Lent invites us to heal the divisions within and among us and to heed Christ’s invitation to change our hearts and minds. We enter Lent, continuing to grapple with the pandemic and the challenge of racism and injustice.

Charity Wisdom from Our Saints

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

That peace which is the portion of the chosen servants of God is seldom unmixed with interior struggles.

God is with us – and if sufferings abound in us, his consolations also greatly abound, and far exceed all utterance … [I]f the circumstances that [have] placed us in so forlorn a sitation were not guided by his hand – miserable indeed would be our case.

Truly it is the hardest of all trials to see souls so dear in pains we cannot remedy.

How well could he [Jesus Christ] call every poorest one another himself? How will you…sacredly view their adoption by him, his presence in them? You then who love him, love them.  

St. Vincent de Paul 

The poor who do not know where to go or what to do, who are suffering already and who increase daily, are my burden and my sorrow.

Do not worry yourself overmuch….Grace has its moments. Let us abandon ourselves to the providence of God and be very careful not to run ahead of it.

St. Louise De Marillac

Ask God to put us in the disposition to listen and to endure all that is said for or against us so that none of it troubles us. 

At the foot of this holy, sacred and adored Cross, I sacrifice everything that might prevent me from loving. 

Charity Wisdom from Our Friends

Have you ever dreamed a dream and found that every effort you made was hopeless and that your dream could never be realized? Have you ever cried tears of shame at your own inadequacy?…then you have felt how God feels in this world.  (Ronald Rolheiser, OMI)

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We forget that there is no worse form of alienation than to feel uprooted, belonging to no one. A land will be fruitful, and its people bear fruit and give birth to the future, only to the extent that it can foster a sense of belonging among its members, create bonds of integration between generations and different communities, and avoid all that makes us insensitive to others and leads to further alienation. (Pope Francis, Encyclical “Fratelli Tutti (On Fraternity and Social Friendship)”, October, 2020, #53) 

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I must remind you that starving a child is violence. Neglecting school children is violence. Punishing a mother and her family is violence. Discrimination against a working man is violence. Ghetto housing is violence. Ignoring medical need is violence. Contempt for poverty is violence.  (Coretta Scott King)

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To lessen the quantity of cruelty and sadism, we must learn to listen to the cry beneath violence. The victor must hear himself in the victim’s cry, the winner feel himself in the humiliation of the loser. So long as we can visit pain on another, we need not feel our own pain….The only certain way out of the blind ritual of war is by learning to substitute grief for anger. Those who mourn the childhood love they never had, who treat their own wounds tenderly, learn to forgive and to break the vicious circle of the wounded and the wounding.  When we are unable to confess that our own parents, our own governments, our own styles of life, have disappointed and injured us, we will inevitably create an enemy on whom we heap our anger. Every day we are not grieving is a day we will be taking vengeance.     (Sam Keen, Faces of the Enemy: Reflections of the Hostile Imagination, 1991)

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. (Interpretive translation of Talmudic texts)

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God loves you exactly the way you are, and [God] loves you too much to let you stay like this. – Anne Lamott