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Love God, Love Others, Love Yourself

Jesus is clear in the Gospels: Love God, love others, love yourself. Jesus tells us this is the greatest commandment. If we do this, keeping the other commandments will fall into place with little effort. Sometimes Lent seems like a series of difficult tasks that we toil over to show our spiritual strength and endurance. Julian of Norwich and the other mystics remind us that it’s not about what we do, it’s about what God does. Our Lenten practices should make room in our lives to contemplate the great mystery of love.

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Jesus Quenches Our Thirst

Jesus’ thirst was not so much for water, but for the encounter with a parched soul. Jesus needed to encounter the Samaritan woman in order to open her heart. The outcome of that encounter by the well was the woman’s transformation. She had gone to draw water from the well, but she found another kind of water, the living water of mercy from which gushes forth eternal life. 

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Come Home

When we realize that the road we have been following may not be the one that is best for us, we must have the humility to admit that we have strayed, that we have been mistaken, that God knows better than we the life that will lead us to him. Nothing is more difficult than admitting that we have failed, that we have sinned. We feel haunted by the past. No matter how willing we are to do penance and suffer and take on the heavy burden of our guilt, in the end the greatest humility is accepting the role the Lord has written for us.

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Ash Wednesday: A Day of Surprises

There’s something about Ash Wednesday that draws us in, calls us to return to sanity, to a change of heart and mind.

Lent doesn’t take us away from our ordinary lives, but rather it invites us to bring a new and holy attention to those activities. This should be the way with all of our spiritual practices. We take time apart in order to return to our daily activities with new inspiration. God will always surprise us with possibilities when we least expect them. Let this Lent be one of those surprises.

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Saints Next Door

It’s easy to view saints as distant, historical figures that we can only try to imitate. Pope Francis encourages us to consider as examples the quietly holy people in our lives who inspire us to a deeper spiritual life.

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Lent with Pope Francis: Loving the Least of These

A Word from Pope Francis

“How is your health, you who are a good Christian?” — “Good, thank God; but also, when I need to, I immediately go to the hospital and, since I belong to the public health system, they see me right away and give me the necessary medicines.” — “It’s a good thing, thank the Lord. But tell me, have you thought about those who don’t have this relationship with the hospital and when they arrive, they have to wait six, seven, eight hours?”

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