Don’t get down on yourself if you’re not perfect in your walk. That’s why God gives us confession. Ask God for the grace to improve and then set your mind to it. Conversion is an ongoing process.

-from Tweet Inspiration

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St. Magdalen of Canossa

Lived: (1774-1835) | Feast Day: Friday, April 10, 2015

Wealth and privilege did nothing to prevent today’s saint from following her calling to serve Christ in the poor. Nor did the protests of her relatives, concerned that such work was beneath her.Born in northern Italy in 1774, Magdalen knew her mind—and spoke it. At age 15 she announced she wished to become a nun. After trying out her vocation with the cloistered Carmelites, she realized her desire was to serve the needy without restriction. For years she worked among the poor and sick in hospitals and in their homes, and also among delinquent and abandoned girls.

In her mid-twenties Magdalen began offering lodging to poor girls in her own home. In time she opened a school, which offered practical training and religious instruction. As other women joined her in the work, the new Congregation of the Daughters of Charity emerged. Over time, houses were opened throughout Italy.

Members of the new religious congregation focused on the educational and spiritual needs of women. Magdalen also founded a smaller congregation for priests and brothers. Both groups continue to this day.

She died in 1835. Pope John Paul II canonized her in 1988.

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Loving Our Spiritual Leaders by Henri Nouwen

Religious leaders, priests, ministers, rabbis, and imams can be admired and revered but also hated and despised.  We expect that our religious leaders will bring us closer to God through their prayers, teaching, and guidance.  Therefore, we watch their behavior carefully and listen critically to their words.   But precisely because we expect them, often without fully realising it, to be superhuman, we are easily disappointed or even feel betrayed when they prove to be just as human as we are.  Thus, our unmitigated admiration quickly turns into unrestrained anger.

Let’s try to love our religious leaders, forgive them their faults, and see them as brothers and sisters.  Then we will enable them, in their brokenness, to lead us closer to the heart of God.

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