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The Mustard Seed, Inc. is a non-profit, Roman Catholic organization in Iowa City, Iowa.
It is our goal to make available the teachings of the Catholic Church through the sale of select Catholic books, gifts, artwork, videos, and audio products. The Mustard Seed also offers a Reference Library of Catholic Classics. We strive to instill and strengthen the Catholic Faith as guarded by the Holy Father and the Magisterium of the Church. All proceeds go toward the pursuit of this goal.

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The Church Of Mercy The Church Of Mercy

Since his election, Pope Francis’s simple message of mercy, service, and renewal has spread to every corner of the world. Through his gentle demeanor, selfless actions, and welcoming call for service to others, Pope Francis has captured the attention of a world longing for an authentic message of hope—we want to hear what he has to say.

Collected from Pope Francis’s speeches, homilies, and papers presented during the first year of his papacy, The Church of Mercy is the first Vatican-authorized book detailing his vision for the Catholic Church. From how to be citizens of the world to answering God’s call for evangelization, Pope Francis’s deep wisdom reminds us that the Church must move beyond its own walls and joyfully bring God’s mercy wherever suffering, division, or injustice exists.

After Pentecost, until Advent, the Church ends the liturgical year with celebrations in Ordinary Time.

From Whitsun to Advent, in comparison with the long holiday of Eastertide, one enters a more sober time, though here and there the feasts of Mary, particularly the great feast of the Assumption (once called: our Lady in harvest-time) interrupt it. Again one cannot help but see on these days the perpetual inclination to mark all the feasts of our Lady with some sort of flower ceremony.

Saints' feasts and angels' feasts follow on each other; guardian angels, Michael, prince of angels, and Raphael, are all honored during this time. In parts of England Michaelmas was celebrated as a sort of general sports day in which one man would lead a gang of followers across country, through the roughest ways he could find, a crude symbolism, probably, of Michael leading the host of angels.

If all the angels have their festive day, so too do all the saints, on November 1st. The vigil of this day, once probably given to invoking one's patron saints, turned in later days into a superstitious festivity in which love-charms such as nuts, apples, and glowing embers were credulously invoked and fortunes told, and future lovers seen in vision.

If all the saints have their festive day during these days, so too have all the souls. Theirs is on November 2nd, on which day the bells used to be rung almost unceasingly as a reminder that the members of the Church-family who were yet in prison needed to be rescued. Thus by the first Sunday of Advent, the first day of the liturgical year, there is almost no type of person who has not been celebrated by the Church in one way or another.

(A Candle is Lighted, by P. Stewart Craig)