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The deeper purpose of fasting is to connect with our deeper hunger for goodness and truth, and ultimately for God.“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Tempted to leave Mass early? Just remember, Judas was the only one to leave the Last Supper early.21 When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus; 24 so Simon Peter beckoned to him and said, “Tell us who it is of whom he speaks.”

Deacon Cayetano "Sandy" Morales serves the People of God at Holy Family Church in New Braunfels, Texas.My name is Deacon Cayetano (Sandy) Morales. I was born January 29, 1939 in New Braunfels, Texas to Librado Morales and Refugia Treviño Morales, into a family of seven sisters and five brothers. I was raised in a very caring and compassionate family, and my mom taught us the Rosary, which we prayed every day. My education began in the parish school at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, where I learned my prayers in Spanish from a religious sister who lived on the parish campus.

Silhouette of a husband and wife kissing in front of a big Valentine Heart.

[Dear Dr. Ray, we are parents with teenage children. We have known each other for years; we love each other, we are comfortable with each other, but there is little affection. Is this normal?  – Something is Missing] Of course, lack of affection typically reflects the relationship’s overall temperature. As the atmosphere cools, affection slips into hibernation. Then again, sometimes a marriage isn’t all that cold. Affection, like compliments, chills from lack of effort.

The Holy Family by the late Reverend Henry Van Den Boogaard, M.S.F., a priest of the Missionaries of the Holy Family.Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explained God’s love in his encyclical letter Deus Caritas Est or “God is Love.” Based on the history of salvation in the Bible, God reveals His love to people who believe and accept His love. Two points emerge from this. The first is the relationship between our love and the Divine. The second is the purification and growth in maturity of our love for one another. The theme for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015 is Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive! Why do we talk about love in the modern era? 

This is a vintage illustration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.Thursday, August 27, is the feast day of Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine. She is the patron saint of mothers, married women, abuse victims, and alcoholics. Like the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8, Saint Monica's constant prayer led her son into the Church, and he eventually became a great Doctor of the Church. Saint Monica, pray for us, especially for all who have left the Church or refuse to enter into the fullness of truth! Appropriately, the entire month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

J. Ponce painted this spectacular rendition of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.“Shortly after my ordination in 1965, I was assigned to our missions in Mexico. I received a call one day from a woman who lived in one of the local red light districts. One of the prostitutes with whom she worked was dying. The lady who called told me that she would be standing outside in front of the building where the dying person was staying. 

The heat was overwhelming. It was 112 degrees! I drove to the location dressed in a white cassock. I went into the building and was led to a woman who was in great anguish.

This is a classic black and white photograph of a groom and bride posing on a cobblestone road.

What exactly is true marriage? Ask this question today, and you’ll most likely get a variety of answers. Most people will probably say that marriage is a civil contract. This contract establishes a partnership between two people, usually involving the right to mutual sexual relations and the procreating and raising of children. It is presumed that the marriage will bring a significant measure of happiness. The Catholic Church, however, has a far deeper definition of marriage that is rooted in natural law and divine revelation. According to the Church, God Himself is the author of marriage. Marriage finds both its origin and its strength in Him.