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Reflect and Learn

Advent 2017 – Make a Plan

For a your own printable Microsoft Word version of this document: What is Advent? Advent is the period of roughly four weeks before the feast of Christmas. We take four weeks to commemorate the four thousand years between Adam and Eve and Jesus. They waited for four thousand years, we wait for four weeks. The purpose of the period of Advent is to prepare our hearts for Jesus each year so ...
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Following Jesus – The Way – Faith in Action – Campaign #27

Following Jesus, the way, is a personal invitation from Jesus to you and to me. Let us respond generously to this encounter and invite others to sojourn together with us. We have many hopes and dreams with the Lord for our local Church. Certainly our Faith in Action campaign will help us to embrace and renew our commitment on our journey of following Jesus as his disciples. The world always...
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The Month of Mary

The month of May is the "month which the piety of the faithful has especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady," and it is the occasion for a "moving tribute of faith and love which Catholics in every part of the world [pay] to the Queen of Heaven. During this month Christians, both in church and in the privacy of the home, offer up to Mary from their hearts an especially fervent and loving homage of...
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Origins of Lent

What are the origins of Lent? Did the Church always have this time before Easter? Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. In the desire to renew the liturgical practices of the Church, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of Vatican Council II stated, “The two elements which are especially characteristic of Lent — the re...
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Christmas Reflection 2016

We have been preparing for the coming of Jesus this Advent Season. May our hearts now open to the New Light that shines through the darkness. Over 2000 years ago, Mary, the Mother of God opened her heart to the call of God. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she bore the Son. This Christmas, as we approach the scene of the Nativity, may our hearts also be opened so we too can com...
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The Liturgical Season of Advent

The liturgical season of Advent marks the time of spiritual preparation by the faithful before Christmas. Advent begins on the Sunday closest to the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (Nov. 30). It spans four Sundays and four weeks of preparation, although the last week of Advent is usually truncated because of when Christmas falls. (For instance, this year, the fourth Sunday of Advent is obviously o...
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Moment of Death

What happens when we die? At the moment of death, the immortal soul separates from the mortal body, and every person undergoes the Particular Judgment in which Christ immediately judges the person for the choices and actions he or she made in life and whether or not he or she has died in God’s grace and friendship. As St. John of the Cross wrote, “At the evening of life, we shall be judged on o...
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O Cross of Christ!

Text from the Pope's intense prayer after the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross)... O Cross of Christ, symbol of divine love and of human injustice, icon of the supreme sacrifice for love and of boundless selfishness even unto madness, instrument of death and the way of resurrection, sign of obedience and emblem of betrayal, the gallows of persecution and the banner of victory. O Cross of Chr...
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Giving Something Up for Lent

Q: Why is giving up something for Lent such a salutary custom? A: By denying ourselves something we enjoy, we discipline our wills so that we are not slaves to our pleasures. Just as indulging the pleasure of eating leads to physical flabbiness and, if this is great enough, an inability to perform in physically demanding situations, indulging in pleasure in general leads to spiritual flabbiness...
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Why is Lent 40 Days Long?

Because forty days is a traditional number of discipline, devotion, and preparation in the Bible. Thus Moses stayed on the Mountain of God forty days (Exodus 24:18 and 34:28), the spies were in the land for forty days (Numbers 13:25), Elijah traveled forty days before he reached the cave where he had his vision (1 Kings 19:8), Nineveh was given forty days to repent (Jonah 3:4), and most importantl...
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