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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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Christ Good Shepherd flyer

O how glorious it his to have a holy and great Father in heaven! O how holy, consoling to have such a beautiful and wonderful Spouse! O how holy and how loving, gratifying, humbling, peace-giving, sweet, worthy of love, and above all things, desirable:  to have such a Brother and such a Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who down His life for His sheep…

St. Francis of Assisi, Earlier Exhortation to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance, (42)

Scripture for the day: What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:12-14)

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)

Lenten action for the day: We all stray at times.  This Lenten season, seek to follow Christ more closely, being aware of shepherds who seek to lead you from the path of Christ.

The Temptations of Christ

The Temptations of Christ

All those, however, who are not living in penance, who do not receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who practice vice and sin and walk after evil concupiscence and wicked desires, who do not observe what they have promised, and who serve the world with their bodies, the desires of the flesh, the cares and anxieties of this world, and the preoccupations of this life (all these) are deceived by the devil whose children they are and whose works they do.  They are blind because they do not see the true light, our Lord Jesus Christ.  They do not have spiritual wisdom because they do not possess the Son of God, the true wisdom of the Father, within them.  It is said of them:  Their wisdom has been swallowed up.  They see, recognize, know, and do evil;  and knowingly, they lose their souls.

St. Francis of Assisi, “Later Admonition and Exhortation to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance,” 50

Scripture of the day:  So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

And you know the way to where I am going.”Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:4-6)

Lenten action for the day:  Our culture tells us that freedom means doing whatever we want, but Christ teaches that true freedom is in following Him.  Be conscious of the messages you receive from the media.  Do they reflect the truth of Christ, and encourage you toward a life that is good and worthy of your dignity?  Or do they lead you away from the authentic freedom that Christ offers?