40 Hosts Found Miraculously Preserved After Earthquake

A ciborium containing 40 perfectly preserved hosts was found inside a tabernacle taken from the ruins of a church destroyed in the devastating earthquake that struck central Italy in 2016, and is being called a sign of hope by the local bishop.

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Lenten Journey Day 10

February 23
Four Steps of Lent
 
(We will look at each of these over the next few days.)
Examine Ourselves
Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “We cannot decide to become saints without a great effort of renunciation, of resisting temptations, of combat, of persecution, and all sorts of sacrifices. It is not possible to love God except at one’s own expense.” How this wisdom contrasts with the tenor of today’s culture, which urges us to have it all, do it all, and pursue it all! But, Mother Teresa’s words state what Jesus Himself instructs us to do: “Pick up your cross and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
Lent is the perfect time for the struggle, and the desert fathers give us good instruction on how to do it – practice the virtue opposite the vice. If the struggle is with avarice or greed, practice generosity. If the struggle is with gossip and criticism, restrain the tongue. If the struggle is with sins against purity (pornography, unclean thoughts or desires, immodest dress), clean house: replace indecent thoughts with holy thoughts, change the wardrobe. Lent offers us the opportunity to put these debilities of the spirit to rest once and for all. At the end of forty days, we will have overcome a bad habit with a good one and Christ will be victorious in us.
Finally, make Lent an opportunity to confront some of the major obstacles and hindrances in our lives. Through the light of grace, face the truth of our situation. If we have an addiction to any substance or behavior, if we are living in a relationship that is outside of God’s laws, if we are abusive in word or deed, if we need inner healing, if we have been caught up in the occult, now is the time to break with it. God is giving us the grace; we need to cooperate with it. Seek the spiritual and emotional help necessary.

Bishop Bars Catholic Senator from Communion

In response to the fourteen Catholic senators who voted against a bill that would have prohibited abortions at the point when an unborn child can feel pain, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield has barred Senator Richard Durbin from receiving Communion in his diocese.

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Take Action on New HHS Conscience Rule

If you believe that no one should be forced to participate in medical practices such as abortion in violation of their conscience, then you need to make your voice heard by submitting a comment to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in support of a new rule that will insure the protection of conscience rights.

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Parental Rights At Risk in Transgender Cases

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

In the battle to win “equality” for children struggling with gender identity, state governments are becoming increasingly prone to intervene in ways that have cost one couple custody of their child while another state is considering a bill that will allow children as young as five to determine their own sex and race.

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Lenten Journey Day 9

February 22
Four Steps of Lent
 
(We will look at each of these over the next few days.)
Let go of distractions. We are a distracted people; Lent invites us to detach. It invites us to come away for a while and listen for the Father’s voice. As we read in the Old Testament, God speaks in a “tiny whisper” (cf. 1 Kings 19: 11-13). We must slow down the tempo of our lives and tone down the volume of our days if we are to hear the voice of God. We must minimize the activity and noise and maximize the quiet and solitude. We must create a “desert” for ourselves – a quiet spot at home or in the back yard, a neighborhood park, or before the Blessed Sacrament or the tabernacle in our parish. All of these may provide precisely the perfect place of retreat.
Lent provides us with opportunities to develop certain attitudes toward our lives. Our “desert” should include a time of reflection that looks back over the day in light of God’s word to see what He may be revealing. Attention to the liturgical readings of the Lenten season provides an ideal framework in which to contemplate the movement of God in the midst of our life’s events.

Lenten Journey Day 8

February 21
The General Examination
The general examination has a wider scope than the particular and is intended to help the soul to remain vigilant in all that pertains to the service of God. This is practiced by first praying to God and asking for His help in recognizing your failures and for acquiring the strength to overcome them. Then quietly retrace the movement of your day, glancing over the hours and looking for any thoughts, words or deeds that might have offended God. Ask God for His forgiveness and His help in avoiding
these falls in the future.
St. Ignatius took the examination of conscience a step further by adding a positive practice to this routine self-scrutiny. Instead of just examining ourselves on the seven capital sins, he recommends that “the contrary virtues be considered . . . in order to understand better the faults committed that come under the seven capital sins.” Moreover, and still more positively, “in order the better to avoid these sins, one should resolve to endeavor by devout exercises to acquire and retain the seven virtues contrary to them.”

If your main fault is sourced in pride, practice humility. Fight greed with the virtue of generosity. Lust can only be overcome by chastity. Anger is diffused by meekness and gluttony is quickly stifled with temperance. Instead of envying your neighbor, practice love of neighbor, and if you suffer from sloth, develop in yourself the virtue of diligence.
By employing these simple practices with daily consistency, we will not only conquer our vices and become better human beings, but we will also be able to draw closer to God than we ever dreamed possible.

Give Prayerful Alms to the Holy Souls This Lent!

Susan Tassone (Photo courtesy of Our Sunday Visitor)

Lent is a time when we open our hearts more fully to the love and mercy of God through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. What better time to give “prayerful alms” to the Holy Souls in Purgatory which could help to send many souls home to heaven in time for Easter!

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