16 Mar Practice What You Preach (Hosea 14:3)
“Forgive all iniquity, and take what is good.” ~ Hosea 14:3 (full readings)
Steve’s Reflections: This past Sunday night I received word that our dear Friday devotion contributor Sr. Francelle had suffered a massive stroke. My heart sunk…it literally ached. That next evening, many of us prayed a coast to coast Rosary via conference call with Sr. Francelle. Her words of love to all were inspiring. I am pleased to report that she has stabilized and is making good progress (update here). I want to take a moment to honor a woman who’s influence in my own life can not be understated. In April 1992 I attended a youth retreat, SEARCH for Christian Maturity, in Aberdeen, SD. On that weekend I encountered Jesus Christ personally for the first time in my life and the trajectory of my life changed. I also met my future wife, Tina with whom I have had 4 beautiful children. Not a bad weekend! Sr. Francelle was the director of this program for nearly 20 years, and she touched thousands of young peoples lives just like mine. Many priests, religious, and committed married vocations flowed from this SEARCH program. My brother Pat also experienced SEARCH in 1988. Our Tuesday author, Rob Rysavy, married a “SEARCHer”, Michelle. Without a doubt, the seeds of the LIFE Group began in those early years of faith. While living with Archbishop Carlson for summer 1996, he shared that he asked retired Bishop Dudley who he thought was the most influential person in the Sioux Falls Diocese…”Sr Francelle.” She taught us this acronym for true J.O.Y. – Jesus Others Yourself. Even in her weakened condition on Monday evening her concern was always for the “Other.” As others addressed her, she greeted them with love, asked how they were doing and offered her prayers for each of them! Following her stroke she said, “This is my opportunity to practice what I preach. I offer my suffering for all of you and the nation.”
* The LIFE Group has posted Sr. Francelle’s weekly devotions since 2008 and will continue to link a Sr. Francelle devotion each Friday by way of her archived devotions.
Faith Challenge: How would you respond in faith if your life radically changed in an instant through the loss of your health or a loved one? Let’s follow Sr. Francelle’s example and make the decision today to be joyful and give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18).
Sr. Francelle’s Devotion: The Power of Forgiving
Our Prayers: Prayer to end abortion, Spiritual Adoption, Alpha Center, Peters family (JP). Add Prayers on our website. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, LIFE Runners, etc. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now.
Feast Day: St. Patrick (d. 493) – March 17th
Faith Quote: “Christ shield me this day: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me.” ~ excerpt from St. Patrick’s “Breastplate Prayer”
* Pray/Fast: Prayer connects us with God’s will and His miracles, changing us & helping others. Fast from things that take your eyes off Jesus. Those who pray together stay together, and close to God!
* Save Unborn (and family): Abortion (images) is #1 death cause (22% pregnancies). Prov 24:11 and Jer 1:5. “A great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish.” Mother Teresa.
* Evangelize: Make room for unbelievers and re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Matt 28:19.