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“If you become Christ’s you will stumble upon wonder upon wonder, and every one of them true.”

— St. Brendan of Birr

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Lord, you love people, not programs. Help us see people as you do. We seek your presence each day in prayer so that we may love you more deeply and honor your image in each person we meet throughout the day.
—Joel Schorn

-from Woman of Strength

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Dear Friends,

Main Street Rag Publishing Company has decided to publish my book Every Tender Reed. It’s due to be released in May and will sell for $14, but you can get it now for $8 by placing an advance discount order at the MSR Online Bookstore.

Here’s a link directly to my author’s page:

http://mainstreetragbookstore.com/?product=every-tender-reed

Those of you who don’t like buying online, Main Street Rag will take checks, but the price is a flat rate of $12.50/book regardless of quantity which includes shipping and sales tax.

Please remember, though. This is for advance orders. It doesn’t mean the book will be shipped early, only that you are receiving a discount for ordering before it goes to press, but the price will only last for a limited time, so order now!

Thank you,

Helen Losse

Choosing Joy by Henri Nouwen

Joy is what makes life worth living, but for many joy seems hard to find. They complain that their lives are sorrowful and depressing. What then brings the joy we so much desire? Are some people just lucky, while others have run out of luck? Strange as it may sound, we can choose joy. Two people can be part of the same event, but one may choose to live it quite differently than the other. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it.

What makes us human is precisely this freedom of choice.

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“When you find yourself greatly distracted and devoid of devotion due to countless devil-inspired thoughts or because of your own heart’s bitter passions or are disturbed by the unpleasantness of others, seek out a quiet place and recollect yourself, reciting the Lord’s Prayer and the Angelic Salutation [Hail Mary]. Kneel down alone before the Holy Cross or a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary or some saint’s revered image—made to the honor of God and in that saint’s memory. Especially ask mercy of Jesus and of Mary, of the angelic host, and of the entire heavenly court, that the grace of divine consolation be again granted to you. Then from the Psalms say with holy David: ‘Lord, all my longing is known to You, and my sighing is not hidden from You’. You have been my hope, Lord, ever since my youth; I now turn to You in this time of trial.”

— Thomas à Kempis, Bountiful Goodness

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Lord, thank you for each person you have given me to love. Help me love them as you love them.
—Joel Schorn

-from Woman of Strength

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Lord, your love is like that of a mother—unconditional, constant, nurturing, wise. Let that love flow through me to my children and all the people you entrust to my care. Thank you for my earthly mother and all the mothers I know. And thank you for the Mother you share with us, who is always ready to strengthen and guide.
—Kimberly Hahn

-from Woman of Strength

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“When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard more than the proceedings from the mouth.”

– St. Bonaventure

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Healing Our Memories by Henri Nouwen

Forgiving does not mean forgetting. When we forgive a person, the memory of the wound might stay with us for a long time, even throughout our lives. Sometimes we carry the memory in our bodies as a visible sign. But forgiveness changes the way we remember. It converts the curse into a blessing. When we forgive our parents for their divorce, our children for their lack of attention, our friends for their unfaithfulness in crisis, our doctors for their ill advice, we no longer have to experience ourselves as the victims of events we had no control over.

Forgiveness allows us to claim our own power and not let these events destroy us; it enables them to become events that deepen the wisdom of our hearts. Forgiveness indeed heals memories.

Dear Lord, let the fire of your love burn in me! Let it be an inextinguishable flame that lights my life, purifies my heart, and directs my actions. —Debra Herbeck

-from Woman of Strength

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God is all love. This gentle Savior pleads with us from the Host: “Love Me as I have loved you; abide in My love! I came to cast the fire of My love on the earth, and My most ardent desire is that it should set your hearts on fire.”
—St. Peter Julian Eymard

-from Woman of Strength

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Real love shows up not only in times of great joy, delight, and fulfillment but especially when life seems overwhelming and incomprehensible, filled with unbearable suffering and sorrow. It is in these times that love has shown me the way, not around the pain but through it.

-from Woman of Strength

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It is from the cross that we receive his life-giving love. It is through the cross that we have faith in his mercy. The eternal Son of God came to earth, lived, died, and rose again so that we might obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.

-from Zealous

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Our Father never grows tired of hearing our little voices speak to him in prayer, no matter what time it is. And he will never tune us out, no matter how stupid we think we sound. No need or request is too great for him to fulfill. He’s got the whole world and every aspect of our lives in the palm of his loving hands.

-from Zealous

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“If we’re honest, culture forms us much more than the Gospel. It seems we have kept the basic storyline of human history in place rather than allow the Gospel to reframe and redirect the story. Except for those who have experienced grace at their core, Christianity has not created “a new mind” (Romans 12:2) or a “new self” (Ephesians 4:23-24) that is significantly different than the cultures it inhabited. The old, tired win/lose scenario seems to be in our cultural hard drive, whereas the experience of grace at the core of reality, which is much more imaginative and installs new win/win programs in our psyche, has been neglected and unrecognized by most of Christianity.”

from Mercy Before Judgement by Richard Rohr

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We are sons and daughters who can rely upon our heavenly Father in all things. We have a merciful Father who is willing to take us by the hand and dust us off when we slip and fall.

-from Zealous

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I finished The Name of God Is Mercy by Pope Francis last night.

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January 2016
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