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We adore you O Christ and we praise you because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world! Thank you Jesus for dying for our sins!

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“Remember the words of Jesus, remember all that he has done in our lives. Let us not forget his words and his works, otherwise we will lose hope and become “hopeless” Christians. Let us instead remember the Lord, his goodness and his life-giving words which have touched us. Let us remember them and make them ours, to be sentinels of the morning who know how to help others see the signs of the Risen Lord.”

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

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“The devotion to the Eucharist is the most noble, because it has God as its object; it is the most profitable for salvation, because it gives us the Author of Grace; it is the sweetest, because the Lord is Sweetness Itself.”

— Pope St. Pius X

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“I’ve appointed the Devil to tempt and to trouble My creatures in this life [St. Catherine of Siena reports that Our Lord said to her]. I’ve done this, not so that My creatures will be overcome, but so that they may overcome, proving their virtue and receiving from Me the glory of victory. And no one should fear any battle or temptation of the Devil that may come to him, because I’ve made My creatures strong, and I’ve given them strength of will, fortified in the Blood of My Son. Neither the Devil nor any other creature can control this free will, because it’s yours, given to you by Me. By your own choice, then, you hold it or let it go if you please. It’s a weapon, and if you place it in the hands of the Devil, it right away becomes a knife that he’ll use to stab and kill you. On the other hand, if you don’t place this knife that is your will into the hands of the Devil—that is, if you don’t consent to his temptations and harassments—you will never be injured by the guilt of sin in any temptation. Instead, you’ll actually be strengthened by the temptation, as long as you open the eyes of your mind to see My love, and to understand why I allowed you to be tempted: so you could develop virtue by having it proved. My love permits these temptations, for the Devil is weak. He can do nothing by himself unless I allow him. So I let him tempt you because I love you, not because I hate you. I want you to conquer, not to be conquered, and to come to a perfect knowledge of yourself and of Me.”

— St. Catherine of Siena

 

 

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“In you, Holy Cross, we see God who loves even to the end, and we see the hatred of those who want to dominate, that hatred which blinds the minds and hearts of those who prefer darkness to light. O Cross of Christ, Arc of Noah that saved humanity from the flood of sin, save us from evil and from the Evil One. O Throne of David and seal of the divine and eternal Covenant, awaken us from the seduction of vanity! O cry of love, inspire in us a desire for God, for goodness and for light.”

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

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“Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”

— St. Teresa of Avila

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“If you wish to explore the Holy Scripture, and you overcome your laziness and apply yourself, thirsting for the knowledge, then every good thing will be yours. You will fill your mind with the divine light. Then, when you apply that light to the doctrines of the Church, you will very easily recognize everything that is true and unadulterated, and lay it up in the hidden treasures of your soul.”

— St. Cyril of Alexandria

 

 

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“Perhaps no action by Pope Francis has generated as much astonishment  as his washing the feet of prisoners—men, women, Christian, Muslim. It is a return to what Jesus intended: As I have done, so you must do. The Holy Thursday liturgy is marked by the ritual gesture of the washing of the feet. The central action of service reminds us that our communion is more than a meal, more than nourishment for our bodies and souls. It’s the act of taking on the mission, the ministry, the very body of Christ. And it is a challenge to us to remain in communion not only with one another.”

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

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“Pray, hope and don’t worry. Anxiety doesn’t help at all. Our Merciful Lord will listen to your prayer.”

— Saint Padre Pio

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“Free me from evil passions and heal my heart of all disorderly affections, that being healed and well purified in my interior, I may become fit to love, courageous to suffer and constant to persevere. Love is an excellent thing, a great good indeed, which alone maketh light all that is burdened and makes all that which is bitter sweet and savory. The love of Jesus is noble and generous; it spurs us on to do great things and excites us to desire always that which is most perfect.”

— Thomas á Kempis

 

“Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits.”

— St. Philip Neri

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“True strength is not found in being stubborn or arrogant. It is found in allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell in one’s heart so that one might be open to the Spirit’s promptings. It is that Spirit Who frees us from our selfishness, for the Spirit reminds us that God is supposed to be the center of who we are and what we do.”

— Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM

“Most of us aren’t likely to betray anyone to a death squad. But as we meditate on the events of the Passion, we might reflect on the times we’ve betrayed a trust, the times we’ve talked about someone behind their back, the times we’ve stayed silent when a friend has been ridiculed. Resolve to keep silent when tempted to gossip and to speak out when others are gossiping. That sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it? It is. Pray for the grace to meet it.”

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

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“The school of Christ is the school of love. In the last day, when the general examination takes place … Love will be the whole syllabus.”

— St. Robert Bellarmine

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“Set free from human judgment, we should count as true only what God sees in us, what he knows, and what he judges. God does not judge as man does. Man sees only the countenance, only the exterior. God penetrates to the depths of our hearts. God does not change as man does. His judgment is in no way inconstant. He is the only one upon whom we should rely. How happy we are then, and how peaceful! We are no longer dazzled by appearances, or stirred up by opinions; we are united to the truth and depend upon it alone. I am praised, blamed, treated with indifference, disdained, ignored, or forgotten; none of this can touch me. I will be no less than I am. Men and women want to play at being a creator. They want to give me existence in their opinion, but this existence that they want to give me is nothingness. It is an illusion, a shadow, an appearance, that is, at bottom, nothingness. What is this shadow, always following me, behind me, at my side? Is it me, or something that belongs to me? No. Yet does not this shadow seem to move with me? No matter: it is not me. So it is with the judgements of men: they would follow me everywhere, paint me, sketch me, make me move according to their whim, and, in the end, give me some sort of existence … but I am disabused of this error. I am content with a hidden life. How peaceful it is! Whether I truly live this Christian life of which St. Paul speaks, I do not know, nor can I know with certainty. But I hope that I do, and I trust in God’s goodness to help me.”

— Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet

 

 

“Selfishness leads nowhere and love frees. Those who are able to live their lives as a gift to give others will never be alone and will never experience the drama of the isolated conscience. Jesus says something remarkable to us: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Love always takes this path: to give one’s life.”

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

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“O man, when the world hates you and is faithless toward you, think of your God, how he was struck and spat upon. You should not accuse your neighbor of guilt, but pray to God that he be merciful to you both.”

— St. Nicholas of Flue

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“This world is filled with many vulgar and dishonorable things that will claw and tear at your Christian purity if you allow them to. Don’t let them! Seek instead the things of God. He will purify you and free you from your slavery to profane and inconsequential things.”

— Patrick Madrid

 

“As members of the body of Christ, we experience the death and resurrection that Jesus did. Everything in our lives—the heights of joy and triumph, the depths of suffering and death—is united with the life of Christ. The cross is before us now with its wordless challenge to love beyond death. Take some time this week to think about events in your own life that have given you an experience of Jesus’ command to pick up your cross and follow him.”

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

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“Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.”

— St. Rose of Lima

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“The queen bee never settles in her hive without being surrounded by her swarm, and charity never takes possession of the heart without bringing in her train all other virtues, exercising them and bringing them into play as a general his troops. But she does not call them forth suddenly, all at once, nor in all times and places. The good man is like a tree planted by the water-side that will bring forth its fruit in due season, because when a soul is watered with charity, it brings forth good works seasonably and with discretion.”

— St. Francis de Sales

 

 

“Jesus’ death and resurrection express a reality that is complicated, emotionally moving, and yet joyful. Death does not have the last word. And that is indeed the good news. God is the one who will be there for us! God is the one who is concerned and cares for us! God is the one who, as we pray in Psalm 34, hears the cry of the poor!”

—from The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

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“I urge you with all the strength of my soul to approach the Eucharistic Table as often as possible. Feed on this Bread of the Angels from which you will draw the strength to fight inner struggles.”

— Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

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“Who is Lucifer? He is a pure spirit, and was the most enlightened of all pure spirits, but is now at war with God and with His rule. The mystery of sin is merely the result of this conflict, which manifests itself in every possible way. Lucifer, as much as in him lies, will leave no stone unturned to destroy what God has made and ordered. Wherever he enters, there is the work of God defaced.”

— Jean-Pierre de Caussade

 


God is love, light, truth, and beauty. God is like a mother, gently trying to coax another step out of a young child learning to walk, God exists as an infinite patience that endures all things. The cross of Christ reveals that God works far differently than do our imaginations. God never overpowers anyone. God’s power to create love and community.”

—from the book The Passion and the Cross by Ronald Rolheiser

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Keep the joy of loving God in your heart and share this joy with all you meet, especially your family. Be holy.”

— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

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“Concerning obedience as a sign of authenticity, St. Theresa is eloquent: ‘Believe me, there is no better way of acquiring this treasure [of loving fire sent from heaven] than to dig and toil in order to get it from this mine of obedience. The more we dig, the more we shall find; and the more we submit to men, and have no other will than that of our superiors, the more completely we shall become masters of our wills and bring them into conformity with the will of God.'”

— Fr. Thomas Dubay

 

 

God of community and love,
there are many times when
we are too quick to abandon Christ
on the cross.
Like those disciples who
feared for their lives,
things great and small cause
us to fear for ours.
Help us to see the two sides
of your Son’s passion,
the love and suffering that Jesus reveals to us,
models for us, calls us to live.
Open our eyes to the
truest meaning of bearing the name Christ,
so that we too may strive to love as you love,
while embracing the suffering that such true love entails.
We offer our gratitude for the community formed
that day beside the cross:
formed out of great love, formed amid great suffering.
We make this prayer in your name.
Amen.

—from The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

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“We ought to speak, shout out against injustices, with confidence and without fear. We proclaim the principles of the Church, the reign of love, without forgetting that it is also a reign of justice.”

— Blessed Miguel Pro

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