Getting ready for Lent

Hello! Thanks for joining us here at the Marian Center for another edition of The Cause of Our Joy! It has been somewhat of a mild winter up here in Petoskey, so while it is true that snow covers everything, we are starting to get our hopes up for an early Spring! We know, we know, lots of winter left to go, but we can’t help but feel excited when that sunshine peeks out!

We hope all is well with each of you as we head into the second part of February. Lots has been going on here – the Marian Apparition exhibit fundraising is moving along nicely and we also have some exciting times ahead as Katie and Andy will be welcoming another son into the world this coming Friday, the 21st. If you think of it, would you mind saying an extra Hail Mary for them? They would certainly appreciate it!

We have some great articles and resources lined up for you, so, without further ado, let’s get into this!

Alexander Pope once wrote, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” When we experience or hear of stories in which supernatural strength is necessary for forgiveness, we marvel at how it is possible. This story of devout Catholic parents forgiving the man who ran over their children is astounding and beautiful. With God, all things are possible.

The Family that Prays Together
We’ve all heard the phrase, “The family that prays together, stays together.” It’s a maxim that most of us agree with, but how many of us do it? We found a fantastic article that enumerates the graces granted to a family that is faithful to the daily rosary. We all know the power of the rosary, but a good reminder now and again never hurts!

Preparing for Lent
Just as a reminder, Lent begins soon – not next week, but the following week. We have plenty of recommendations that we’ll be sharing with you next week, but if you would like to get a head start on thinking about Lenten sacrifices, promises, and prayers, check out this free Lenten series that can transform your life!

Nifty News
According to the second oldest person on the planet, 116 year-old Sr. Andre, a French nun, the secret to a long life is simple! Just drink a cup of chocolate and pray every day! To read more about this sweet sister and learn about her incredible life, click here!

Well, we don’t know about you, but stories that scare the socks off of us are not necessarily our favorites, but this one has an interesting twist. Read “Ex-Satanist Reveals a Supernatural Experience of Hell That Converted Him to Christianity” if you want to learn more about the unusual and powerful way Jesus intervened in one man’s life to bring him back from the brink of damnation! Yikes!
Marian Minute
If you have ever been to one of our Marian Conferences or are familiar with The Fathers of Mercy, then you probably know who Fr. Bill Casey is. We absolutely love him and are really liking his new article about Our Lady and why devotion to her really matters in the life of a Catholic. Check it out!

Saint Spotlight
On February 20 we celebrate the Feast Day of Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the three children that Our Lady appeared to at Fatima. Though these siblings were young when they died (the youngest children to be beatified who were not martyrs), they had great faith. This article, Jacinta and Francisco’s ‘Graces’, tells of some of the miracles that came about through their intercession.

Sunday Readings
The readings for this coming Sunday, the 6th Sunday in ordinary time, speak to going deeper than just following the commandments. We are called to a love that transcends just abiding by the rules. To read a great reflection from Catholic Exchange about these readings, check out this link!

Kids’ Corner
Do you ever just want a fun, easy, cute thing to do with the kids that doesn’t require a trip to the craft store? Sometimes, the easiest things are the ones that are the most enjoyed! We found this cute little Bible snack idea that doesn’t require a special feast day or atypical materials! If you have Fig Newtons (or even graham crackers would do!) and some frosting, then you have all you need!

Marian Center Update
Just a reminder that the Marian Center has reduced hours during the month of February. We are open only on Saturdays from 10-4, but we’d love to open it up for you by appointment. If you’d like to stop by the Center, just call us at 231-347-6279 to set up a day and time!

To Christ Through Mary,

Katie Moe and Lori Mercer

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