A Way a Day

Expand / Collapse All

Thank You!

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered for your intentions on Thursday, April 6, by Fr. Robert Wagner at the St. Thomas More Center Chapel in Arlington, VA. Have a blessed Triduum and a joy-filled Easter!

Please send feedback about 40Days40Ways to familylife@arlingtondiocese.org.

Day 40 - Final Reflection

We have spent the season of Lent reflecting on the words of Pope Francis on love and the family. As our retreat comes to a close take time to reflect on the graces you and your family have received during this retreat, and also throughout the Year of Mercy we have recently celebrated. Thank God for these graces and ask for the strength for your family to “become what you are (Familiaris Consortio, n. 17).” It is essential to remember that Jesus is always with us in the Blessed Sacrament. As we enter into Holy Week, spend at least 15 minutes per day in front of the Blessed Sacrament telling Jesus your hopes and desires for your life and the lives of all those entrusted to your care. After that, listen intently to all that He wishes to share with you. 

Day 39 Challenge:

What was the 40Days40Ways Lenten challenge which inspired you the most, and had the most meaning for you? Revisit that challenge today. 

Day 39 Reflection:

By their witness as well as their words, families speak to others of Jesus. They pass on the faith, they arouse a desire for God and they reflect the beauty of the Gospel and its way of life. Christian marriages thus enliven society by their witness of fraternity, their social concern, their outspokenness on behalf of the underprivileged, their luminous faith and their active hope. Their fruitfulness expands and in countless ways makes God’s love present in society. (184)

Day 38 Challenge: 

What is one corporal work of mercy you and your family can perform today and, or in addition to, this week?

Day 38 Reflection:

For their part, open and caring families find a place for the poor and build friendships with those less fortunate than themselves. In their efforts to live according to the Gospel, they are mindful of Jesus’ words: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me (Mt 25:40)”. In a very real way, their lives express what is asked of us all: “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed” (Lk 14:12-14). You will be blessed! Here is the secret to a happy family. (183)

Day 37 Challenge:

Imagine standing before Jesus and hearing Him ask, “What do you do for the least of your brothers and sisters?”

Day 37 Reflection:

[Families] who experience the power of love know that this love is called to bind the wounds of the outcast, to foster a culture of encounter and to fight for justice. God has given the family the job of “domesticating” the world and helping each person to see fellow human beings as brothers and sisters. “An attentive look at the everyday life of today’s men and women immediately shows the omnipresent need for a healthy injection of family spirit… Not only is the organization of ordinary life increasingly thwarted by a bureaucracy completely removed from fundamental human bonds, but even social and political mores show signs of degradation”. (183)

 

Day 36 Challenge:

Today, engage with a neighbor with whom you do not normally engage.

Day 36 Reflection:

No family can be fruitful if it sees itself as overly different or “set apart”. To avoid this risk, we should remember that Jesus’ own family, so full of grace and wisdom, did not appear unusual or different from others. That is why people found it hard to acknowledge Jesus’ wisdom: “Where did this man get all this? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?” (Mk 6:2-3). “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” (Mt 13: 55). These questions make it clear that theirs was an ordinary family, close to others, a normal part of the community. Jesus did not grow up in a narrow and stifling relationship with Mary and Joseph, but readily interacted with the wider family, the relatives of his parents and their friends. This explains how, on returning from Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph could imagine for a whole day that the twelve-year-old Jesus was somewhere in the caravan, listening to people’s stories and sharing their concerns: “Supposing him to be in the group of travellers, they went a day’s journey” (Lk 2:44). Still, some Christian families, whether because of the language they use, the way they act or treat others, or their constant harping on the same two or three issues, end up being seen as remote and not really a part of the community. Even their relatives feel looked down upon or judged by them. (182)

Day 35 Challenge:

Today reflect on the love your family has for each other. Does it need strengthening? Is it grounded in Christ? Does it seek the good of the other?

Day 35 Reflection:

In family life, we need to cultivate that strength of love which can help us fight every evil threatening it. Love does not yield to resentment, scorn for others or the desire to hurt or to gain some advantage. The Christian ideal, especially in families, is a love that never gives up. I am sometimes amazed to see men or women who have had to separate from their spouse for their own protection, yet, because of their enduring conjugal love, still try to help them, even by enlisting others, in their moments of illness, suffering or trial. Here too we see a love that never gives up. (119)

Day 34 Challenge:

Today make a conscious effort to love your neighbor and to do good to those who persecute you.

Day 34 Reflection:

I think of the words of Martin Luther King, who met every kind of trial and tribulation with fraternal love: “The person who hates you most has some good in him; even the nation that hates you most has some good in it; even the race that hates you most has some good in it. And when you come to the point that you look in the face of every man and see deep down within him what religion calls ‘the image of God’, you begin to love him in spite of [everything]. No matter what he does, you see God’s image there. …. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil… Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love” (118)

Day 33 Challenge:

Make a conscious effort to say “no” to negative thoughts pertaining to you and to others. Replace those thoughts with a positive invocation of the Holy Name of Jesus.
Suggestions:
• “I am not good enough,” could be replaced with, “I am a beloved child of God.”
• “I cannot do anything right or I am too weak,” could be replaced with, “I can do all things in God who strengthens me.”

Day 33 Reflection:

Love endures all things.” … This means that love bears every trial with a positive attitude. It stands firm in hostile surroundings. This “endurance” involves not only the ability to tolerate certain aggravations, but something greater: a constant readiness to confront any challenge. It is a love that never gives up, even in the darkest hour. It shows a certain dogged heroism, a power to resist every negative current, an irrepressible commitment to goodness. (118)

Day 32 Challenge:

Every human action has eternal consequences for us and for our neighbor. Today, let’s focus on that reality and how it should shape our interactions with others.

Day 32 Reflection:

Hope comes most fully into its own, [when] it embraces the certainty of life after death. Each person, with all his or her failings, is called to the fullness of life in heaven. There, fully transformed by Christ’s resurrection, every weakness, darkness and infirmity will pass away. There the person’s true being will shine forth in all its goodness and beauty. This realization helps us, amid the aggravations of this present life, to see each person from a supernatural perspective, in the light of hope, and await the fullness that he or she will receive in the heavenly kingdom, even if it is not yet visible. (117)

Day 31 Challenge:

Today meditate for five minutes on the words of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.”

Day 31 Reflection:

”Love hopes all things” …. Love does not despair of the future. … This phrase speaks of the hope of one who knows that others can change, mature and radiate unexpected beauty and untold potential. This does not mean that everything will change in this life. It does involve realizing that, though things may not always turn out as we wish, God may well make crooked lines straight and draw some good from the evil we endure in this world. (116)

Day 30 Challenge:

Is your family marked by loving trust, or is it marked by efforts to conceal your failings and weaknesses out of fear?

Day 30 Reflection:

Those who know that their spouse is always suspicious, judgmental and lacking unconditional love, will tend to keep secrets, conceal their failings and weaknesses, and pretend to be someone other than who they are. On the other hand, a family marked by loving trust, come what may, helps its members to be themselves and spontaneously to reject deceit, falsehood, and lies. (115)

Day 29 Challenge:

Trusting the other begins with trust in God and his providential plan. Ask God for the grace to identify and to let go of any desires we may have to control those around us.

Day 29 Reflection:

Trust enables a relationship to be free. It means we do not have to control the other person, to follow their every step lest they escape our grip. Love trusts, it sets free, it does not try to control, possess and dominate everything. This freedom, which fosters independence, an openness to the world around us and to new experiences, can only enrich and expand relationships. The spouses then share with one another the joy of all they have received and learned outside the family circle. At the same time, this freedom makes for sincerity and transparency, for those who know that they are trusted and appreciated can be open and hide nothing. (115)

Day 28 Challenge:

As Catholics, we are called to excuse others for their failings and to believe those closest to us. Give your family members the benefit of the doubt today.

Day 28 Reflection:

Love believes all things. Here “belief” is not to be taken in its strict theological meaning, but more in the sense of what we mean by “trust”. This goes beyond simply presuming that the other is not lying or cheating. Such basic trust recognizes God’s light shining beyond the darkness, like an ember glowing beneath the ash. (114)

Day 27 Challenge:

Focus on your spouse’s (or another family member’s) strengths and what you appreciate about one another. Share the top five things you most admire in this loved one.

Day 27 Reflection:

Married couples joined by love speak well of each other; they try to show their spouse’s good side, not their weakness and faults. In any event, they keep silent rather than speak ill of them. This is not merely a way of acting in front of others; it springs from an interior attitude. Far from ingenuously claiming not to see the problems and weaknesses of others, it sees those weaknesses and faults in a wider context. It recognizes that these failings are a part of a bigger picture. We have to realize that all of us are a complex mixture of light and shadows. The other person is much more than the sum of the little things that annoy me. Love does not have to be perfect for us to value it. The other person loves me as best they can, with all their limits, but the fact that love is imperfect does not mean that it is untrue or unreal. It is real, albeit limited and earthly. If I expect too much, the other person will let me know, for he or she can neither play God nor serve all my needs. Love coexists with imperfection. It “bears all things” and can hold its peace before the limitations of the loved one. (113)

Day 26 Challenge:

Today, try and use your words for only good. Stop if you find yourself saying something negative or judgmental.

Day 26 Reflection:

[Bearing all things] implies limiting judgment, checking the impulse to issue a firm and ruthless condemnation: “Judge not and you will not be judged” (Lk 6:37). Although it runs contrary to the way we normally use our tongues, God’s word tells us: “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters” (Jas 4:11). Being willing to speak ill of another person is a way of asserting ourselves, venting resentment and envy without concern for the harm we may do. We often forget that slander can be quite sinful; it is a grave offense against God when it seriously harms another person’s good name and causes damage that is hard to repair. Hence God’s word forthrightly states that the tongue “is a world of iniquity” that “stains the whole body” (Jas 3:6); it is a “restless evil, full of deadly poison” (3:8). Whereas the tongue can be used to “curse those who are made in the likeness of God” (3:9), love cherishes the good name of others, even one’s enemies. In seeking to uphold God’s law we must never forget this specific requirement of love. (112)

Day 25 Challenge:

Are you eager to make known the petty faults of those around you, or do you treat others the way that you wish to be treated?

 

Day 25 Reflection:

Paul’s [description of love] ends with four phrases containing the words “all things”. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Here we see clearly the countercultural power of a love that is able to face whatever might threaten it. 

First, Paul says that love “bears all things”. This is about more than simply putting up with evil; it has to do with the use of the tongue. The verb can mean “holding one’s peace” about what may be wrong with another person. (111-112)

 

Day 24 Challenge:

Today, seek out the gifts and successes of family members and remind them of their contribution to the good. Celebrate even the small victories of family members.

Day 24 Reflection:

When a loving person can do good for others, or sees that others are happy, they them­selves live happily and in this way give glory to God, for “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). Our Lord especially appreciates those who find joy in the happiness of others. If we fail to learn how to rejoice in the well-being of others, and fo­cus primarily on our own needs, we condemn our­selves to a joyless existence, for, as Jesus said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). The family must always be a place where, when something good happens to one of its members, they know that others will be there to celebrate it with them. (110)

Day 23 Challenge:

Ask the Lord to uncover any time you have rejoiced in the faults of another. Ask Him for the grace to find the good in that person.

Day 23 Reflection:

“Love rejoices with other” …. [There is a ] toxic attitude of those who rejoice at seeing an injustice done to others. [Love] “rejoices in the right”. In other words, we rejoice at the good of others when we see their dignity and value their abilities and good works. This is impossible for those who must always be comparing and competing, even with their spouse, so that they secretly rejoice in their failures. (109)

Day 22 Challenge:

It is not enough to know that God forgives us. We also have to believe that He loves us unconditionally. He waits to free us from the burden of sin in the sacrament of confession. Make every effort to avail yourself of this great sacrament

Day 22 Reflection:

All this assumes that we ourselves have had the experience of being forgiven by God, justified by his grace and not by our own merits. We have known a love that is prior to any of our own efforts, a love that constantly opens doors, promotes and encourages. If we accept that God’s love is unconditional, that the Father’s love cannot be bought or sold, then we will become capable of showing boundless love and forgiving others even if they have wronged us. Otherwise, our family life will no longer be a place of understanding, support and encouragement, but rather one of constant tension and mutual criticism. (108)

Day 21 Challenge:

Offer past mistakes up to God and ask Him to heal both you and others who may have been harmed by these mistakes. Remember that Jesus can restore all innocence.

Day 21 Reflection:

Today we recognize that being able to forgive others implies the liberating experience of understanding and forgiving ourselves. Often our mistakes, or criticism we have received from loved ones, can lead to a loss of self-esteem. We become distant from others, avoiding affection and fearful in our interpersonal relationships. Blaming others becomes falsely reassuring. We need to learn to pray over our past history, to accept ourselves, to learn how to live with our limitations, and even to forgive ourselves, in order to have this same attitude towards others.(107)

Day 20 Challenge:

Forgiveness is not an event; it is a process which takes time. You may not be able to forgive a family member who has hurt you today, but Jesus promised that with His grace all things are possible. Today, ask for his grace to lift up the “un-forgiveness” in your heart, having faith that God will lead you to healing.

Day 20 Reflection:

When we have been offended or let down, forgiveness is possible and desirable, but no one can say that it is easy. The truth is that “family communion can only be preserved and perfected through a great spirit of sacrifice. It requires, in fact, a ready and generous openness of each and all to understanding, to forbearance, to par­don, to reconciliation. There is no family that does not know how selfishness, discord, tension and conflict violently attack and at times mortal­ly wound its own communion: hence there arise the many and varied forms of division in family life”. (106)

Day 19 Challenge:

Uncover those areas where you may have falsely accused a family member in your mind and in your heart of wrongdoing. Then, ask God for the grace to see each family member as He sees them.

Day 19 Reflection:

“Love forgives.” …. The oppo­site of resentment is forgiveness, which is rooted in a positive attitude that seeks to understand other people’s weaknesses and to excuse them. As Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). Yet we keep looking for more and more faults, imagining greater evils, presuming all kinds of bad intentions, and so resentment grows and deepens. Thus, every mistake or lapse on the part of a spouse can harm the bond of love and the stability of the family. Something is wrong when we see every problem as equally serious; in this way, we risk being unduly harsh with the fail­ings of others. The just desire to see our rights respected turns into a thirst for vengeance rather than a reasoned defense of our dignity. (105)

Day 18 Challenge:

Tonight before going to bed, be sure to make peace with God and other family member(s) you may have offended or who may have offended you.

Day 18 Reflection:

My advice is never to let the day end without making peace in the family. “And how am I going to make peace? By getting down on my knees? No! Just by a small gesture, a little something, and harmony within your family will be restored. Just a little caress, no words are necessary. But do not let the day end without making peace in your family”. Our first reaction when we are annoyed should be one of heartfelt blessing, asking God to bless, free and heal that person. “On the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing” (1 Pet 3:9). If we must fight evil, so be it; but we must always say “no” to violence in the home. (104)

Day 17 Challenge:

Call to mind areas of past hurts and unresolved problems. Ask God for the grace to begin the forgiveness process.

Day 17 Reflection:

 

“Love is not irritable or resentful.”…. [This is] a violent reaction within, a hidden irritation that sets us on edge where others are concerned, as if they were troublesome or threatening and thus to be avoided. To nurture such interior hostility helps no one. It only causes hurt and alienation. Indignation is only healthy when it makes us react to a grave injustice; when it permeates our attitude towards others it is harmful. (103)

Day 16 Challenge:

Instead of looking to other people to comfort you, seek to be a source of joy for others by asking: “How can I help to make the life of another family member better today?”

Day 16 Reflection:

Saint Thomas Aquinas explains that “it is more proper to charity to desire to love than to desire to be loved”; indeed, “mothers, who are those who love the most, seek to love more than to be loved”. Consequently, love can transcend and overflow the demands of justice, “expecting nothing in return” (Lk 6:35), and the greatest of loves can lead to “laying down one’s life” for another (cf. Jn 15:13). Can such generosity, which enables us to give freely and fully, really be possible? Yes, because it is demanded by the Gospel: “You received without pay, give without pay” (Mt 10:8). (101)

 

Day 15 Challenge: 

Revisit your list of positive qualities and your unique gifts. Remember that negative self-talk and putdowns are inspired by the evil one. God is the God of forgiveness and hope.

Day 15 Reflection:

“Love is generous.” …. We have repeatedly said that to love another we must first love ourselves. Paul’s hymn to love, however, states that love “does not seek its own interest”, nor “seek what is its own”. …. Loving ourselves is only important as a psychological prerequisite for being able to love others: “If a man is mean to himself, to whom will he be generous? No one is meaner than the man who is grudging to himself” (Sir 14:5-6). (101)

 

Day 14 Challenge: 

It is not just how we say things, but what we say. Today, try to restrain that cutting remark you wish to make to a family member, and instead compliment them on something they did well.

Day 14 Reflection: 

To be open to a genuine encounter with others, “a kind look” is essential. This is incompatible with a negative attitude that readily points out other people’s shortcomings while overlooking one’s own. A kind look helps us to see beyond our own limitations, to be patient and to cooperate with others, despite our differences. …. Those who love are capable of speaking words of comfort, strength, consolation, and encouragement. These were the words that Jesus himself spoke: “Take heart, my son!” (Mt 9:2); “Great is your faith!” (Mt 15:28); “Arise!” (Mk 5:41); “Go in peace” (Lk 7:50); “Be not afraid” (Mt 14:27). These are not words that demean, sadden, anger or show scorn. In our families, we must learn to imitate Jesus’ own gentleness in our way of speaking to one another. (100)

Day 13 Challenge:

Ask yourself, "Are there times when I am rude, callous, or disinterested in something that is important to a family member?" Make an effort to be courteous to the family members that you may sometimes discount.

Day 13 Reflection:

“Love is not rude.” …. To love is also to be gentle and thoughtful … love is not rude or impolite; it is not harsh. Its actions, words and gestures are pleasing and not abrasive or rigid. Love abhors making others suffer. Courtesy “is a school of sensitivity and disinterestedness” which requires a person “to develop his or her mind and feelings, learning how to listen, to speak and, at certain times, to keep quiet”. It is not something that a Christian may accept or reject. As an essential requirement of love, “every human being is bound to live agreeably with those around him”. (99)

 

Day 12 Challenge:

What does the Church teach about humility? What ways could you practice this virtue on your day-to-day encounters? 

Day 12 Reflection: 

The inner logic of Christian love is not about importance and power; rather, “whoever would be first among you must be your slave” (Mt 20:27). In family life, the logic of domination and competition about who is the most intelligent or powerful destroys love. Saint Peter’s admonition also applies to the family: “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility towards one another, for ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Pet 5:5). (98)

Day 11 Challenge:

St. Thomas Aquinas said, "Lord, help me when I fight for love of truth never to lose the truth of love." Ask the Holy Spirit to help you today to communicate the faith in a humble way so that it can be heard by someone who is need of truth.

Day 11 Reflection:

It is important for Christians to show their love by the way they treat family members who are less knowledgeable about the faith, weak, or less sure in their convictions. At times the opposite occurs: the supposedly mature believers within the family become unbearably arrogant.. Love, on the other hand, is marked by humility; if we are to understand, forgive and serve others from the heart, our pride has to be healed and our humility must increase. Jesus told his disciples that in a world where power prevails, each tries to dominate the other, but “it shall not be so among you” (Mt 20:26). (98)

Day 10 Challenge:

Challenge yourself to sit with one of your family members and just listen to what is on their heart without turning the conversation toward yourself.

Day 10 Reflection:

Some think that they are important because they are more knowledgeable than others; they want to lord it over them. What really makes us important is a love that understands, shows concern, and embraces the weak. (97)

Day 9 Challenge:

Do you find yourself needing to be the center of attention? Or do you find yourself hiding from the spotlight? Ask God what His will is for you today.

Day 9 Reflection:

“Love is not boastful.” …. Those who love not only refrain from speaking too much about themselves, but are focused on others; they do not need to be the center of attention …. [L]ove is not arrogant. Literally, it means that we do not become “puffed up” before others. It also points to something more subtle: an obsession with showing off and a loss of a sense of reality. Such people think that, because they are more “spiritual” or “wise”, they are more important than they really are. Paul … says that “knowledge puffs up”, whereas “love builds up” (1 Cor. 8:1). (97)

Day 8 Challenge:

Who are the less fortunate that God has placed in your life? In what ways is God calling you to give of yourself for them?

Day 8 Reflection:

This same deeply rooted love also leads me to reject the injustice whereby some possess too much and others too little. It moves me to find ways of helping society’s outcasts to find a modicum of joy. (96

Day 7 Challenge:

Make a list of the ways God uses each of your gifts to build up the Kingdom.

Day 7 Reflection:

In a word, love means fulfilling the last two commandments of God’s Law: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Ex 20:17). Love inspires a sincere esteem for every human being and the recognition of his or her own right to happiness. I love this person, and I see him or her with the eyes of God, who gives us everything “for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6:17). (96)

 

Day 6 Challenge:

What are some of the gifts you recognize in family members? How can you support them in those gifts? What are the gifts that you have been given?

Day 6 Reflection:

“Love is not jealous.” …. This means that love has no room for discomfiture at another person’s good fortune (cf. Acts 7:9; 17:5). Envy is a form of sadness provoked by another’s prosperity; it shows that we are not concerned for the happiness of others but only with our own well-being. Whereas love makes us rise above ourselves, envy closes us in on ourselves. True love values the other person’s achievements. It does not see him or her as a threat. It frees us from the sour taste of envy. It recognizes that everyone has different gifts and a unique path in life. So it strives to discover its own road to happiness, while allowing others to find theirs. (95)

Day 5 Challenge:

What are ways that I can "choose" to show love for another through my good actions and deeds today?

Day 5 Reflection:

Love is more than a mere feeling. Rather, it should be understood along the lines of the Hebrew verb “to love”; it is “to do good.” As Saint Ignatius of Loyola said, “Love is shown more by deeds than by words”. It thus shows its fruitfulness and allows us to experience the happiness of giving, the nobility and grandeur of spending ourselves unstintingly, without asking to be repaid, purely for the pleasure of giving and serving. (94)

 

Day 4 Challenge:

Think of ways that your acts of patience can be marked by a "dynamic and creative" interaction with at least one family member today.

Day 4 Reflection:

“Love is at the service of others” …. The next word that Paul uses … is derived from chrestós: a good person, one who shows his goodness by his deeds…Paul wants to make it clear that “patience” is not a completely passive attitude, but one accompanied by activity, by a dynamic and creative interaction with others. The word indicates that love benefits and helps others. For this reason it is translated as “kind”; love is ever ready to be of assistance. (93

Day 3 Challenge:

Have you experienced anger with family members because you are not getting your way? Make a conscious effort to see things from the perspective of others in the family.

Day 3 Reflection:

Unless we cultivate patience, we will always find excuses for responding angrily. We will end up incapable of living together, antisocial, unable to control our impulses, and our families will become battlegrounds. That is why the word of God tells us: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice” (Eph 4:31). Patience takes root when I recognize that other people also have a right to live in this world, just as they are. It does not matter if they hold me back, if they unsettle my plans, or annoy me by the way they act or think, or if they are not everything I want them to be. Love always has an aspect of deep compassion that leads to accepting the other person as part of this world, even when he or she acts differently than I would like. (92)

Day 2 Challenge:

Think of one example of how you can change any attitudes toward family members.

Day 2 Reflection:

Being patient does not mean letting ourselves be constantly mistreated, tolerating physical aggression or allowing other people to use us. We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships or people ought to be perfect, or when we put ourselves at the center and expect things to turn out our way. Then everything makes us impatient, everything makes us react aggressively. (92)

Day 1 Challenge:

Today ask yourself: “Do I desire God’s mercy?” “What are some of the ways that I can show restraint and mercy in everyday life beginning with those dearest to me?”

Day 1 Reflection:

Love is patient …. This does not simply have to do with “enduring all things”… It refers, … , to the quality of one who does not act on impulse and avoids giving offense. We find this quality in the God of the Covenant, who calls us to imitate him also within the life of the family. Saint Paul’s text … need[s] to be read in the light of the Book of Wisdom (cf. 11:23; 12:2, 15-18), which extols God’s restraint, as leaving open the possibility of repentance, yet insists on his power, as revealed in his acts of mercy. God’s “patience,” shown in his mercy towards sinners, is a sign of his real power. (91)

Welcome Challenge:

Begin your Lenten journey by asking God for a particular grace or gift that you would like to receive during this holy season 

Welcome Reflection:

In The Joy of Love, Pope Francis reflects line by line on the inspiring words of St. Paul’s hymn to love in the first letter to the Corinthians. The following reflections are an invitation to reflect daily on the encouragement Pope Francis offers us all as we seek a more intimate experience God’s love this Lent through the deepening of the love we share with our families and those who are dearest to us.