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An abundant harvest of trials

July 1
"If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials, it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain. Do you want to become a great saint? Ask God to send you many sufferings. The flame of Divine Love never rises higher than when fed with the wood of the Cross, which the infinite charity of the Savior used to finish His sacrifice. All the pleasures of the world are nothing compared with the sweetness found in the gall and vinegar offered to Jesus Christ. That is, hard and painful things endured for Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ."
-St. Ignatius of Loyola
Today's Reflection
How is God calling you to become a saint? Is this something you truly desire? Why or why not? Do you have a personal relationship with any of the saints in particular? If so, ask them today for their intercessory prayer! If not, find one to pray with over this next month.
  

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Easter Sunday

April 4
Easter Sunday
Easter Hymn
Let us rise in early morning,
And instead of ointments bring
Hymns of praises to our Master,
And His Resurrection sing;
We shall see the Sun of Justice
Risen with healing in His wing.
Go ye forth, His Saints, to meet Him!
Go with lamps in every hand!
From the sepulcher He riseth;
Ready for the Bridegroom stand;
And the Pascha of salvation
Hail, with His triumphant band.
- St. John Damascene
For Reflection:
What hymns of praise am I bringing to the Risen Christ today? For what am I abundantly grateful?
  

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Holy Saturday

April 3
Holy Saturday
To Christ Crucified
  I am not moved to love Thee, O my Lord,
  By any longing for Thy Promised Land;
Nor by the fear of hell am I unmanned
To cease from my transgressing deed or word.
‘Tis Thou Thyself dost move me, -- Thy blood poured
Upon the cross from nailed foot and hand;
And all the wounds that did Thy body brand;
And all Thy shame and bitter death’s award.
Yea, to Thy heart am I so deeply stirred
That I would love Thee were no heaven on high, --
That I would fear, were hell a tale absurd!
Such my desire, all questioning grows vain;
Though hope deny me hope I still should sigh,
And as my love is now, it should remain.
-Anonymous (16th or 17th C.)
Translated from the Spanish by Thomas Walsh
For Reflection:
On this Holy Saturday, I enter into the tomb with Jesus. What one area of my life is most in need of resurrection? How is Jesus showing me He wants to bring this part of me “back to life?”
  

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Good Friday of the Lord's Passion

April 2
Good Friday of the Lord's Passion
“Who can measure the extent of My goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed Myself to be nailed to the Cross; for you I let My Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain.”
-Jesus to St. Faustina Kowalska
For Reflection:
What is Jesus say directly to you through these words? What do you say back to Him? For the next nine days, pray the Divine Mercy Novena with receptivity and trust that you will draw from the fountain of the Sacred Heart the very grace you most need.
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Holy Thursday

April 1
Holy Thursday
While my body here decays
May my soul your goodness praise,
Safe in heaven eternally. Amen Alleluia.
For Reflection:
This final stanza of the Stabat Mater encourages us to consider the Divine Mercy that floods the heart of Our Savior, who gave Himself for us. In what one way do you most need to experience this Ocean of Mercy? Journal your response. As you read tomorrow’s GraceLine, hear the voice of Jesus talking to you.
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: When my life shall leave me

March 31
Savior, when my life shall leave me,
Through your mother’s prayers receive me
With the fruits of victory.
For Reflection:
Mary has assured us of her maternal intercession and God assures us forgiveness of our sins when we truly repent. However, the evil one seeks to steal all assurance from us. He does this in three ways: discouragement, distrust, doubt. Discouragement because we are afraid we now can never acquire a deep union with God; distrust that God will treat us less favorably now and that He will be niggardly in the grace He gives us; doubt that God has forgiven us at all because our sin is so great.
To what extent is any one of these true of you? Read Rev. 21:5-6. Journal your insights, inspirations, and consolations.
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: O Virgin Nigh

March 30
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awe-full judgment day.
For Reflection:
How are you assured that Our Lady will be “nigh” to you on your judgment day? Journal your interior response.
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Wounded with His every wound

March 29
Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it has swooned
In His very Blood away.
For Reflection:
Read Mark’s account of the Passion. Underline or circle all of the wounds of Christ – physical, emotional, psychological. Which of these wounds have you experienced? How? Unite each of these sufferings to the wounds of Jesus and ask that the Precious Blood shed for you on Calvary’s hill will fill you with the healing balm of the Holy Spirit.
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

March 28
Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Let me, to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of your dying Son divine.
For Reflection:
To die with Christ and be risen in Him is the quest of every holy soul. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the greatest aids in making this holy desire our final reality. It helps us advance in virtue, grow in self-knowledge, attain true humility, uproot bad habits, prevent spiritual negligence, combat apathy, purify our conscience, strengthen our will, receive spiritual direction, and acquire the grace of the Sacrament itself (Mystici Corporis).
Of the benefits of the Sacrament listed above, which do I most need? Which would others tell me I most need? Journal your insights.
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Let me share your grief divine

March 27
Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine.
For Reflection:
To enter more deeply into the hearts of Jesus and Mary and to experience the treasury of grace that is found there we must stay united to Christ. Father Faber outlines three ways we can fall away from Jesus and put ourselves in spiritual peril: 1) by breaking away from Him through sin; 2) by letting the attractions of the world become greater than attraction to Him; 3) by slowly distancing ourselves from Him by imperceptible degrees.
Make a serious examination of conscience according to these three perils. Make a good Act of Contrition and then avail yourself of the Sacrament of Reconciliation as soon as you can.
  

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