy, in 1732. He was a hard working student. He received his degree in law and became a famous lawyer. A mistake he made in court convinced Alphonsus of what he had already thought: he should give up his law practice and become a priest. His father tried to persuade him not to do it. However, Alphonsus had made up his mind. He became a priest. His life was filled with activity. He preached and wrote books. He started a religious congregation called “Redemp...
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Everyday Grace: Midsummer—and Midlife

Everyday Grace: Midsummer—and Midlife

Midsummer is officially in June, at the summer solstice, though that is actually the start of summer. Real midsummer is now, as we’re about halfway through the season. Another month before we’re doing the back-to-school thing, still time to reflect. Midlife is a similar time of reflection, halfway through a standard allotment of years on earth. It’s appropriate to think of both summer and life in terms of seasons, and here are a few tips to help: Do it now. If there’s som...
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Jesus Calms The Storm

Jesus Calms The Storm

Dear Friends,What a day! I’d been with a crowd of people all afternoon. I was exhausted! My disciples and I got into a boat to cross the lake. I soon fell asleep. Suddenly I was shaken out of my sleep. A terrible windstorm had blown up. The waves were high. My disciples were panicked. I got up and ordered the wind and the waves to be quiet. My friends were surprised. Didn’t they realize yet that I am the Son of God?   When you are having problems, you may think that yo...
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Everyday Grace: How to Pray When You Don’t Feel Like Praying

Everyday Grace: How to Pray When You Don’t Feel Like Praying

There are times—when we’re lucky—when praying feels easy, and natural, and even wonderful. The truth is that while those times are uplifting, they’re also not the norm. For many of us, prayer can often be difficult, either to get started or to keep on. But what can you do about it? Read the psalms. You’ll be surprised at how much of these songs and prayers and verses will sound familiar to you. They have served as an inspiration to Christians for centuries, and they...
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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Between the years 1642 and 1649, Saint Isaac Jogues and the North American martyrs came from France. They were killed while evangelizing the Indians. Ten years after the death of Saint Isaac Jogues, Kateri Tekakwitha was born in the same village where he had died. (We celebrate the feast of Saint Isaac and the North American Martyrs on October 19.)Kateri means Katherine. Kateri was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin. Her father was a non-C...
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Everyday Grace: Loving the Unlovable

Everyday Grace: Loving the Unlovable

It’s a wide world out there, filled with people who are very different from us. There are a couple of ways of dealing with our differences, ranging from friendship on one end to war on the other. But what does Jesus call us to do? He tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. And St. Paul in his letter to the Church in Rome writes, “If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if thirsty, something to drink. By this, you will be heaping red-hot...
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Saint Barnabas

Saint Barnabas

Although not one of the original twelve apostles, Barnabas is called an apostle by Saint Luke in his Acts of the Apostles. This is because, like Paul the Apostle, Barnabas received a special mission from God. He was a Jew born on the island of Cyprus. His name was Joseph, but the apostles changed it to Barnabas. This name means “son of consolation.”As soon as he became a Christian, Saint Barnabas sold all he owned and gave the money to the apostles. He was a good, kind-hear...
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