Monthly Archives: January 2014

St. John Bosco: What We Can Learn from His Life about Children

31 January 2014

Posted by Sarah Campbell
31 January 2014 A.D.

St. John Bosco

FOUNDER OF THE SALESIAN SOCIETY

Feast: January 31

st john boscoInformation:
Feast Day: January 31
Born: August 16, 1815, Castelnuovo, Piedmont, Italy
Died: January 31, 1888, Turin, Italy
Canonized: April 1, 1934, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Major Shrine: The Tomb of St John Bosco – Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, Turin, Italy
Patron of: Christian apprentices, editors, publishers, schoolchildren, young people

In his life the supernatural became the natural and the extraordinary the ordinary.” So spoke Pope Pius XI of the beloved Don Bosco, renowned for his educational pioneering and his affectionate care for the fatherless. Born Giovanni Melchior Bosco in 1815, the future saint was the youngest son of a peasant farmer in the hamlet of Becchi, in the Piedmont district of north Italy. He lost his father at the age of two and was brought up by a devoted and industrious mother, Margaret Bosco, who had a hard struggle maintaining the home and the three children, all of them boys. A dream that little Giovanni had at the age of nine revealed to him his vocation. He seemed to be surrounded by a mob of fighting and swearing children whom he tried in vain to pacify, at first by arguments and then by hitting them. Suddenly there appeared a mysterious woman who said: “Softly, softly . . . if you wish to win them! Take your shepherd’s staff and lead them to pasture.” Even as she spoke, the children were transformed first into wild beasts and then into gentle lambs. From that time on, the boy thought, it was his clear duty to lead and help other boys.

st john with sayingHe began with those of his own village, teaching them the Catechism and bringing them to church. As an inducement, he would amuse them first with acrobatic and conjuring tricks, at which he became very clever. One Sunday morning when an itinerant juggler and gymnast was holding the children spellbound by his performance, young John challenged him to a competition and beat him at his own tricks. Then he marched off to church, followed by his admiring audience. It was more or less by chance that this talented boy learned to read. He was staying with an aunt who was servant to the priest, and when the priest was told of John’s ambition, he taught him gladly. But John didn’t want to stop with reading and writing; he wished to study for the priesthood. Many difficulties had to be overcome before he could even begin his preliminary studies. When, at sixteen, he entered the seminary at Chieri, he was so poor that money for his maintenance and his clothes had to be supplied by charity. The village mayor contributed a hat, one friendly person gave him a cloak, and another a pair of shoes. People were eager to help a boy who was himself so eager and ambitious. After his ordination as deacon, he attended the theological school at nearby Turin, finding time to continue his volunteer work with homeless or neglected boys. Having won the approbation of his superiors for what he was doing, he began to gather around him regularly on Sunday afternoons a band of these waifs and young apprentices.

After taking Holy Orders, his first appointment was assistant chaplain of a home for girls, founded by the Marchesa Barolo, a wealthy and philanthropic woman. This post left Don Bosco free on Sundays to devote himself to his group of boys. He set up for them a sort of combined Sunday School and recreation center on grounds belonging to the Marchesa, which he called “the festive Oratory.” But the Marchesa quickly withdrew her permission, because the boys were, naturally, noisy and unruly, and sometimes even made so bold as to pick the flowers in the garden. For more than a year the group was regarded as a nuisance and sent from pillar to post. No property owner was able to put up with them for long. When at last Don Bosco was able to hire an old shed as a meeting place, and the future seemed promising, the Marchesa delivered herself of an ultimatum. He must choose between giving up the boys—who now numbered several hundred—or resigning his post at the girl’s orphanage. Don Bosco promptly resigned, to devote himself wholly to the boys.

In the midst of these anxieties, he was prostrated by a severe attack of pneumonia that came near ending his life. As soon as he had recovered, he went to live in some poor rooms adjoining a new Oratory, or gathering place, with his mother as housekeeper. For ten years this good woman served as his adjutant and loyal helper, extending her motherly care over all the waifs and strays her son brought to her. Don Bosco now applied himself to consolidating his work and planning for the years to come. A night school which had been opened the previous year took shape, and as the Oratory was soon overcrowded, he opened two more youth centers in other parts of Turin. About the same time he began housing a few destitute boys. His next step was to build for his flock a small church which he placed under the patronage of his favorite saint, Francis de Sales. With that completed, he started to build a home for his steadily growing family. No one knew just how he managed to raise the money for these various projects, but his natural persuasiveness had much to do with it.

Those enrolled as boarders in the school were of two sorts: young apprentices and craftsmen, and other youths of more than average intelligence in whom Don Bosco discerned future helpers, with, possibly, vocations to the priesthood. At first they attended classes outside, but, as more teachers were enlisted, academic and technical courses were given at the house. By 1856 a hundred and fifty boys were in residence; there were four workshops, including a printing shop, and four Latin classes, with ten young priests as instructors; all this in addition to the oratories with their five hundred children. He cultivated in all of them a taste for music, and he was a believer in the therapeutic value of play. Don Bosco’s understanding of young people, their needs, and their dreams, gave him great influence. He could manage them without punishment. “I do not remember to have used formal punishment,” he wrote, “and with God’s grace I have always obtained-and from apparently hopeless children-not alone what duty exacted but what my wish simply expressed.” With an approach that seems quite modern, he planned programs that combined play, song, study, prayer, and manual work. He knew that straight academic learning was not enough. “Knowledge gives more power in the exercise of good or evil,” he said, “but alone it is an indifferent weapon, lacking guidance.”

Don Bosco’s outgoing personality made him popular as a preacher, and there were many demands on his time to speak to various congregations. As a third form of activity, in the few hours that remained to him, he wrote useful and popular books for boys. In that day there was almost no attractive reading matter written especially for young people, and Don Bosco set himself to fill this need. He wrote stories based on history, and sometimes popular treatises on the faith. Often he toiled far into the night, until, in later life, his failing eyesight compelled him to give up writing.

A plan for some sort of religious order, to carry on the work when he had passed away, had long been in Don Bosco’s mind, and at last he felt he had the strong nucleus of helpers that was required. “On the night of January 26, 1854, we were assembled in Don Bosco’s room,” writes one of the men present. “Besides Don Bosco, there were Cagliero, Rocchetti, Artiglia, and Rua. It was suggested that with God’s help we should enter upon a period of practical works of charity to help our neighbors. At the close of the period, we might bind ourselves by a promise which could subsequently be transformed into a vow. From that evening, the name of Salesian was given to all who embarked on that form of apostolate.” The name of course honored the great bishop of Geneva, St. Francis de Sales. It was not a propitious time for launching a new order, for in all its history Piedmont had never been so anti-clerical. The Jesuits and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart had been expelled, many convents suppressed, and laws were being passed curtailing the rights of religious orders. The statesman Urbano Rattazzi, one of those most responsible for the anti-clerical legislation, was deeply interested in popular education. As a resident of Turin, Rattazzi was familiar with Father John’s activities, and, on meeting him by chance one day, urged him to found a society to further his valuable work, promising the support of the government.

The project grew, and in 1858 John went to Rome, taking with him the rules of the institution. From Pope Pius IX he received preliminary approbation. Sixteen years later he obtained full sanction, together with permission to present candidates for Holy Orders. The new society grew rapidly. Within five years there were thirty-nine Salesians; at the time of the founder’s death there were eight hundred, and by 1929 the number had increased to about eight thousand. One of Father John’s dreams was realized when he sent his first missionaries to the bleak and faraway land of Patagonia; other areas of South America were soon the scene of missionary endeavor. He lived to see twenty-six houses started in the New World and thirty-eight in the Old.

His next great work was the foundation in 1862 of an order of women to do for poor girls what the Salesians were doing for boys. The original group consisted of twenty-seven young women to whom he gave the name of Daughters of St. Mary Auxiliatrix, the Helper. The organization now numbers many thousands, with elementary schools in Italy, Brazil, and Argentina. To supplement the work of these two congregations, Father John organized his outside lay helpers into a new kind of Third Order, which he called Salesian Cooperators. They were men and women of all classes who pledged themselves to assist in practical ways the educational labors of the Salesians.

Any account of the life of this saint would be incomplete without some mention of his achievements as a builder of churches. His first little church of St. Francis de Sales soon proved inadequate, and he undertook the construction of a much larger building. This he finished in 1868, dedicating it to St. Mary the Helper. Later he found means to put up another spacious and much-needed church in a poor quarter of Turin, and this he placed under the patronage of St. John the Evangelist. But the immense effort of money-raising had left Don Bosco weary and depleted. He was not allowed time to recover his strength before another task was put before him. During the last years of Pope Pius IX, a project had been formed of building at Rome a church in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Pius himself had donated money to buy the site. His successor, Leo XIII, was eager for the work to be carried forward, but there was difficulty in raising funds. It was suggested to the Pope that this was something that Don Bosco did better than anyone else, and when he was asked to undertake it, he accepted the challenge.

After obtaining a considerable sum in Italy, Don Bosco went to France, where devotion to the cult of the Sacred Heart was particularly intense at this time. He was successful in his appeals, money came flowing in, and the early completion of the church was assured. As the day appointed for its consecration drew near, he was sometimes heard to murmur that if there were any delay, he would not live to witness it. Two years before the doctors had said that this generous-hearted man had worn himself out and that complete retirement offered the only chance of prolonging his life. Don Bosco had the joy of living a few months beyond the consecration of the church, which took place on May 14, 1887. He said one Mass before the new high altar.

Sy John Bosco Holy CardLater in the year it became plain that his days were numbered; he gradually weakened, and on the morning of January 31, 1888, he died in his home city of Turin. Forty thousand persons came to the church to do honor to Don Bosco, and the entire city turned out as his remains were borne to their resting place. His memory was cherished and his work carried on by his followers. Not many years had elapsed before a movement was begun for his beatification. He was declared Venerable by Pope Pius X in 1907, beatified by Pius XI in 1929, and canonized by him in 1934. Don Bosco exemplified a new trend in the treatment of children, anticipating in some respects the practices of modern psychologists. Intuitively he knew that the loving care and attention of a wise, interested adult was essential to the healthy growth of every child, and he gave his very best to those children who had the least.

Source:EWTN.com


Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage to End Abortion DAY NINE!

26 January 2014

Posted by Sarah Campbell
26 January 2014 A.D.

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January 18-26 2014

Pray with the bishops to end abortion!

On January 22 our nation will mark the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.
Since that tragic decision, more than 55 million children’s lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss — often in silence.
Join thousands of Catholics across the country coming together in prayer for a “culture of life” from Saturday, January 18 – Sunday, January 26!

4 Ways to Join

HERE to go to the Bishops site to signup for emails, text alerts and an APP!

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Day Nine: Sunday, January 26, 2014

Intercession:

For repentance, healing and peace, in every heart and every nation.

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection:

In today’s Gospel Jesus preaches, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And after calling the first apostles, he went around all of Galilee, “proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people” (Mt 4:23). Repentance is necessary for healing, but the Lord doesn’t want us to remain stuck in misery over our sins. With healing comes peace and the joy of knowing we are loved and forgiven by God. The message of the Gospel of Life is one of great joy! Our call to live this Gospel is not marked with sadness and despair, but with hope, expectation and exuberant joy. “It is up to you, young followers of Christ, to show the world that faith brings happiness and a joy which is true, full and enduring. … The Gospel is the “good news” that God loves us and that each of us is important to him. Show the world that this is true!” (Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the 27th World Youth Day, March 15, 2012).

Acts of Reparation (choose one)

Spend quality time with a family member or friend; ask them if they would like to help out at a local charity with you.

Say three Hail Mary’s for your parish priest. Without our priests, we could not have the sacraments.

Make a “quiet hour” today, turning off all electronic devices (cell phone, iPod, computer, television, radio, video game system), and retreat to your room.


Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage to End Abortion DAY EIGHT!

25 January 2014

Posted by Sarah Campbell
25 January 2014 A.D.

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January 18-26 2014

Pray with the bishops to end abortion!

On January 22 our nation will mark the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.
Since that tragic decision, more than 55 million children’s lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss — often in silence.
Join thousands of Catholics across the country coming together in prayer for a “culture of life” from Saturday, January 18 – Sunday, January 26!

4 Ways to Join

HERE to go to the Bishops site to signup for emails, text alerts and an APP!

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Day Eight: Saturday, January 25, 2014

Intercession:

For scientists and pharmaceutical employees who help create and manufacture contraceptive and abortifacient drugs: that the Lord will open their eyes to the moral danger and health risks these drugs pose for women and prompt them to work only on medications that benefit human life.

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection:

Today’s reading from Acts tells the story of St. Paul’s conversion. Before, he was “breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord.” After encountering Christ, Paul became a “chosen instrument,” filled with the Holy Spirit, and ready to suffer for Jesus’ name. There is absolutely nothing and no one outside of the power of God’s loving embrace. Today we remember the children, the mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and all those who have been involved in or affected by abortion. We entrust them to the unfathomable healing mercy of God, recalling the words of Jesus to St. Faustina: “The greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy” (Diary, 1182).

Acts of Reparation (choose one)

Read about a Church teaching you don’t understand in the Catechism.

Make an honest assessment of your “giving finances” – are you giving too little? Make a resolution to give a set weekly or monthly donation to your parish or favorite local charity.

Do you love your cup of tea or coffee in the morning? Fast from caffeine today or try your coffee black.


Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage to End Abortion DAY SEVEN!

24 January 2014

Posted by Sarah Campbell
24 January 2014 A.D.

9-days-header

January 18-26 2014

Pray with the bishops to end abortion!

On January 22 our nation will mark the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.
Since that tragic decision, more than 55 million children’s lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss — often in silence.
Join thousands of Catholics across the country coming together in prayer for a “culture of life” from Saturday, January 18 – Sunday, January 26!

4 Ways to Join

HERE to go to the Bishops site to signup for emails, text alerts and an APP!

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Day Seven: Friday, January 24, 2014

Intercession:

For elected leaders who oppose any restriction on the abortion license: may God allow them to grasp the brutal violence of abortion and the reality of post-abortion suffering experienced by countless women and men.

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection:

On this feast of St. Francis de Sales, let us consider these words of the great saint: “All that we do must be motivated by love and not force. We must love to obey rather than fear to disobey.” St. Francis reminds us that all of our actions must be borne of a spirit of love, and that we find our freedom in living the truth. As we defend the dignity of human life, let us ask St. Francis de Sales to pray for us so that everything we say and do for unborn children and their grieving parents is imbued with both compassion and truth.

Acts of Reparation (choose one)

Go to Confession—today, if possible—or during this week.

Fast from snacking today. Eat three meals only.

Today, go visit an adoration chapel and spend an hour with Jesus.


Only @ManwithBlackHat can write something NO ONE ELSE WILL!

24 January 2014

 

Loose Lips in the Loggia (Post-March-For-Life Edition)

 


Posted By David L. Alexander at HIS BLOG,
ManwithBlackHat
24 January 2014 A.D.

After due consideration (and finding enough time on our hands this week), we here at man with black hat have decided to continue what we started with the pilot edition (which explains everything) of this heretofore potential weekly series. But we wanted to begin with hope, in the form of these young ladies at the annual March For Life yesterday. (Thanks, EWTN.) They were among the more than 600,000 demonstrators that the mainstream media did such a fantastic job of pretending were never there.* And on that promising note, we go on with the aforementioned potential.

Here’s what’s bouncing around the bandwidth of True Believers lately:

For that you will have to click HERE and visit David’s Blog!


Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage to End Abortion DAY SIX!

23 January 2014

Posted by Sarah Campbell
23 January 2014 A.D.

9-days-header

January 18-26 2014

Pray with the bishops to end abortion!

On January 22 our nation will mark the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.
Since that tragic decision, more than 55 million children’s lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss — often in silence.
Join thousands of Catholics across the country coming together in prayer for a “culture of life” from Saturday, January 18 – Sunday, January 26!

4 Ways to Join

HERE to go to the Bishops site to signup for emails, text alerts and an APP!

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Day Six: Thursday, January 23, 2014

Intercession:

For those whose work involves promoting abortion and contraceptive use: may God help them understand that the casual sex they foster undermines the capacity for the self-giving, faithful and enduring love that is the longing of every heart..

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection:

Today marks the feast day of the newly canonized American saint, Mother Marianne Cope, OSF (1838-1918). St. Marianne Cope emigrated with her family from Germany as an infant and grew up in Utica, NY. She joined the Sisters of St. Francis at the age of twenty-four and later helped to found and operate two regionals hospitals in upstate New York. In 1883, she answered the plea of Hawaii’s king to operate hospitals and care for the victims of leprosy, travelling to Hawaii with six Franciscan sisters. During the last thirty years of her life, she chose to be exiled on the island of Molokai where she cared for women and children with leprosy. She was a life-long witness to the equal dignity and value of every human being. She brought beauty and order to the lives of these outcasts, and provided them with educational and religious instruction as well as teaching them music and the decorative arts. St. Marianne, help us to see the beauty and value in every human life!

Acts of Reparation (choose one)

Learn how to pray the Angelus. . . prayer, and get into the habit of saying it every day—at noon or 6 pm or on awakening (or all three times).

Today ignore your sweet tooth. Make healthy eating choices.

Clean a room in your house without being asked or without telling anyone. Pray for your family members while you clean, “and your Father who sees in secret will repay you” (Matthew 6:6).


Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage to End Abortion DAY FIVE!

22 January 2014

Posted by Sarah Campbell
22 January 2014 A.D.

9-days-header

January 18-26 2014

Pray with the bishops to end abortion!

On January 22 our nation will mark the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.
Since that tragic decision, more than 55 million children’s lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss — often in silence.
Join thousands of Catholics across the country coming together in prayer for a “culture of life” from Saturday, January 18 – Sunday, January 26!

4 Ways to Join

HERE to go to the Bishops site to signup for emails, text alerts and an APP!

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Day Five: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Intercession:

For an end to legal abortion in our nation and for the conversion of all hearts, so that the inherent rights of every human being—especially those most at risk of abuse and rejection—will be upheld.

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection:

Today, on this 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we consider the past four decades in which our society has legally permitted abortion and wandered far from God. Instead of accepting children in joy and hope, many hearts seem hardened against making commitments to others, fearing the demands others may make on our time or our freedom. We are becoming a culture marked by rejection, by loneliness and sorrow. In today’s Gospel, we hear how Jesus grieved over the Pharisees’ hardness of heart, as he heals the man with the withered hand. They remained silent when Jesus pointedly asked them: “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” Our laws now make it legal to destroy life by abortion, by abortifacient drugs, in destructive embryo research, in the course of in vitro fertilization procedures, and in some states by assisted suicide and the death penalty. How Jesus must grieve over this culture of death! Let us open our hearts in faith, entrusting our culture to the healing power of Christ, the One who has overcome sin and the power of evil.

Acts of Reparation (choose one)

Today is a day of prayer and penance for restoration of the right to life. Step out of your comfort zone and witness publicly to life in a march or rally, or call your elected representatives to ask them to promote policies and laws that respect life.

Gratitude helps us love God and neighbor. Today try to not complain or be negative. Say a prayer of thanksgiving instead.

Don’t push the snooze button. Get right out of bed and offer your day in prayer to God. “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Ephesians 5:14).


For the Feast of Saint Agnes via @ManwithBlackHat

21 January 2014

Agnes Dei

posted by David L.Alexander at his blog, Man with Black Hat

stagnespainting
Today, the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Agnes, a virgin and martyr of the early persecutions. She was put to death after refusing both a marriage proposal from a prominent Roman family (having already consecrated herself to God), and the offering of tribute to the pagan Gods. Her name is mentioned with the other great martyrs of Rome in the Roman Canon.

For the rest of David’s post please click HERE


Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage to End Abortion DAY FOUR!

21 January 2014

Posted by Sarah Campbell
21 January 2014 A.D.

9-days-header

January 18-26 2014

Pray with the bishops to end abortion!

On January 22 our nation will mark the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.
Since that tragic decision, more than 55 million children’s lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss — often in silence.
Join thousands of Catholics across the country coming together in prayer for a “culture of life” from Saturday, January 18 – Sunday, January 26!

4 Ways to Join

This year, you have more ways than ever to get involved!

Click HERE to go to the Bishops site to signup for emails, text alerts and an APP!

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Day Four: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Intercession:

For the doctors, nurses and counselors who now know they were wrong in cooperating with abortion: may God grant them the courage to renounce their involvement in the abortion industry and open their hearts to doing his will from now on.

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection:

Today we honor the life of St. Agnes, a 12-year-old girl martyred in Rome in 304 AD, during the Diocletian persecution. Agnes never wavered in her commitment to remain a virgin and to give her whole life to the Lord, refusing proposals to marry. Her innocence and heroism facing death helped bring an end to the persecution of Christians in Rome. Following the example of St. Agnes, let us remain steadfast in recognizing Christ, who is Love Incarnate, as the source and summit of our lives. May his love give us the determination and courage to live for him and for others, especially the most vulnerable among us.

Acts of Reparation (choose one)

Go to an abortion clinic and pray, or set aside an hour today to pray for those who are struggling with a decision of life or death for their unborn child.

Pray the Rosary today for someone who has hurt or disappointed you, and ask for the grace to forgive that person.

Instead of donating “old clothes,” offer to buy a new piece of clothing or item a charity is seeking.


Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage to End Abortion DAY THREE!

20 January 2014

Posted by Sarah Campbell
20 January 2014 A.D.

9-days-header

January 18-26 2014

Pray with the bishops to end abortion!

On January 22 our nation will mark the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.
Since that tragic decision, more than 55 million children’s lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss — often in silence.
Join thousands of Catholics across the country coming together in prayer for a “culture of life” from Saturday, January 18 – Sunday, January 26!

4 Ways to Join

This year, you have more ways than ever to get involved!

Click HERE to go to the Bishops site to signup for emails, text alerts and an APP!

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Day Three: Monday, January 20, 2014

Intercession:

For the parents who influenced their child’s choice to abort their grandchild: that they may have the humility and wisdom to see the wrong they’ve done and to seek forgiveness from God and from their child.

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection:

Today is the memorial of St. Sebastian, the famous martyr and patron of athletes, who lived his faith courageously in the midst of intense Roman persecution. St. Sebastian’s life reminds us that in the midst of threats to the faith, living and dying for Christ is the ultimate witness – one that changes others. In today’s Mass readings, the prophet Samuel chastises King Saul for failing to obey the Lord’s command, reminding him that God values our obedience more than sacrificial offerings. The Psalm, too, reminds us that an upright life is more pleasing to God than empty professions of faith. Are our actions always consistent with what we profess as Catholics? Do we sometimes hope that God will overlook our disobedient hearts by distracting him with rote prayers?

Acts of Reparation (choose one)

It’s easy to put our headphones on and ignore our siblings or parents in the car. Instead, enjoy the opportunity you have to talk to them, ask them how they are doing.

Smile. Ask God today for the grace to be extra joyful and share your love for Christ with those who need that encouragement the most today. “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” –Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

We can sometimes forget how blessed we are to have many of our daily comforts. Give up sleeping with your pillow tonight.


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