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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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I admonish and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ all my sisters, both those present ant those to come, to strive always to imitate the way of holy simplicity, humility and poverty and also the integrity of our holy way of living, as we were taught from the beginning of our conversion by Christ and by our blessed father Francis…And loving one another with the love of Christ, may you demonstrate without in your deeds the love you have within so that, compelled by such an example, the sisters may always grow in the love of God and in mutual charity.

St. Clare of Assisi, “the Testament,” 64

Scripture for the day:  We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.  By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. (I John 3:14-20)

Lenten action for the day:  Follow the example of Christ by demonstrating love with your actions.  Verbalize and demonstrate your affection for someone today through words and gestures of love.

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Indeed, it is now clear that the soul of a faithful person, the most worthy of all creatures because of the grace of God, is greater than heaven itself, since the heavens and the rest of creation cannot contain their Creator; only a faithful soul is His dwelling place and throne, and this only through the charity that the wicked lack.  The Truth says: Whoever loves me will be loved by My Father, and I too shall love him, and We shall come to him and make Our dwelling place with him.

St. Clare of Assisi, “The Third Letter to Agnes of Prague,” 52

Scripture for the day:  O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.  You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;  it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,  even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.  For you formed my inward parts;  you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works;  my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  (Psalm 139:1-10, 13-15)

Lenten action for the day: We are made in God’s image and likeness.  This implies that we all have a deep connection to God, and therefore, inherent worth and dignity.  Treat others that you come in contact with respect for the value they hold in God’s eyes.

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