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Opinions expressed in this Blog do not necessarily represent views of the Bishop of OFE,  Abbot General of the OFE, the OFE Board, the Abbey Board, the OFC Advisory Board, or any other members of OFE, OFES, COFE, Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi, Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests,  and OFE Charters.

Saint Thérése of Lisieux

“What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.”  “My God, I love you!”
“Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger or higher or wider; nothing is more pleasant, nothing fuller, and nothing better in heaven or on earth, for love is born of God and cannot rest except in God, Who is above all created things.”
“You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.”
Saint Therese of Lisieux was a French Catholic who became a Carmelite nun. She died in obscurity at the age of 24. Her autobiography –Story of a Soul was published and became a best-seller. Her books explained her spiritual direction of love and selflessness.

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

“All that we do is a means to an end, but love is an end in itself, because God is love.”

“As for what concerns our relations with our fellow men, the anguish in our neighbor’s soul must break all precept.”

Edith Stein was so fascinated by the reading of Teresa of Avila that she began a spiritual journey. Years later she imitated Saint Teresa of Avila by becoming a Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

Saint Teresa of Avila

“It is love alone that gives worth to all things.” 
“Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love. For they enkindle and melt the soul.”
“So dearly does His Majesty love us that He will reward our love for our neighbor by increasing the love which we bear to Himself, and that in a thousand ways.”  
“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others.”
“It is not so essential to think much as to love much.”
Saint Teresa of Avila is the founder of the Discalced Carmelites. In 1970 she was declared a Doctor of the Church for her writing and teaching on prayer.

Saint John of the Cross

“In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone.” “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34b) is the story of John’s life.
“A soul enkindled with love is a gentle, meek, humble, and patient soul.”
 “To be taken with love for a soul, God does not look on its greatness, but the greatness of its humility.”

“What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.”   

Saint Clare of Assisi

“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.”

The Peace Prayer (Saint Francis of Assisi)

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is error, the truth; Where there is doubt, the faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; To be understood, as to understand; To be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Pope Leo XIII wrote the Saint Michael prayer, in 1884, after supposedly seeing a frightening vision: evil spirits, trying to fulfill Satan’s boast to destroy our Lord’s Church within a century, were engaging in fierce attacks against it. 

A Prayer of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

God of our Wandering Ancestors, I am an immigrant, a refugee, an exile from heaven. You made America a place of immigrants and inspired Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini and her sisters, welcoming and comforting the immigrant, helping to make this nation a home for our children. Mother Cabrini went down into the mines to meet immigrant workers where they were, her hymns piercing the darkness. But there are dark places I fear to go, people I fear to meet. Fill me with the words that emboldened your shining saint: I have the strength for everything through God who empowers me. May it be said of me that, like Mother Cabrini, I treated the stranger not as an alien, but as a brother or a sister, greeting them with an embrace and a song of joy .And when my days on Earth are done, may I be greeted by one such as she, by a hymn piercing even the darkness of death, welcoming me to God’s kingdom, an exile no longer. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us. Amen.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, born in Lombardy, Italy. She came to America as a missionary, founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. She is the first American citizen to be canonized.

Benedictus (The Canticle of Zechariah)

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; He has come to His people and sent them free.  He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of His servant David.  Through His holy prophets He promised of old that He would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us.  He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant.  This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship Him without fear, holy and righteous in His sight all the days of our life.  You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way, to give His people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace. Amen.
The Benedictus was the song of thanksgiving uttered by Zechariah on the occasion of the circumcision of his son, John the Baptist. (Luke 1:68-79)

The Prayer of Mary (The Magnificat)

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.  Amen.
The Magnificat is Mary’s prayer, poem, and hymn of praise found in Luke 1:46–55. Saint Ambrose once said, “Let Mary’s soul be in us to glorify the Lord; let her spirit be in us that we may rejoice in God our Savior.”

Unconditional Love

But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:8) We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. (1 John 4:16) So that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. (John 3:16) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8) But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit. (Titus 3:4-5)

The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. 
Lord’s Prayer, also called Our Father, Latin Oratio Dominica or Pater Noster, Christian prayer that, according to tradition, was taught by Jesus to his disciples. It appears in two forms in the New Testament:  Luke 11:2–4 and Matthew 6:9–13. In both contexts it is offered as a model of how to pray.

Sign of the Cross (Prayer)

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In the Sign of the Cross, we profess the deepest mysteries of the Christian Faith: the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and the saving work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the Cross on Good Friday.

Hail Mary (Prayer)

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. (Luke 1:28) Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, (Luke 1:41-42) Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, (Luke 1:43) pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

“Glory Be” Prayer

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The “Glory Be” prayer, or the “Gloria Patri” in Latin, is an ancient prayer that is intended to praise and give glory to each of the three persons of the Trinity, specifically, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The prayer continues by professing that God is everlasting.

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