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Someone once asked a monk what they do all day in the monastery. The monk replied, "We fall down and get up, fall down and get up."

It's an apt description of every earnest life, especially during Lent, which might be called "the layman's monastic experience." For forty days, we're called upon to strive like monks. And for forty days, we'll fall down and, hopefully, get up . . . only to fall again.

"In the face of the apparent failure of so many of our attempts, we should remember that God asks not so much for success as for the humility to begin again without allowing ourselves to get discouraged and pessimistic. . . ". Francis Fernandez

Kind of funny: It's Marie's birthday today. Whatta bummer kick-off to the season.