Category Archives: Religious Stories

Jesus in the host

How long is Jesus present in the Eucharist after we’ve received Communion?

“We have to pay proper respect to Our Lord”
The great treasure of the Catholic Church is the Eucharist — Jesus himself hidden under the appearances of bread and wine. We believe, as the Catechism states, that “In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist ‘the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained’” (CCC 1374).
Additionally, this Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist does not end immediately when we receive him at Communion time. The Catechism goes on to explain how, “The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist” (CCC 1377).
What does that mean when we receive him into our mouths? How long does Jesus’ Real Presence remain in our bodies?
There is a famous story from the life of Saint Philip Neri that helps answer that question. One day while he was celebrating Mass, a man received Holy Communion and left the church early. The man appeared to have no regard for the Presence within him and so Philip Neri decided to use this opportunity as a teaching moment. He sent two altar boys with lighted candles to follow the man outside of the church. After a while walking through the streets of Rome, the man turned around to see the altar boys still following him. Confused, the man returned to the church and asked Philip Neri why he sent the altar boys. Saint Philip Neri responded by saying, “We have to pay proper respect to Our Lord, Whom you are carrying away with you. Since you neglect to adore Him, I sent two acolytes to take your place.” The man was stunned by the response and resolved to be more aware of God’s presence in the future.
It is generally assumed that the Eucharistic species of bread remains for about 15 minutes after reception. This is based on simple biology and reflects the Catechism’s statement that the presence of Christ “endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist.”
This is why many saints have recommended offering 15 minutes of prayer after receiving the Eucharist as a thanksgiving to God. This allows the soul to savor the presence of God and have a true “heart-to-heart” with Jesus.
In our face paced world it is often difficult to remain long after Mass, but that doesn’t mean we can’t at least pray a brief prayer of thanksgiving. The main point is that we need to remember Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist stays with us for several minutes and presents us with a special time when we can commune with our Lord and feel his love within us.

If one day you forget, don’t be surprised if your parish priest sends altar servers to follow you to your car when you leave Mass early!

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A lady went to the Priest and said… I won’t be attending Church anymore..

He said, may I ask why??

She said, I see people on their cell phones during the service, some are gossiping, some just ain’t living right, they are all just hypocrites…

The Priest got silent, and he said, OK… But can I ask you to do something for me before you make your final decision?

She said, what’s that?

He said, take a glass of water and walk around the Church 2 times and don’t let any water fall out the glass.

She said, yes I can do that!

She came back and said it’s done.

He asked her 3 questions:

1. Did you see anybody on their phone?

2. Did you see anybody gossiping?

3. Was anybody living wrong?

She said, I didn’t see anything because I was so focused on this glass, so the water wouldn’t fall.

He told her, when you come to Church , you should be just that focused on God , so that YOU don’t fall.

THAT’S WHY JESUS SAID “FOLLOW ME,”!!!

He did not say follow Christians.

Don’t let your relationship with God be determined by how others relate with God. Let it be determined by how focused you are with God.

Please pass this on. It is a good example.

The legend of the blossom tree

Once At the time of Buddha, Benares had been the holy city of India for many centuries . The city was famous for fine temples, many built in beautiful leafy parks with pools of clear, undisturbed water, while the streets of Benares were full of jostling people going about their business, for trading had brought the city much wealth. Merchants had built themselves magnificent houses, and had furnished them with goods they acquired on their commercial travels.

In many ways Benares was like any city in the world today, for then, as now, men sought happiness in making money and in a multitude of other good and evil ways, while some searched for happiness in religious creeds or philosophical paths. Lead-ers of many new teachings came to Benares, among them the Buddha.

It happened that one day a wealthy merchant was checking the harness of his horse in the courtyard of one of the larger houses, while shouting men and women strapped packs onto the wooden saddles of braying mules, their constantly moving feet kicking up clouds of dust. A little dog barked excitedly, running through the legs of the mules, dodging angry nips from their teeth. In the midst of the preparations for the caravan the merchant’s neighbors drank to his health and wished him well on his long journey, for it would take many months along the trade routes of Central Asia to China and Arabia.

On his travels he often met people who would ask to accompany him, for his caravan was well protected against attacks by brigands. The merchant had heard many stories from travelers he met on the way, stories of distant lands and strange customs some spoke of the mighty empire of Rome. Artists showed the merchant ways of writing, painting, and sculpting, unknown to his own people, and philosophers told him of the many ways in which men sought to know the meaning of life. So the merchant’s caravan carried much more than wool, cotton, silks, jades, and brocades from country to country—it carried ideas.

One of the merchant’s neighbors filled a goblet with wine for him, and asked, since he had no family, who would look after his fine house and warehouse while he was away? The merchant indicated a middle-aged man who was checking the bales of wool. “Jigme will care for my household,” he said.

At first the merchant’s friends laughed, thinking he was joking; then, realizing that he was serious, they could not believe it. “But Jigme is only a herdsman,” one exclaimed. “It is unwise to trust a poor man with wealth,” another insisted.

The merchant shook his head. “Jigme is my friend,” he said, “he is wise and has a kind heart.”

But the neighbors still thought the merchant was being very foolish. After all, they muttered among themselves, Jigme was not one of them, he was of inferior rank; some were jealous of Jigme and the trust the merchant placed in him. After arguing unsuccessfully with the merchant one of the men said, “The wise man they call the Buddha is preaching nearby. Will you let us ask for his advice? Remember, your warehouses have our goods in store as well as yours!”

Reluctantly, the merchant agreed. He went with his companions and found the Buddha seated in a palm grove preaching to his followers. Welcoming the merchant and his companions, the Buddha asked them to sit with him while he listened to their story. When the Buddha heard how unwise the merchant’s neighbors thought he was, he said he would tell them a story of ancient times, when King Brahmadatta was the king of Benares.

“The king’s palace,” the Buddha began, “was in a beautiful park, where the king spent many happy hours gardening, and he liked especially to tend his blossom tree. It was the jewel of the park, and he used to look after it very carefully, but neither the king, nor those he took to see the blossom tree, noticed the little clump of kusha grass growing at the roots of the tree trunk. But the spirit of the blossom tree knew all about the kusha grass and its spirit, for the two had been friends for longer than time. The blossom tree was mighty and strong, with thick roots that went deep, deep into the earth, reaching into the dark places of demons and monsters. Its trunk was strong, straight, and very high, so that people said its great canopy of branches and foliage reached the heavens.

“No one knew how old the blossom tree was, but it was ancient before Benares had become a great city, indeed, before Benares was even built, and no one knew how long ago that was! And so it was said that the blossom tree was as old as the world itself.
“Everyone saw the blossom tree differently. Some saw it as a mighty and mysterious tree, others as a magic tree, and some, like the king, enjoyed listening to the wind rustling its leaves, which sounded like heavenly music.

“When he was in its shadow, the king was aware of the life of the blossom tree, and it reminded him that everything was like the tree, which grew in the spring and summer, thrusting out leaf-covered branches and new roots, and shriveling in the autumn and winter, leafless, seemingly barren, yet its life went on, and the next year it would burst forth anew. So it told the story of life and death, and life reborn.

“Legend told that the blossom tree, for some who could see, blossomed with the fruit of the secret of life. And sometimes the king had glimpsed for a few seconds among its leaves the most beautiful of blossoming flowers!
“One day, when the king was having tea with the queen in his palace, he was surprised to see something floating in his cup. He looked up at the roof of the room and frowned; small flakes of plaster were falling from the ceiling. He saw that the main wooden pillar which supported the ceiling had cracked and was moving!
“The queen cried out in fear and tried to pull her husband from the room, for she thought that the whole ceiling was going to collapse. But the king asked his wife to leave while he stayed and inspected the damage. He saw that the pillar would have to be replaced as it was beyond repair, and it had to be done very quickly or it would very soon split from top to bottom! He ordered his servants to search the palace grounds for a suitable tree from which the new pillar could be made.

“All that day the servants searched the park, and very carefully measured trees to find a suitable one for the new pillar. After inspecting all the trees in the park, the king’s servants realized that there was only one tree that could be used. Sadly, they returned to the palace, and told the king that his beloved blossom tree was the only one fine enough, and strong enough, to replace the old pillar.

“The king was shocked. ‘There must be another,’ he insisted. ‘Maybe one not as strong as the blossom tree, but strong enough to replace the old pillar?’

‘Your Majesty,’ the servants said sorrowfully, ‘in stature and strength, the blossom tree is the only one suitable to make a new pillar.’

“The king was very unhappy, and undecided as to what he should do. If the old pillar split, his whole palace would fall, and his family and many others would be without a home. But there was no other tree in his park as beautiful as the blossom tree. With the queen and their servants, the king went to see the blossom tree.

“Although it was early evening, and the sun still shone, the evening star was so bright that they could see it quite clearly as they walked through the park. The king inspected the blossom tree, and other trees, and even he could see that in comparison it was indeed the best from which to make the pillar. ‘Perhaps,’ he thought, ‘I am being very selfish in trying to keep this beautiful tree which I love, when it could save the home of many. After all,’ he thought very sadly, ‘it is only a tree, even if it is a special one.’
“So, the king gave the order to his servants, and they prepared sacrifices of penance to the blossom tree’s spirit. It was night when the king and queen burned incense and offered sweet tasting delicacies at the foot of the tree. The queen was weeping loudly, as the smoke from the incense fires rose into the velvety blackness. The blossom tree’s spirit did not know what to do to save its home, and the gentle breeze quickly carried news of the plight of the blossom tree spirit to all the other tree spirits.
“They gathered around the blossom tree spirit, trying to comfort her and to think of some way of saving her home. Everyone made suggestions, but none was really likely to save the blossom tree. All night long, after the king had left, the tree spirits argued as to what should be done to save the blossom tree, until the poor blossom tree spirit was crying in despair. Then she heard the kusha grass spirit say, in a soft voice, ‘Do not worry, my friend, for I have an idea which will save your home.’
“At daybreak, the king’s woodmen walked through the park carrying two great axes. They were not singing as they usually did, and the woodsmen noticed that the birds were not singing either. The whole park seemed to be waiting in silence, expectantly.
“The sun remained hidden behind the clouds, shedding only a grey light, and there was no pleasant breeze as they began to inspect the blossom tree to find the best place to start chopping. They were surprised to see that the bark of the tree looked quite different from the day before. Carefully, the head woodsman went round the tree, studying more closely. When he touched the bark it felt soft. ‘This tree has gone rotten here,’ he said to his companions. He tested another part of the tree, and that too had gone soft! They peered up at the branches of the blossom tree. All its leaves hung limply, as if they were sick and wilting. ‘We cannot use this tree to make the pillar,’ they said. ‘The wood is too soft . . . ‘ ‘I don’t understand,’ one of the woodsmen said blankly. ‘It looked so healthy last night, it was the finest tree in the park.’ ‘l do not think,’ the woodsman said thoughtfully, ‘that we were meant to cut the blossom tree down.’

“As they walked through the park to tell the king that they had no choice, they would have to make the pillar from one of the other trees, though not such a fine one, the sun shone through the clouds, and the birds began singing, and the little creatures of the park bustled about their business.

“All were happy that the blossom tree was safe, and happiest of all was the blossom tree spirit. All the tree spirits of the park watched the kusha grass spirit with delighted laughter, for before the woodsmen came it had changed into a large chameleon. It had given the secret of how chameleons could change their color to the blossom tree so it was able to change the color of its bark to look rotten when the woodsmen came.

“‘But how,’ the tree spirits wanted to know, ‘were you able to make your trunk seem soft when the woodsman touched you?’ The blossom tree laughed, as the kusha grass spirit, in chameleon form, moved over the tree trunk, quicker than the eye could see. Thus, the woodsman thought that the soft body of the chameleon was the bark of the tree.

“The blossom tree spirit sang the praises of the kusha grass spirit: ‘Spirits of the trees, for all our mighty power, we knew not what to do, while the humble kusha grass spirit had wit to save my home for me. Truly, we should choose our friends without considering whether they are our superiors, equals, or inferiors, making no distinction. Whether they be tree, bird, or grass, each according to his strength, can help a friend in his hour of need.’

“And so she instructed all the tree spirits, and the assembled devas, saying ‘Wherefore such as would escape from an evil plight must not merely consider whether a man is equal or superior, but must make friends of the wise, whatsoever their station in life.’ ”
As he finished his story, the Buddha smiled at the merchant, who was laughing, for his neighbors, who had thought him so foolish, had received their answer.

The Buddha ended by saying, “In an earlier life, Ananda, my chief disciple, was then the tree spirit, and I, the spirit of the kusha grass.”

The story of the ramayana

*R_A_M_A_Y_A_N_A*

‘ *Ra* ’ means *light*, ‘ *Ma* ’ means *within me*, *in my heart*.
So,
*Rama* means the *Light Within Me*..

*Rama* was born to *Dasharath & Kousalya*.

*Dasharath* means ‘ *10 Chariots* ’..
The ten chariots symbolize the *5 sense organs*( *Gnanendriya* ) & *5 organs of action*( *Karmendriya* ) ..

*Kousalya* means ‘ *Skill* ’..

*The skillful rider of the 10 chariots can give birth to Ram*..

When the 10 chariots are used skillfully,
*Radiance* is born within..

*Rama* was born in *Ayodhya*.
*Ayodhya* means ‘ *a place where no war can happen* ’..

When There Is No Conflict In Our Mind, Then The Radiance Can Dawn..

The *Ramayana* is not just a story which happened long ago..
It has a *philosophical*, *spiritual significance* and a *deep truth* in it..

It is said that the *Ramayana is happening in our Own Body*.

Our *Soul* is *Rama*,
Our *Mind* is *Sita*,
Our *Breath* or *Life-Force* ( *Prana*) is *Hanuman*,
Our *Awareness* is *Laxmana* and
Our *Ego* is *Ravana*..

When the *Mind* (Sita),is stolen by the *Ego* (Ravana), then the *Soul* (Rama) gets *Restless*..

Now the *SOUL* (Rama) cannot reach the *Mind* (Sita) on its own..
It has to take the help of the *Breath – the Prana* (Hanuman) by Being In *Awareness*(Laxmana)

With the help of the *Prana* (Hanuman), & *Awareness*(Laxmana),
The *Mind* (Sita) got reunited with The *Soul* (Rama) and The *Ego* (Ravana) *died/ vanished*..

*In reality Ramayana is an eternal phenomenon happening all the time*..🙏🏻

Grocery list

Martha, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store.
She approached the. owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would give her a few groceries on credit.

She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food.

The grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store at once.

In desperation, she pleaded: ‘Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can.’

The grocer told her he could not give her credit, since she did not have a charge account at his store.
A well-dressed stranger standing beside the counter, overheard the conversation between the two. He walked forward and told the grocer that he would pay for whatever she needed for her family. The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, ‘Do you have a grocery list?’

Martha replied, ‘Yes sir.’ ‘O.K’ he said, ‘put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries.’

Martha hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.

The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the stranger and said begrudgingly, ‘I can’t believe it.’

The stranger smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more.

The grocer stood there in utter frustration. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it in great amazement.

It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer, which said:

‘Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands.’

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence.

Martha thanked him and left the store. The stranger who was Jesus, handed a Gold coin to the grocer and said the Creator knows how much a prayer weighs.’

Just stop right now, and say a prayer of thanks for your own good fortune…

*My prayer for you today*:

_*The eyes beholding this message shall not behold evil, and shall not labor in vain, the mouth saying Jesus Saviour to this prayer shall laugh forever. Remain in God’s love.Have a lovely journey of life! Trust in the Lord with all your heart and He will never fail you.

The lost watch

I just came back from a evening retreat at our Parish Church. I have carried some beautiful thoughts from the Sermon given by Fr.Suresh Pushparaj. Todays topic was on Mother Mary. He quoted in Bible she speaks only in 4 occasions. Firstly she had the courage to ask question to Gabriel and accept God’s will. In the second instace she speaks to Elizabeth. In the 3rd instance she disciplines Jesus after they miss and find him Jersusalem. The 4th & final instance is at Canan when she speaks to Jesus and the wedding Host’s servants. She then plays a passive role .. to fulfill God’s will in Silence. The priest a famous saying of a writter, ‘If you are unable to understand my silence .. you will never be able to appreciate my words’. He also narrated a story to impress upon how you can find the truth .. A vision impaired man was searching for something in a busy beach. Passers by came to know that he had lost his wrist watch. Every one tried to find it .. and no one could help him with … the man didn’t loose hope .. and found it very late in the night … The next day people asked him how he got it? His reply was stunning and very meaningful… He said after the Beach fell silent .. He heard the tick .. tick of his wrist watch and located it very easily! The power of Silence!! He beautifully drew parallel to these examples how Mary played a crucial role in manifesting God’s will and how God himself speaks to us in silence … When our heart and mind is at peace … and when we seek him & pursue him.

Serve him just the way you are

An old church in a village in Brazil was leaking and the walls were almost collapsing, after the service the Padre asked the worshipers if they could organize a fundraising to rebuild the church… He told them to contribute whatever God has blessed each and everyone of them with. If you have some money, you can bring the money,if you earn a living by selling tomatoes in the market, you can bring the tomatoes and they get auctioned to raise the money… If you operate a hardware it would be even better, you can bring some nails and iron sheets for the roof… whatever you have. Eventually, it was the day of fundraising and worshippers came out in large numbers, some with money in their pockets others with goods depending on their jobs and sources of livelihood… They were met by a strange sight; a coffin at the entrance of the church!…Gosh! Who had died?… but then again it was on a Sunday and funeral services were never conducted on Sundays…. What was going on? People started talking in whispers asking what was the meaning of it…they started pointing fingers to an old man seated at a corner; he was the coffin maker…some looked at him in open hostility, but he didn’t mind them… the Padre had said that people should bring whatever God has blessed you with, right?… and he was a coffin maker… After the service it was time to raise funds ; those who had money contributed, hardware people gave iron sheets and other building equipments and materials ,tomatoes’ traders had brought their tomatoes which were auctioned away… Finally, the coffin maker dragged his coffin to the front of the church and stood still… people gasped and fell silent… you could hear a pin drop . Suddenly an old man, a friend of the coffin maker stood up….he offered 15,000 for the coffin on behalf of the padre… said he was buying it for the padre… The Padre shot up so fast with eyes wide open….his lips suddenly very dry. He quickly offered 20,000 for the coffin on behalf of the leader of CWA (Catholic women Association) The Lady nearly stumbled as she sprang to her feet looking so shocked at seeing her coffin…” No! no! no!” She shouted “it is not mine! …i …i…i…will buy it for the Catechist!… 30,000 please!… please! The Catechist nearly peed on himself he turned to look at her angrily as if to ask ” do you want to kill me?!” Clearly nobody wanted the coffin and it kept on being passed around until finally another old rich man stood and said that, he is offering 100,000 for the coffin and he is buying it on behalf of the coffin maker… The coffin maker took his coffin and returned it to his shop….smiling. The coffin maker; someone who was looked down upon, someone whom people jeered that he benefits from the misfortunes of others raised the greatest amount of money for the church without contributing even a single coin. You can serve God in many different ways. Perhaps people belittle you until you see yourself as a nobody…..but God want you just the way you are. He will turn your shame into honor.

Jesus folds the napkin

WHY DID JESUS FOLD THE NAPKIN?*

This is an interesting story ..

*WHY DID JESUS FOLD THE NAPKIN?*

This is one I can honestly say I have never seen circulating in the social media; so, if it touches you, you may want to share it.

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection?

The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.

The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed separate from the grave clothes.

Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, ‘They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!’ Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside.. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side.

Was that important? Absolutely!

Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it.. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table.

The servant would then know it was time to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, “I’m done”.

But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because………..

The folded napkin meant, “I’m coming back!”

*He is Coming Back!*

For those of us who still read the Bible, we know of this. However, I thought we should share this with those, who may have forgotten the significance of the folded napkin.

Please share this with all of your contacts. They would enjoy reading and being reminded of His second coming.
*He is coming back.*’!!!

Story of the girl who saw mother Mary..


🇻🇦
February 1⃣1⃣

_Feast_ 🌟🌟🌟
🔷✨✨✨✨🔷
✨ *OUR LADY* ✨
✨ ✨ *OF* ✨ ✨
✨ *LOURDES* ✨
🔷✨✨✨✨🔷

On December 8, 1854, Pope Blessed Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus.

A little more than three years later, on 11th February 1858, a young lady appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous, at Lourdes in France.

This began a series of *18 visions that year, from 11th of February till 16th of July*. The climax of the apparitions was on 25th March, when our Lady identified herself with the words: *_“I am the Immaculate Conception.”_*

Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl, admitted to her mother that a “lady” spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle _(a mile from the town)_ while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend.

Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents. During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw. She used the word *”aquero”*, a dialect term meaning _“this thing.”_ It was _“a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm.”_ Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle. She wore a white veil. There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand.

Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address _(tu)_, but the polite form _(vous)_. The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity.

Through that humble girl, Mary revitalized and continues to revitalize the faith of millions of people. People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world.

Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and healing, but even more of faith. To people of faith this is not surprising. It is a continuation of the miracles of Jesus —now performed at the intercession of His Mother.

There are still people who doubt the apparitions of Lourdes. Perhaps the best that can be said to them are the words that introduce the film The Song of Bernadette:
*“For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”*‼

In 1862, Pope Blessed Pius IX authorized Bishop Bertrand-Sévère Laurence to permit the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes.

👑
On 3rd July 1876, Pope Blessed Pius IX formally granted a *Canonical Coronation* to the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary that was venerated in the courtyard of what is now part of the Rosary Basilica.

⚜⚜⚜⚜⚜⚜⚜

🎵🎵🎵🎵
*“Lo! Mary is exempt from stain of sin, Proclaims the Pontiff high; And earth applauding celebrates with joy Her triumph, far and high. Unto a lowly timid maid she shows Her form in beauty fair, And the Immaculate Conception truth Her sacred lips declare.”* 🎵🎵🎵

_(Unattributed hymn from the Roman Breviary)_

🌍

Lenten sacrifices

Once a grandson decided to visit his grandma during the season of Lent. He travelled long by car to reach his grandma to visit her and spend some time with her. During his visit, he attended a church service with his grandma. The Preacher asked the congregation what had they planned for Lent. Many replied with familiar Lenten observation like fasting , praying, alms giving etc .

Then this young man started thinking.

WHAT SHOULD I GIVE UP FOR LENT? MEAT? SWEETS? CHOCOLATE? ICE CREAM? BEVERAGES ? MEAT?

Many of us try to be more disciplined for Lent and give up something that we really like. That’s great! Fasting has always been an important tradition of Lent. This year however, let us also consider other things that we can give up.

*Give up complaining* – _Focus on gratitude_
Philippians 2:14-15 – Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure…
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.

*Give up bitterness* – _Turn to forgiveness_
Ephesians 4:31 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

*Give up worry* – _Trust in God_
Matthew 6:25 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life… who by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Matthew 6:33 – But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

*Give up discouragement* – _Be full of hope_
Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you: he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Isaiah 40:31 – But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

*Give up hatred* – _Return good for evil_
1 John 2:9 – Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.
Luke 6:27 – “But I tell you who hear me; Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

*Give up anger* – _Be more patient_
Matthew 5:22 – But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.
Proverbs 15:18 – A hot tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.

*Give up gossiping* – _Control your tongue_
Psalm 34:13 – Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
Proverbs 21:23 – He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

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