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As often as they have turned away from the commands of the Lord and “wandered outside obedience” (Honorius III), let all the brothers know, as the Prophet says, they are cursed outside obedience as long as they knowingly remain in such a sin.  When they have persevered in the Lord’s commands—as they have promised by the Holy Gospel and their life, let them know they have remained in true obedience and are blessed by the Lord.

St. Francis of Assisi, “The Earlier Rule,” 68

Scripture for the day:  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.  Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:3-11)

Lenten action for the day: At times, we turn away from the path of Christ, even though we know that following Him offers us what is best for our lives.  Ask today for forgiveness for those moments we all have, those times when we follow other urges, passions, or temptations.  Reflect on the consequences of sin in your life, and consider the impact your sin might have had on others.  Take a step to heal a wounded relationship today, striving to be more faithful to God, embracing the love and life He offers.

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