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THE COMFORT OF OUR MOTHER MARY

We need not to be told of the comfort that a good mother is to her child. We know how such a mother from the earliest days of her little baby has surrounded and protected it by her constant and unwavering love and tenderness: how eager she is always to come to the assistance of the child when ailing or in distress of any sort: how anxious to promote by all the means in her power the well-being and happiness of her little one.

THE WELL-BEING AND HAPPINESS OF HER LITTLE ONE

We know, too, how when the child has grown in years and has become independent in many ways of a parent’s help, the good mother’s love still persists and is ready to befriend or take up the defence of son or daughter, when perhaps he or she has gone wrong and done something that brings what may be well-merited punishment and disgrace. History alone gives us innumerable examples of the sacrificing love of good mothers for their children. And many of us, no doubt, can recall among our happiest memories the love that our own mother had for us, and how often she shielded us in times when we were in some danger or difficulty, and we were left with no one else, perhaps, to stand by us in our urgent need.

STANDING BY US IN OUR URGENT NEED

We may well thank God for a good mother; but for no mother may we be more grateful than for that Heavenly Mother whom, as His last legacy and as an earnest of His own infinite love for us, Christ bequeathed us, when dying on the Cross He said to His disciple John and in his person to each and every one of us: “Behold thy Mother.” [John 19:26-27].

THERE IS NOBODY WHO CANNOT CLAIM MARY’S PROTECTION OR AID

We cannot question the fact that Mary is the Mother of each one of us, as is so often declared to us by the infallible teaching of the Church. There is nobody, however worthless he or she may be, who cannot claim her protection and aid. But what we have to impress upon ourselves, as perhaps hitherto we have not done, is the reality of this relation that exists between us, and how anxious her Divine Son is that we should look upon Mary as our true Mother.

MARY, OUR TRUE MOTHER

How evident this has been made by the countless graces and favours that God has granted to men through the intercession of her whom He always delights to honour! Throughout the history of the Church it is this great Mother who, after her Divine Son, takes a foremost place, so that we can hail her as the “Mediatrix omnium gratiarum”. It was she who helped by her prayers to prepare the first apostles to receive the Holy Ghost [Acts 1:14] and to go forth with all the gifts they had received to preach the Gospel of Christ to all nations, with a success so great that it was in itself a miracle and is one of the proofs of the divinity of the Church which they helped to found.

And so we find Mary, the Mother of the Church and of all Christians, in each successive age exercising her power and giving proof of her solicitude for the maintenance of the Faith. It is she who is invoked to exterminate heresy, as when, for instance, St Dominic with his devoted sons employed the devotion of the Rosary to stem and suppress the Albigensian heresy in the thirteenth century.

And when we come down to our times, how clearly God has given us proof that it is to His Holy Mother that we must have recourse for succour, both spiritual and temporal. Think of the apparitions to that poor little peasant girl (now St Bernadette) at Lourdes and of the millions from all parts of the world who have made pilgrimages to that famous shrine ever since, many of whom have been recipients of miraculous cures that the closest medical investigation cannot disprove. And even as late as 1917 Our Lady’s intercessory power with God was again made manifest by her apparitions to the three little children at Fatima at Portugal, and there resulting, as at Lourdes, in many miraculous favours bestowed on soul as well as on body.

It would be an incredulous person, indeed, who, having studied closely and with an open mind the wonderful effects of Mary’s intercession throughout the ages of Christianity, would still refuse to accept as a well-authenticated fact that it is through His Mother that Christ would have us find favour with Him and get into closer union with Him, thereby more certainly securing our own salvation.

AN IMMENSE COMFORT

This is the immense comfort that every good Catholic can enjoy, that Mary is in very truth his own Mother, as truly his mother in the supernatural order as the mother of whom he was born in the natural. Remembering the words of St Bernard in the familiar prayer of the Memorarethat “no one ever had recourse to her protection or sought her mediation without obtaining relief,” he should be emboldened to turn to her in his every necessity. In these bitter days of suffering and multiplied woes, it is well for all of us to re-enkindle our devotion to Mary and to ponder more deeply on all those prerogatives of hers which are recounted in the Litany of Loreto. She is the Virgin-Mother of God, and because of that very fact she is the Virgin most amiable, the Virgin most powerful, the Virgin most faithful to all her duties as a Mother to each and every one of her children. She is the “Seat of Wisdom” who will bring home to us those supernatural truths, so infinitely more important than any mere human knowledge or learning. And even if our lives have been lives of the most grievous and terrible sins, so many and so great that we may shudder and fear when we think of them, approach to this good and merciful Mother is not barred to us, because has not she made herself the “Refuge of Sinners”? And as the “Help of Christians” and the “Consoler of the Afflicted”, be they afflictions in soul or in body, has she not shown in countless instances that through her intercession we can be relieved of all our ills, that our sins will be forgiven and forgotten, and that we can enter into a peace of soul that she as the “Queen of Peace” can infallibly procure for us?

PEACE OF SOUL

She stands so infinitely higher than all the rest of God’s creatures that no human measurements or comparisons can give us an adequate idea of the distance that lies between her and them. She is far above all the Angels, Archangels, Dominations, Powers, Cherubim and Seraphim in all their ascending ranks of glory: she is above all saints, martyrs, confessors, and virgins.  She is the Queen of them all, the one and only human creature conceived without the least stain of sin and so verifying the truth of the poet’s words, “Our tainted nature’s solitary boast”.

OH, THAT WE MIGHT TAKE IT DEEPLY TO HEART

Oh, that we might take it deeply to heart. She, this great Queen and Mother, so surpassing as she is in the grandeur and splendour of her soul, is our own dear Mother. Each of us can claim her for himself, seeing in her one who is incomparably more tender and loving than any earthly mother has ever been or could be, one who is ever so solicitous for our eternal salvation, knowing so well at what price her Son has redeemed us, and ever interceding on our behalf that the prodigal outpouring of His Precious Blood on Calvary, of which she was such a close witness, may not be fruitless.

“MONSTRA TE ESSE MATREM”

Often, then, let us turn to her during the day, even as we go about our work, with such prayers on our lips as “Monstra the esse matrem” (Show thyself a mother), or with some indulgenced invocation as “Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation”. The more we run to this good Mother, as little children run to their mothers, and the greater our love for her grows, the easier we shall find it to face the hard conditions of our lives, and the more consolation and comfort we shall enjoy under her protecting mantle.

– From: Lift Up Your Hearts, Christopher J. Wilmot, S.J., The Catholic Book Club, London, 1949

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FURTHER EXAMPLES OF THE MOST AMAZING HELP AFFORDED BY THE HOLY SOULS

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How a poor boy became a Bishop, a Cardinal, and a Saint

Peter Damian lost both Father and Mother shortly after his birth. One of his brothers adopted him but treated him with unnatural harshness, forcing him to work hard and giving him poor food and scanty clothing.

One day Peter found a silver piece which represented to him a small fortune. A friend told him that he could conscientiously use it for himself as the owner could not be found.

The only difficulty Peter had was to choose what it was he most needed, for he was in sore need of many things.

While turning the matter over in his young mind it struck him that he could do a still better thing, viz, have a Mass said for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, especially for the souls of his dear parents. At the cost of a great sacrifice he put his thought into effect and had the Mass offered.

The Holy Souls repaid his sacrifice most generously. From that day forward a complete change became noticeable in his fortunes.

His eldest brother called at the house where he lived and, horrified at the brutal hardships the little fellow was subjected to, arranged that he be handed over to his own care. He clad him and fed him as his own child, educated and cared for him most affectionately. Blessing followed blessing. Peter’s wonderful talents became known and he was called to the priesthood, sometime after he was raised to the episcopacy and finally created Cardinal. Miracles attested his great sanctity so that after death he was canonised and made Doctor of the Church.

These wonderful graces came to him after that one Mass said for the Holy Souls.

An adventure in the Appenines

A group of priests were called to Rome to treat a grave business matter. They were bearers of important documents and a large sum of money was entrusted to them for the Holy Father. Aware that the Appenines, over which they had to pass, were infested by daring bandits, they chose a trusty driver. There was no tunnel through the mountains nor train in those days.

They placed themselves under the protection of the Holy Souls and decided to say profundis De profundis every hour for them.

When right in the heart of the mountains, the driver gave the alarm and, at the same time, lashed the horses into a furious gallop. Looking around, the priests saw fierce bandits at each side of the road with fixed rifles ready to fire. They were amazed that no shot rang out. They were completely at the mercy of the bandits.

After an hour’s headlong flight the driver stopped and, looking at the Priests, said: “I cannot understand how we escaped. These desperadoes never spare anyone.”

The Fathers were convinced that they owed their safety to the Holy Souls, a fact that was afterwards confirmed beyond doubt.

When their business was concluded in Rome, one of their number was detained in the Eternal City, where he was appointed chaplain to a Prison. Not long after, one of the fiercest brigands in Italy was captured, condemned to death for a long series of murders and awaited execution in the prison. Anxious to gain his confidence, the Chaplain told him of several adventures he himself had had and, finally, of his recent escape in the Appenines.

The criminal manifested the greatest interest in the story. When it was ended, he exclaimed: “I was the leader of that band. We thought that you had money and we determined to rob and murder you. An invisible force prevented each and all of us from firing, as we assuredly would have done had we been able.”

The chaplain then told him of how they had placed themselves under the protection of the Holy Souls and that they ascribed their deliverance to their protection.

The bandit found no difficulty in believing it. In fact, it made his conversion more easy. He died full of repentance.

How Pius IX cured a bad memory

The venerable Pontiff Pius IX appointed a holy and prudent religious Bishop of a diocese. The priest, alarmed at the responsibility put on him, begged earnestly to be excused.

His protests were in vain. The Holy Father knew his merits.

Overcome with apprehension the humble religious solicited an audience with the Pope, who received him most graciously. Once more he pleaded earnestly to be excused, but the Pope was immovable.

As a last recourse, Padre Tomaso told the Holy Father that he had a very bad memory which would naturally prove to be a grave impediment to the high office put on him.

Pius IX answered with a smile: “Your diocese is very small in comparison with the Universal Church, which I carry on my shoulders. Your cares will be very light in comparison with mine.

I, too, suffered from a grave defect of my memory but I promised to say a fervent prayer daily for the Holy Souls, who, in return, have obtained for me an excellent memory. Do you likewise, dear Father, and you will have cause to rejoice.”

– From: Read Me or Rue It, by E.D.M., approved of His Eminence the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon 4/6/1936, printed by Kerryman, Co Kerry, Ireland

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MAKE THE LIFE OFFERING TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS THROUGH THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY TODAY!

“My Children! I am calling you to apostolic privilege…”

THE PRAYER OF THE LIFE OFFERING TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS THROUGH THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY:

“My dear Jesus, before the Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most precious Holy Blood and Your sacrifice on Calvary, hereby I offer my whole life to the intention of Your Holy Heart and to the Holy Heart of Mary.
Together with my life I place at Your disposal all the Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the sufferings of my entire life for the adoration and supplication of the Holy Trinity, for unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father and the priests, for good priestly vocations, and for all the souls until the end of the world.
O my Jesus, please accept my life sacrifice and my offerings and give me Your grace that I may persevere obediently until my death. Amen.”

This life offering must be done with humble heart, firm resolution, and clear intent. All prayer, good deeds, suffering, and work done with pure intention has great merit, if it is offered together with the merits, the sufferings, and the blood of Jesus Christ.
It is recommended to do this life offering as soon as you feel ready, and renew it from time to time.

THE FIVE PROMISES OF OUR HEAVENLY MOTHER TO THOSE WHO OFFER THEIR LIVES TO HER:

1. Their names will be written in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, inflamed by love.

2. Their life offerings, together with the infinite merits of Jesus, can save many souls from damnation. All souls who will live until the end of the world will benefit from their life offerings.

3. None of their family members will go to hell, even if it seems otherwise, because they will receive in the depths of their souls the graces of sincere contrition before the soul departs from their bodies.

4. On the day they offer their lives, their loved ones suffering in Purgatory will be released.

5. I will be with them in the hour of their deaths. They will not know Purgatory. I will carry their souls straight to the presence of the Glorious Trinity, where they will live with me in a special place created by God and will rejoice forever.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE LIFE OFFERING:

Our Lady illustrates symbolically what her Holy Son is asking from us: Let us give our hearts completely to our heavenly Mother who will place them into the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Eucharist, into the centre of unity of love. Thus, through our total abandonment, we will be united with the sacrifice of Jesus, and in this way His work of redemption will be perpetually continued for our souls and for the glory of God.

The messages, prayers, and promises published in this Blog post were received by a privileged Hungarian nun, a consoling soul, who in her humility and obedience to her spiritual director wishes to remain anonymous. Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion daily, or at least weekly, to offer their lives to the glory of God and to save souls, that the souls of sinners may not be damned but receive, at least in their last hour, the graces of eternal life.

WHAT TO DO NEXT:

OUR HEAVENLY MOTHER SPEAKS: “My children who offer your lives, make the act of contrition every day! Make it not only for yourselves but for all men. This will continually weaken the power of evil to tempt and will help all souls to free themselves from the slavery of sin. If you continually practise contrition for others, this will act as an antiseptic to arrest the spread of the “virus” of sin. It will stop the infection, illness and death of souls. See how great the force is in a deep contrition if it comes from the depths of the heart? It can heal, cleanse and save the life of the soul.
In addition to contrition for the whole humanity, unite yourself with my Immaculate Heart to petition with prayer, reaching to heaven, for the pardon of sins. Thus you will become united with me and become genuine and intimate helpers of Jesus as fishers of men.”

PRAYER OF CONTRITION:

“O my Jesus, I love You over and above everything!
For the love of You I am sorry for all my sins.
O merciful love, I ask pardon for all my sins and for all the sins of my brothers and sisters that have been and will be committed until the end of the world. My dear Jesus, united with Your Holy Wounds I offer my life to the Eternal Father according to the intention of the Sorrowful Mother.
Virgin Mary, Queen of the world, Mediatrix of humanity, our only refuge and hope, pray for us!”

OUR LADY’S MESSAGES TO THOSE WHO OFFER THEIR LIVES:

If the Eternal Father chooses a soul to the grace of being among the elect, He will order that soul to become similar to His Only begotten Son while on earth, but in what way should this soul be like His Son?

In love and acceptance of sufferings.

If you follow your Jesus in these two ways then the Eternal Father will recognise His Holy Son in you.

The souls chosen by the Eternal Father to offer their lives, must strive to save as many other souls as possible. This can be done through fervent prayer, through the practising of love, through meekness, humility and self denial, but above all through the patient acceptance of sufferings.
I believe that my motherly Heart will find among my children souls who love God with the love of the martyrs. “My children, even in the time of the greatest trials, hold my motherly hand with unbounded trust. Come together with me to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He is your strength in your earthly pilgrimage. Thus, strengthened by Him daily, you will march toward your eternal dwelling place of happiness where you will recognise each other in glorious ecstasy, you who sacrificed your lives for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Then my Holy Son will embrace you to His flaming Heart, and He will immerse you in the ectasy of the united love of the Trinity. In this state of eternal bliss you will rejoice forever together with those souls who were able to gain eternal life because of your selfless life sacrifice.”
“My children! Hope and love, because God is with you. My children, each offered life is pleasing to God. Therefore do not limit your sacrifice. This should be your life slogan: Give more and love better!”
The design of my Holy Son included the deeds of the elect. He is eagerly waiting to see if they fulfil His plan or cross it. He could realise His plan without them, but in His merciful goodness He wants them to participate in the distribution of the fruits of redemption throughout the world. Do you know why I am telling all this? Because I watch with great anguish the fight of the souls in the Church. It is very painful for my motherly Heart that there are many among even the elect who do not believe that God can do not believe that God can do whatever He wants! Unfortunately, they are using their knowledge not to increase faith and unity, but to encourage disbelief. You, however – my life offering children – you should believe with a living faith. You should strive to increase in your hearts the flame of faith, because when faith becomes stronger it will increase your hope and love too.

THE BENEFITS AND GRACE OF THE SUFFERINGS IN OUR LIVES

Once you surrender yourself to great sufferings of either body or soul, the experience can be a fountain of immeasurable grace. You can pay for the sins of your life, or for the things you have failed to do. Or if this has already been paid, then the merit of your patient sufferings can be applied to the conversion of hardened sinners. By that you can glorify God. The souls you save by your obedient acceptance of sufferings may even become saints.
When the weight of sufferings lies heavily on you, whether illness or suffering in the soul, think always that you are just a pilgrim on this earth. Beyond the grave there is a wonderful world that was prepared by God for His faithful children, where your happiness will be greater than that which your patient and obedient sufferings can possibly merit. As it is written: your soul will forever be immersed in such happiness that “eye has not seen, and the ear has not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for those that love Him” (1 Cor 2:9).
No matter how heavy your suffering on earth, it will last but a short time. Rejoice while you suffer, because you are proceeding toward a sure goal, and at the end of this road your Heavenly Mother is waiting for you to embrace you with the eternal love of the Trinity.

“My children! I am calling you to apostolic privilege. You are chosen to suffer martyrdom of the heart for the sins of others. And by this voluntary life sacrifice coming from your good heart – God will be able to pour out the flood of His mercy. Think about that!”

“My dear children! You should burn with fervour to help save those who suffer in the slavery of sin. In life, captivity often results in freedom and uplifting of the soul.
But most prisoners of sin are more pitiable than those in real prison because they are not aware that they are imprisoned by their depravity, and thus they do not even ask for freedom. The blindness of the soul, with its darkness, is more pitiable than anyone in a dark prison.
I would like to free these souls. Since they do not want to be set free in order that I may save them, I need the help of my faithful children and their life offering, the patient acceptance of sufferings, trials, that, combined with the treasures of my Holy Son, will enable me to save not only your loved ones but a multitude of souls from everlasting darkness, even those who will be born later, until the end of the world.”

“My children! Give everything to me and I will give everything to my Holy Son united with my interceding prayers. I am the woman who sets the slaves free.”

THE RELEVANCE OF THE LIFE OFFERING IN HOSPITALS, NURSING HOMES, FOR THOSE SUFFERING IN THE COMMUNITY IN BODY OR SOUL:

“My children! Make sure that the great grace of the life offering will reach the souls who suffer greatly in body or in soul. It must reach the incurably sick, the physically handicapped, and the bedridden so that their suffering will not be in vain! This suffering can become a fund of gold for all humanity as well for yourselves, because in your hearts and souls you will receive peace, strength, relief, and satisfaction if you realise that patient acceptance of your sufferings will bring you great happiness in heaven!”

THE SEER: “I have obeyed this request of Our Lady and I communicated this request to sufferers. I can say from my own experience that their suffering was greatly lessened when they accepted the graces that accompanied the life offering. I visited the critically ill in hospitals, especially those who were neglected or ignored by their relatives and those who had no one. I saw the greatest suffering among cancer victims and others too sick even to get out of bed. Most of them knew there would be no cure for them, and they found their life and their suffering meaningless, believing no one needed them anymore.

But when they learned that they are the most precious children of Our Blessed Virgin Mother; that the Lord Jesus searches for companions, that Jesus calls them to unite their sufferings with His passion and sacrifice on the Cross as a continuation of His redemptive work; that they are the treasures of the Church; that by their suffering they can contribute to world peace; that by their sufferings they can pay for their sins and those of others; and that at their hour of death they will go straight to heaven without Purgatory: then the knowledge of this grace started to work in them immediately.
They started to cry for joy, because God and the Virgin Mary loved them so. Some had thought God was angry with them and was punishing them with sufferings, and there were atheists who wanted to commit suicide. But when they learned how great the grace is in the life offering, that a creature cannot give more to his or her Creator, they underwent a tremendous change. Their dispositions became so much better that even the nurses noticed it. They become hidden souls of the Lord and they persevered until the end on their live offerings. Some were cured, others departed quietly.

Every night I pray together with my good Heavenly Mother that this message will reach more and more suffering souls with the tremendous grace of the life offering that could mitigate their suffering and bring the strength, peace, and acceptance to bear their suffering on earth in the hope of everlasting happiness in heaven. Our Heavenly Mother prays for those, too, who have already received the grace of the life offering, that with a living faith they will persevere in it until death.”

 

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PRESSING NEEDS – MISCELLANEOUS PRAYERS TO ST ANTHONY

Let us pray: O God, you give joy to your Church by celebrating the feast of blessed Anthony, your confessor and doctor; ever strengthen it by spiritual aid, so that it may be found worthy to enjoy eternal happiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Dear St Anthony, you took the words of Jesus seriously: “Be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The Church honours you as a Christian hero, a man wholly dedicated to God’s glory and the good of the redeemed. St Anthony, model of perfection, ask Jesus to strengthen my good dispositions and to make me more like you, more like Him. Obtain for me the other favours I need (name them). Amen.

Glorious St Anthony, you were prompt to fulfil all justice. You gave God and His creation the service He required from you. You respected other people’s rights and treated them with kindness and understanding. St Anthony, zealous for justice, teach me the beauty of this virtue. Make me prompt to fulfil all justice toward God and toward all creation. Help me also in my pressing needs (name them). Amen.

Dear St Anthony, comforting the sorrowful is a Christian duty and a work of mercy. By word, attitude, and deed I should try to brighten their days and make their burden easier to bear. St Anthony, Consoler of the Afflicted, may I remember when helping someone in sorrow that I am helping Christ Himself. Kindly mention my pressing needs to Him (name your special requests). Amen.

 

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11th APRIL, RESPONSORIAL PSALM (PSALM 17)

R. In my anguish I called to the Lord
and he heard my voice.

1. I love you, Lord, my strength,
my rock, my fortress, my saviour.
My God is the rock where I take refuge;
my shield, my mighty help, my stronghold.
The Lord is worthy of all praise;
when I call I am saved from my foes. (R.)

2. The waves of death rose about me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the snares of the grave entangled me;
the traps of death confronted me. (R.)

3. In my anguish I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears. (R.)

ACCLAMATION

Repent, says the Lord, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.

 

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MOTHER MARY, RECEIVE ME AS YOUR SERVANT

Most holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, unworthy though I am to be your servant, yet moved by your motherly care for me and longing to serve you, I chose you this day, in the presence of my guardian angel and all the saints in heaven, to be my queen, my helper and my mother and I firmly resolve to serve you always, and to do what I can that all may give faithful service to you.

Therefore, most loving and immaculate Mother, through the Precious Blood your Son poured out for me, I beg you to receive me as your servant forever. Help me in all my actions, and beg for me the grace never by word or action or thought, to be displeasing to you or to your most holy Son. Remember me, dearest Queen and Mother and do not leave me at the hour of my death. Amen.
– St Francis de Sales

 

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13th MARCH, GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 7:7-12)

THE ONE WHO ASKS ALWAYS RECEIVES

Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him.

Is there a man among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or would hand him a snake when he asked for a fish? If you, then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

“So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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