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Archive by category: MercyReturn
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Love in the heart of the Church

Love in the heart of the Church

French singer Edith Piaf kept her picture on her bedside table. She was the reason Dorothy Day became a Catholic. Teilhard de Chardin changed his life’s course because of her. She has been an instrument of conversion as well as of comfort, and she might be just the saint needed for times like ours.She is St. Thérèse de Lisieux.The world and the Church may be said to be in distress, and when we look at the history of Christianity to try and find words of wisdom, a plan of...
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How do I "live Jesus"?

How do I "live Jesus"?

Most world religions are about humanity reaching for God; Christianity is about God reaching for humanity, and doing it through his Son.by Jeannette de BeauvoirI had been living in the United States for a few months and was dreadfully unhappy, terribly homesick for France. I was attending college, and in a fit of what can only be called pique I decided to spend my spring break away from everyone. I rented a tent and went off to a campground in New Hampshire that was, at that time of year, virtua...
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Life Wounds Us. How the Word Heals Us.

Life Wounds Us. How the Word Heals Us.

When I receive unexpected devastating news my heart stops, my breathing stops, my mind stops. I turn numb and cold inside and I feel as though I were outside my own body. Nothing can prepare us for such heart-stopping information, particularly about or from those we love. I have stood beside women who have shared with me through tears the news that was breaking their heart. There was no way to make sense of what was happening, of how lives and relationships were being torn apart by decisions mad...
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The Story of Our Lady Undoer of Knots

The Story of Our Lady Undoer of Knots

Painted around 1700 by Johan Schmidtner, the original painting of Our Lady Undoer of Knots is found in the Church of Saint Peter in Augsburg, Germany. A priest named Father Langenmantel had commissioned the work to honor Mary and to thank her for a favor received by his grandparents, who at one point were on the verge of divorce. The husband went to seek counsel from a priest, Father Rem, a Jesuit from Ingolstadt. During their talks they would pray together asking Mary’s intercession....
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Be a Blessing for Those You Love: Let the Spirit Show You How

Be a Blessing for Those You Love: Let the Spirit Show You How

April is usually a beautiful time of year here in New England, the snow starts to melt and the crocuses show their tiny faces. I received the sacarment of Confirmation in the month of April, so it's also a time of special gratitude for the Spirit and of remembering the event that jump-started a new space for God to work inside me.I'll never forget the first of our Confirmation classes. Our teacher, a very nice woman probably in her 40s, laid down the law: "If you miss even one class...
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Patience and Much Mercy!

Patience and Much Mercy!

In these first days of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, I have found myself remembering our dear Sister Mary Caroline. For the longest time it was she who managed the book bindery where the machines were run by postulants and novices. Sister Caroline, who was anything but mechanical in her inclinations (that was Sister Mary Guadalupe's specialty), had a way of introducing calm into the situation whenever a machine started making a strange “clink” or (worse yet) had begun spitting out damage...
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5 Christmas Tips When Family Members Don’t Go to Church

Do you have family members who are away from the Church? Are you not sure what to say to them when they are home for Christmas? I used to be a fallen-away Catholic who went to Christmas Mass every year with my family. I am not sure why I went to Mass; I was an atheist. Sometimes I felt annoyed during the homilies or unmoved by the liturgy. But there were other times when I felt something stir.Maybe it was something the pastor said. Perhaps it was the reverent way someone received the Eucharist. ...
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Mercy Opens Our Hearts to the Hope of Being Loved Forever

Mercy Opens Our Hearts to the Hope of Being Loved Forever

By Sr. Anne Joan Flanagan, FSP Pope Francis wrote that mercy is “the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.” That image of the bridge, of course, reminds us of the very role of the Pope, the “Pontifex” (bridge-builder). In the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy which started this week it is also a fitting image for Mary, the Mother of God, whose feast we celebrate today under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe. At Guadalupe...
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Forgiveness Comes in All Sizes

It is a privilege to reflect with you on the Year of Mercy in these days in which we approach the birth of the Prince of Peace, our Savior who revealed to us the Father, the "God, who is rich in mercy" (Eph 2:4). Have you seen the latest version of Cinderella? In the movie, just as Cinderella and her Prince begin to leave the wicked stepmother, Cinderella turns to face the cruel woman. “I forgive you,” Cinderella says clearly. Then, secure in her resolve to always practice kindness, arm-in-arm...
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Jubilee Year of Mercy: An Unexpected Gift

by Sr. Anne Joan Flanagan, FSPGod loved us first (cf. 1 John 4:10).That is the message of the coming Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th, the day we praise God for the way his grace enfolded the Virgin Mary from the first moment of her existence, without any merit of hers. Mary's Immaculate Conception (her being created and sustained in grace, without any trace of original sin) was the first ray of the "dawn from on high" that brought the world the unsurpassable expression of ...
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