Lord Jesus, Saint Stephen Harding found great joy in imitating You through a life of poverty, praying, fasting, and working hard. When the other monks got tired of such a difficult life, Saint Stephen formed a new community, the Cistercians. I ask him to pray for me when life becomes a burden. Help me, O God, to discover the redemption that comes from doing what is not easy: giving up materialistic desires, spending more time in prayer, doing penance by making sacrifices and fasting, and completing work that is not pleasant. Overcome my laziness and my resistance to appreciating the difficult. Saint Stephen Harding, pray for me. Amen.
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