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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

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Daily Recovery Readings – April 26

Just For Today
April 26
Self-Acceptance

“The most effective means of achieving self-acceptance is through applying the Twelve Steps of recovery.”
IP No. 19, “Self-Acceptance”

Most of us came to Narcotics Anonymous without much self-acceptance. We looked at the havoc we had wreaked in our active addiction, and we loathed ourselves. We had difficulty accepting our past and the self-image produced by it.

Self-acceptance comes more quickly when we first accept that we have a disease called addiction, because it’s easier to accept ourselves as sick people than as bad people. And the easier it is to accept ourselves, the easier it becomes to accept responsibility for ourselves.

We achieve self-acceptance through the process of ongoing recovery. Working the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous teaches us to accept ourselves and our lives. Spiritual principles like surrender, honesty, faith, and humility help relieve us of the burden of our past mistakes. Our attitude changes with the application of these principles in our daily lives. Self-acceptance grows as we grow in recovery.

Just for today: Self-acceptance is a process set in motion by the Twelve Steps. Today, I will trust the process, practice the steps, and learn to better accept myself.

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Daily Reflections
April 26
HAPPINESS IS NOT THE POINT

I don’t think happiness or unhappiness is the point. How do we meet the problems we face? How do we best learn from them and transmit what we have learned to others, if they would receive the knowledge?
–AS BILL SEES IT, p. 306

In my search “to be happy,” I changed jobs, married and divorced, took geographical cures, and ran myself into debt–financially, emotionally and spiritually. In A.A., I’m learning to grow up. Instead of demanding that people, places and things make me happy, I can ask God for self-acceptance. When a problem overwhelms me, A.A.’s Twelve Steps will help me grow through the pain. The knowledge I gain can be a gift to others who suffer with the same problem. As Bill said, “When pain comes, we are expected to learn from it willingly, and help others to learn. When happiness comes, we accept it as a gift, and thank God for it.”
(As Bill Sees It, p. 306)

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
April 26
A.A. Thought For The Day

The A.A. program is one of submission, release, and action.  When we’re drinking, we’re submitting to a power greater than ourselves, liquor. Our own wills are no use against the power of liquor. One drink and we’re sunk. In A.A. we stop submitting to the power of liquor. Instead, we submit to a Power, also greater than ourselves, which we call God. Have I submitted myself to that Higher Power?

Meditation For The Day

Ceaseless activity is not God’s plan for your life. Times of withdrawal for renewed strength are always necessary. Wait for the faintest tremor of fear and stop all work, everything, and rest before God until you are strong again. Deal in the same way with all tired feelings. Then you need rest of body and renewal of spirit force. Saint Paul said: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” This does not mean that you are to do all things and then rely on God to find strength. it means that you are to do the things you believe God wants you to do and only then can you rely on His supply of power.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that God’s spirit may be my master always. I pray that I may learn how to rest and listen, as well as how to work.

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As Bill Sees It
April 26
The Sense of Belonging, p. 117

Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us. We no longer live in a completely hostile world. We are no longer lost and frightened and purposeless.

The moment we catch even a glimpse of God’s will, the moment we begin to see truth, justice, and love as the real and eternal things in life, we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human affairs. We know that God lovingly watches over us. We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter.

12 & 12, p. 105

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Walk in Dry Places
April 26
Never withholding ourselves.
Living Sober.

We may have let ourselves believe that we’re supposed to display an attitude that expresses our opinions of others. If a person is crude and boorish, we should be cool and defensive for our self-protection. If a person is warm and friendly, we should respond in warm and friendly ways.

If we have believed these things, then we’re actually letting others control our attitudes and behavior. We are letting personalities interfere with the high principles we are learning in AA. We are not living at the best possible level.

In reality, we should always display an attitude that reflects kindness, optimism, friendliness, and concern. There other person’s disposition, whether it’s sour or sweet, should have nothing to do with our being what we want to be. We should never withhold the fine inner qualities that develop and grow as we continue to live the program.

In time, we begin to learn that this attitude always comes back to us in the form of greater peace and happiness. And what’s great about iti s that it’s always under our direct control.

As I go about my business today, I will express a kindliness and concern toward everybody. Nobody’s behavior can make me adopt a suspicious or defensive attitude.

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Keep It Simple
April 26

Too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting gold.
–Maurice Setter

Silver shines as bright as gold does. So often we forget this. So often we push, push, push. We forget to live for the moment. Trying too hard can be a defect of character. It can be a way we avoid life. Gratitude, being thankful, is key part of recovery. Not just gratitude for getting our self-respect back. Not just gratitude for having a Higher Power. But gratitude for the moment. We’re alive again. Let’s see each moment as a time to explore life..

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thanks for helping me to enjoy each moment. I have gratitude for being alive.

Action for the Day: I’ll list ten gifts of recovery for which I have gratitude.

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Each Day a New Beginning
April 26

. . . pain is the root of knowledge.
–Simone Weil

We don’t want pain in our lives. We dread the situations we anticipate will be painful. We probably even pray to be spared all painful experiences. But they come anyway, at times in profusion. And we not only survive the pain, we profit from it.

It seems that pain stretches us to our limits, generally forcing us to look for guidance from others, and it pushes us to consider new choices in our present situation. Pain is our common denominator as women, as members of the human family. It softens us to one another. It fosters empathy. It helps us to reach out and realize our need for one another.

New knowledge, new awareness, are additional benefits of accepting, rather than denying, the pain that accompanies life. This journey that we’re on is moving us further and further along the path of enlightenment. We can consider that each problem, each crisis, is our necessary preparation for moving another step down the road.

I learn out of necessity. And when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
April 26
LISTENING TO THE WIND

– It took an “angel” to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

Weeks and months passed, and the blackouts continued getting worse. Then I met a man in a local bar. I didn’t like him very well, but he had quite a lot of money, and he sure liked me. He took me to nice restaurants and brought me expensive gifts. As long as I had a buzz on, with a few drinks, I could tolerate him.

p. 464

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
April 26

Step Four – “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

All these failings generate fear, a soul-sickness in its own right. Then fear, in turn, generates more character defects. Unreasonable fear that our instincts will not be satisfied drives us to covet the possessions of others, to lust for sex and power, to become angry when our instinctive demands are threatened, to be envious when the ambitions of others seem to be realized while ours are not. We eat, drink, and grab for more of everything than we need, fearing we shall never have enough. And with genuine alarm at the prospect of work, we stay lazy. We loaf and procrastinate, or at best work grudgingly and under half steam. These fears are the termites that ceaselessly devour the foundations of whatever sort of life we try to build.

p. 49

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Xtra Thoughts
April 26

Children are our most valuable natural resource.
–Herbert Hoover

“Forgiving those who hurt us is the key to personal peace.”
–G. Weatherly

“Being happy does not mean everything’s perfect, It means I’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections.”
–Unknown

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
–Carl Bard

Spending time with God changes the rhythm of our life.
–Cheryle L. Cooper

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
April 26
ANSWERS

“If the work of God could be comprehended by reason, it would be no longer wonderful, and faith would have no merit if reason provided proof.”
–Pope Gregory I

Some things happen that I do not understand or comprehend, but I have faith that they will happen tomorrow: sunsets, night following day, the song of the bird, the colors of nature, and the joy and adventure of being alive. Perhaps the biggest mystery for mankind to grapple with is love – a man will suffer, endure persecution, even be put to death for that which he loves; the pain and sorrow of love is mingled into what it is to be a human being.

Reason does not have the answer to life. Faith is the medication for our existence. We have a belief in tomorrow because of what we have experienced today. If I can say “no” to alcohol today then I can do it tomorrow – if I really want to.

Lord, let me not seek for proof but daily seek to grapple with the problems of life.

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Bible Scriptures
April 26

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
==James 4:10

“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
==John 20:29

“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
–Colossians 3:17

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Daily Inspiration
April 26

There are truly no bad days, just different kinds of days. Lord, thank You for today and for Your help through every situation.

Use your difficult times to learn more about God’s love and blessings. Lord, may I see Your hand working in every moment of my life and realize that, even in my darkest hour, things are far better than they could be because You are blessing me with what I need to make it through.

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A Day At A Time
April 26

Reflection For The Day

When I first came to The Program, I was stunned by the constant sound of laughter. I realized today that cheerfulness and merriment make for usefulness. Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into laughter over a seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn’t e laugh? We have recovered, and have helped others to recover. What greater cause could there be for rejoicing than this? Have I begun to regain my sense of humor?

Today I Pray

May God restore my sense of humor. May I appreciate the honest laughter that is the background music of our mutual rejoicing in our sobriety. May I laugh a lot, not the defensive ego-laugh which mocks another weakness, not the wry laugh of the self-put-down, but the healthy laugh that keeps situations in perspective. May I never regard this kind of laughter as irreverent. I have learned, instead, that it is irreverent to take myself too seriously.

Today I Will Remember

A sense of humor is a sigh of health.

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One More Day
April 26

Kindness can become its own motive.  We are made kind by being kind.
–  Eric Hoffer

Our own simple words to others can brighten our day.  Too often we are caught up in the personal miseries of our lives, too involved to reach out to other people.  We have forgotten that other people have the same needs we do.  So many times, because we are ill or old or hurting, we expect others to come to us.  That’s not fair to them, and it’s not good for us.

Kind words and actions toward others can help us through the hard times.  We can smile at the elderly man all alone in the grocery check-out line.  We can talk to neighbors, thank the young man who courteously holds a door open, and reach out in dozens of other ways to the people who even briefly touch our  lives.  It’s good for them — and for us.

I will make an extra effort to reach out in kindness to my neighbors and friends.

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One Day At A Time
April 26
Forgiveness

“You keep carryin’ that anger, it’ll eat you up inside.”
–Don Henley

I have been carrying around so much anger in my life that it has fanned the flames of my addiction. I wouldn’t allow myself to feel the anger because I was afraid it would overwhelm me. I used food and other substances to stuff it down and the anger became rage and turned inward as depression. My compulsive eating spiraled out of control.

Many things have happened to me to justify the anger I’ve been carrying. Healthy anger indicates that someone has violated my boundaries or placed me in an untenable position. Anger that is felt and then released is a healthy emotion. But anger that is stuffed is toxic and will surely corrode my spirit and trap me even further in the cycle of addiction.

I have learned through the Twelve Steps that forgiveness is the only path to letting go of toxic anger. Forgiveness does not mean excusing others’ abusive behavior nor accepting my abusers back into my life. Forgiveness happens when I allow myself to feel and work through my anger, and then release it to my Higher Power. Forgiveness is self-love.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will feel and express my healthy anger and strive for forgiveness.

~ Suzanne

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – April 26

“If those bad words come, I let them come in one ear and go out the other. I never let them come out of my mouth. If a bad word comes in your ear and then comes out of your mouth, it will go someplace and hurt somebody. If I did that, that hurt would come back twice as hard on me.”
–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

What do we do with temptations when they come? What do we do when we hear gossip? What do we do when we hear bad things? If we hear these things and pass them on we will not only hurt the other person, but we will do harm to ourselves. We must be careful not to hurt others. Whatever we sow we will simultaneously reap for ourselves. We must be accountable for our own actions.

Great Spirit, today, let no words come from my lips that would hurt another.

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Journey To The Heart
April 26
Change Is in the Air

Just as the world around us changes and evolves, so do the circumstances and situations in our lives. We live in a universe that is alive, vibrant, and constantly evolving. Change is the way nature, the universe, and the Divine move us through each period of our lives and into destiny. We are led to our next lesson, our next adventure. There’s no need to deny change, to fear it or fight against it. Change is inevitable. Just as the earth is constant motion and transformation, so are we.

Take your place in the universal dance, the universal rhythm. Allow change to happen. Work with it as your life unfolds. Sometimes change comes in one smashing moment like a volcanic eruption. Other times it happens more alowly, the way the winds and rain sculpt bridges out of canyons.

Learn to trust your body– its signs, signals, warnings, and excited proclamations. We let the gathering clouds warn us of impending storms, and we learn to study and predict tremors in the earth. In much the same way, our body can function as a barometer for our soul and its place in the constantly changing and evolving universe.

You are open now, more sensitive than you’ve been before. Change is coming. It’s here. You can feel it in the air. You can feel it in yourself.

Thank your body for helping you. Thank the universe for what it is about to do. Then thank God because change will bring you closer to love.

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Today’s Gift
April 26

“The horror of that moment,” the King went on, “I shall never forget.” “You will, though,” the Queen said, “if you don’t make a memorandum of it.”
—Lewis Carroll

Crises come in many forms. When we are in the middle of any kind of crisis, we may feel like we have fallen into a deep hole. We may see no way out and begin to feel hopeless and overwhelmed by the size and darkness of the hole.

Yet we are not alone. An animal caught in a hole would cry out until someone came along and helped it out. We, too, can call out for help – to our Higher Power and to the important people in our lives. We can learn to trust that, with the help of our friends and our Higher Power, we will be able to crawl out of our holes.

With trust, we will climb out of our crises and be healed with the passage of time. Such holes are a part of our landscape, yet every time we will be able to climb out and walk, leaving the darkness behind us.

What help can I ask for today?

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The Language of Letting Go
April 26
Negativity

Some people are carriers of negativity. They are storehouses of pent up anger and volatile emotions. Some remain trapped in the victim role and act in ways that further their victimization. And others are still caught in the cycle of addictive or compulsive patterns.

Negative energy can have a powerful pull on us, especially if we’re struggling to maintain positive energy and balance. It may seem that others who exude negative energy would like to pull us into the darkness with them. We do not have to go. Without judgment, we can decide it’s okay to walk away, okay to protect ourselves.

We cannot change other people. It does not help others for us to get off balance. We do not lead others into the Light by stepping into the darkness with them.

Today, God, help me to know that I don’t have to allow myself to be pulled into negativity – even around those I love. Help me set boundaries. Help me know it’s okay to take care of myself.

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More Language Of Letting Go
April 26
Practice diplomacy

Taking care of ourselves doesn’t give us the right to be mean. Just because we’re telling the truth, we don’t need to tear people apart. Sometimes when we start to own our power after years–maybe a lifetime– of being timid and weak, we become overly aggressive trying to get our point across.

We can be honest with other people without being mean. We can be diplomatic in whatever we need to say, at least most of the time. And we usually don’t have to scream and shout.

I’ve learned a little trick along the way. The weaker and more vulnerable I feel, the more I holler and the meaner I react. The more truly powerful, clear, and centered I am, the quieter, gentle, and more loving I speak.

The next time you feel threatened or start to scream and yell, stop yourself. Take a deep breath. Deliberately speak more softly than you normally would.

You can speak softly and still carry a great big stick.

God, help me be a diplomat. Teach me how to own my power in a gentle, peaceful way.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
April 26

I drink not from mere joy in wine nor to scoff at faith – no, only to forget myself for a moment, that only do I want of intoxication, that alone.
—Omar Khayyam

What has been our drug of choice? It may be alcohol. It may be sugar or gambling or dependent relationships. Some men have used anger, sex, sports, or the accumulation of money. Growing in this program, we learn there is a great brotherhood among us. Our problems have not been only with a certain substance or a given behavior. We have been seduced and trapped by a ritual of forgetting ourselves. If we hadn’t found one way, we may have found another. In giving one up, we often found ourselves drawn to a new substitute.

Now we are learning to accept ourselves and to forget ourselves in healthier ways. We all need to move beyond the bounds of an oppressive ego. In our old style, we could not learn healthy releases because we were hooked on unhealthy ones. Now we are learning meditation, making friends, helping others, and letting go as ways to forget ourselves.

I pray for help today in staying away from self-destructive intoxications so I am able to learn healthy releases.

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Daily TAO
April 26
FULFILLMENT

Accomplish your visions.
Persevere in your ambitions.
Only then can you negate
Visions and ambitions.

Some say that one should not have ambitions; they equate these with greed and lust. However, some ambitions are the result of curiosity and inner desire. They are individual interests, like wanting to know about a certain subject or wanting to achieve goals. As long as they do no harm to others, they should be exercised rather than suppressed.

Many young people are held back by their peers and their elders.  Sometimes there are valid reasons, but usually the motivations of the others are colored by fear, ignorance, jealousy, or inadequacy. No one should hold you back from achieving your life’s goals.

Whatever you want to do, do it to the fullest. There are just a few provisions. First, you must realize that nothing is forever. You may achieve your goals only to find out that they are no longer important to you. This is all right. That means you have come to the end of your interest and are now free to go on to something else. Secondly, your ambitions should not determine your life. You are a human being first, and your goals are merely adjuncts to your basic quest as a person.  Finally, you should realize that the fulfillment of your goals should include the eradication of all fears. Once you have accomplished these things, you will truly have nothing standing between you and spiritual realization.

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DailyZen
April 26

Blossoms of apricot will perish,
Sound of the rain grow quiet.
Moss in the footsteps on the path,
Its green reflected on my gown.
Wind’s fierce,
Can’t keep the little window shut…
Fallen flowers, pages of poems
Together fly away.

– Yuan Mei (1716-1798)

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Food for Thought
April 26
Overcoming Sloth

Another of the seven deadly sins, which we do not talk much about anymore, is sloth. Webster defines it as laziness or indolence. It is our experience that the more we eat, the lazier we become. We procrastinate, we do not feel like undertaking anything difficult, and we avoid movement as much as possible.

Abstinence puts our bodies into high gear. With proper nourishment and without an excess amount of food to digest, we feel alert and alive. We find ourselves requiring less sleep and fewer naps. Lifetime habits of laziness do not change immediately, but if we are willing to become more energetic, our Higher Power will provide the motivation.

Sometimes the thought of a large task looming ahead of us is overwhelming, and we feel that we will never be able to manage it. Here is where the willingness to take one step at a time can make the difference. If we will begin, God will keep us going when the task is part of His plan.

Deliver us from slothfulness.

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In God’s Care
April 26

Self-love is not opposed to the love of other people. You cannot really love yourself and do yourself a fovor without doing other people a fovor, and vice versa.
~~ Dr. Karl Menninger

Self-love is not the same thing as egotism. As recovering people we hated ourselves for so long that we were crippled by it. Learning to love ourselves again becomes a form of therapy – and appreciation for God’s creation. And the delightful thing we learn is that we don’t love ourselves without loving others, and we can’t love others without loving ourselves. How wonderful!

We can’t begin to love ourselves, however, without other people. People are essential, and so is God from whom all love flows. We are thankful for God’s love and ask God to teach us how to love others. And the more we practice doing loving acts for others, the more love we feel for ourselves.

I will practice loving myself today by loving others.

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Faith’s Check Book
April 26
Gracious Dealing

And the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest.
(Deuteronomy 15:18)

An Israelitish master was to give his bondservant liberty in due time, and when he left his service he was to start him in life with a liberal portion, This was to be done heartily and cheerfully, and then the Lord promised to bless the generous act. The spirit of this precept, and, indeed, the whole law of Christ, binds us to treat people well. We ought to remember how the Lord has dealt with us, and that this renders it absolutely needful that we should deal graciously with others, It becomes those to be generous who are the children of a gracious God. How can we expect our great Master to bless us in our business if we oppress those who serve us?

What a benediction is here set before the liberal mind! To be blessed in all that we do is to be blessed indeed. The Lord will send us this partly in prosperity, partly in content of mind, and partly in a sense of His favor, which is the best of all blessings. He can make us feel that we are under His special care and are surrounded by His peculiar love. This makes this earthly life a joyous prelude to the life to come. God’s blessing is more than a fortune. It maketh rich and addeth no sorrow therewith.

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This Morning’s Meditation
April 26

“This do in remembrance of Me.”
—1 Corinthians 11:24.

IT seems then, that Christians may forget Christ! There could be no need for this loving exhortation, if there were not a fearful supposition that our memories might prove treacherous. Nor is this a bare supposition: it is, alas! too well confirmed in our experience, not as a possibility, but as a lamentable fact. It appears almost impossible that those who have been redeemed by the blood of the dying Lamb, and loved with an everlasting love by the eternal Son of God, should forget that gracious Saviour; but, if startling to the ear, it is, alas! too apparent to the eye to allow us to deny the crime. Forget Him who never forgot us! Forget Him who poured His blood forth for our sins! Forget Him who loved us even to the death! Can it be possible? Yes, it is not only possible, but conscience confesses that it is too sadly a fault with all of us, that we suffer Him to be as a wayfaring man tarrying but for a night. He whom we should make the abiding tenant of our memories is but a visitor therein. The cross where one would think that memory would linger, and unmindfulness would be an unknown intruder, is desecrated by the feet of forgetfulness. Does not your conscience say that this is true? Do you not find yourselves forgetful of Jesus? Some creature steals away your heart, and you are unmindful of Him upon whom your affection ought to be set. Some earthly business engrosses your attention when you should fix your eye steadily upon the cross. It is the incessant turmoil of the world, the constant attraction of earthly things which takes away the soul from Christ. While memory too well preserves a poisonous weed, it suffereth the rose of Sharon to wither. Let us charge ourselves to bind a heavenly forget-me-not about our hearts for Jesus our Beloved, and, whatever else we let slip, let us hold fast to Him.

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