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The Garden of our Soul

Wednesday of Holy Week I recently gave a parish mission and one of the topics covered confession with special emphasis on the value of frequent confession. While studying in preparation I discovered this wonderful quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 1863 Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul's progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God's grace it is humanly reparable. "Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with...

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God Challenges

Saint Jerome Emiliani, priest & Saint Josephine Bakhita, virgin Mark 7:24-30 I love a good challenge. I love to be challenged to rise up and meet a difficult task. I often find that I create these challenges myself. I am currently working on an allegorical poem with an insane rhyming scheme. It usually takes me an hour or two to finish but eight lines but I love the challenge. I must admit, however, that I have a melancholic temperament and sometimes challenges can overwhelm me. It's not that I can't overcome the challenge but rather that I often consider all the options in such detail that I become paralyzed, unable to begin. Instead of pushing forward and acting, I think...

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Lenten Reading Suggestions for 2018

Every Lent I like to find a spiritually challenging or enlightening book to read and meditate upon. Seeing that Lent begins February 14th, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite titles for Lent.  Feel free to share yours as well. The Spear: A Novel of the Crucifixion Louis de Wohl is by far my favorite Catholic author. The Spear takes the reader through the events surrounding the Crucifixion of Our Lord from the perspective of Cassius Longinus, the man who thrust the spear into the side of Christ.  We've read this story aloud during Lent to our family and everyone loves it. The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ This book is a retelling, in detail,...

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If Only

Saint Agatha, virgin & martyr Mark 6:53-56 In my teen years I was filled with this phrase - if only. If only I had a car I could go and do what I wanted. If only I didn't have to go to school I'd be much happier. If only (insert desire) then (insert poorly perceived result). Today's Gospel made me put these "if only" moments in perspective. In my "if only" moments I am usually acting in a faithless, selfish manner. Either I am trying make a deal with God or I am exhibiting a lack of faith that would make those in Nazareth take notice (cf. 6:1-6). Here, however, I find people swarming to meet Jesus. He is unable...

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