Quote of the day: 15 January

She helped me… it is a very particular aspect of the spiritual wealth of the Virgin, the Mother of Christ, for her Carmelite mission, which begins on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land and is linked to a garment. This garment is called the holy Scapular. I owe much in my youth to this Carmelite Scapular.

Saint John Paul II
Remarks to the parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Rome
15 January 1989

9 January: St. Andrew Corsini

January 9
SAINT ANDREW CORSINI
Bishop

Optional Memorial

Andrew was born at the beginning of the fourteenth century in Florence and entered the Carmelite Order there. He was elected provincial of Tuscany at the general chapter of Metz in 1348. He was made bishop of Fiesole on October 13th, 1349, and gave the Church a wonderful example of love, apostolic zeal, prudence, and love of the poor. He died on January 6th, 1374.

From the Common of Pastors

Office of Readings

The First Reading
James 2:1-9, 14-24

A reading from the Letter of St. James

Faith without works is dead

My brothers, do not try to combine faith in Jesus Christ, our glorified Lord, with the making of distinctions between classes of people. Now suppose a man comes into your synagogue, beautifully dressed and with a gold ring on, and at the same time a poor man comes in, in shabby clothes, and you take notice of the well-dressed man, and say, ‘Come this way to the best seats;’ then you tell the poor man, ‘Stand over there’ or ‘You can sit on the floor by my footrest.’ Can’t you see that you have used two different standards in your mind, and turned yourselves into judges, and corrupt judges at that?

Listen, my dear brothers: it was those who are poor according to the world that God chose, to be rich in faith and to be the heirs to the kingdom which he promised to those who love him. In spite of this, you have no respect for anybody who is poor. Isn’t it always the rich who are against you? Isn’t it always their doing when you are dragged before the court? Aren’t they the ones who insult the honorable name to which you have been dedicated? Well, the right thing to do is to keep the supreme law of scripture: “you must love your neighbor as yourself;” but as soon as you make distinctions between classes of people, you are committing sin, and under condemnation for breaking the Law.

Take the case, my brothers, of someone who has never done a single good act but claims that he has faith. Will that faith save him? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty,’ without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that? Faith is like that: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead.

This is the way to talk to people of that kind: ‘You say you have faith and I have good deeds’; I will prove to you that I have faith by showing you my good deeds — now you prove to me that you have faith without any good deeds to show. You believe in the one God — that is creditable enough, but the demons have the
same belief, and they tremble with fear. Do realize, you senseless man, that faith without good deeds is useless. You surely know that Abraham our father was justified by his deed, because he ‘offered his son Isaac on the altar’? There you see it: faith and deeds were working together; his faith became perfect by what he did. This is what scripture really means when it says: ‘Abraham put his faith in God, and this was counted as making him justified’; and that is why he was called ‘the friend of God.’

You see now that it is by doing something good, and not only by believing, that a man is justified.

Responsory

R/. Pure, unspoiled religion in the eyes of God our Father is this: *
you must come to the help of orphans and widows in their need and keep yourself uncontaminated by the world

V/. Quick to be generous, he gave to the poor; his righteousness remains forever. *
you must come to the help of orphans and widows in their need and keep yourself uncontaminated by the world

The Second Reading
Bk 1,10

A reading from The Pastoral Rule of Pope St. Gregory the Great

Portrait of a good pastor

It is important that a man who is set up as a model of how to live should be one who is dead to all the passions of the flesh and lives by the spirit, turns his back on what the world has to offer, is unafraid of hardship, and is attracted only by the interior life. He does not let his body shirk its duty out of frailty; he does not become depressed when abused, for he realizes that things of this kind further his true ends. He does not readily covet what is not his, but with what he does possess he is generous. His loving nature is quick to forgive, though he never allows himself to be misled into condoning more than he should. While he does no wrong himself, he grieves over the misdeeds of others as if they were his own. His compassion for others when they are sick is heartfelt, and he is just as glad when good befalls his neighbor as when his own interests are advanced. His behavior is so exemplary in all respects that he need never fear being made to blush, even for past faults. He so conducts his life that those whose hearts are in need of refreshment can always find it in the guidance he gives. He is so well versed in the art of prayer that he can obtain anything he asks for from the Lord; it is as though he were singled out by a prophetic voice saying to him: “While you are still speaking I will say, ‘See, I am here.’”

If someone happened to come and ask one of us to intercede for him with an influential man we did not know and who was annoyed with him, we should at once say: ‘I cannot come and intercede — I do not know what he is like.’ So if a person is afraid to intercede with a mere man about whom he knows nothing, how can one, who is not sure whether or not his conduct makes him worthy to be counted God’s friend, take it upon himself to be the people’s advocate before God? How can he ask pardon for others if he is not sure that his own sins have been forgiven?

Responsory

R/. Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.*
Try then to imitate God, as children of his that he loves.

V/. Tend the flock that is placed under your care, willingly as God would have you do, being examples to your flock.*
Try then to imitate God, as children of his that he loves.

Prayer

God our Father,
You reveal that those who work for peace
will be called Your children.
Through the prayers of St. Andrew Corsini,
who excelled as a peacemaker,
help us to work without ceasing
for that justice which brings true and lasting peace.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be called children of God, says the Lord.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. The kingdom of God consists of justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; whoever serves Christ in this way pleases God and wins the esteem of all.

 

andrew corsini_guido_reni,_s._andrea_corsini,_1639_pinacoteca_bologna

Quote of the day: 8 January

With the greatest zeal, therefore, seek those things which draw you to the ardor of my love, such as the precepts of my law, and those things which I urged on you above, namely poverty and the crucifixion of bodily desires, obedience and the renunciation of your own will, continence and the solitude of the desert.

St Peter Thomas
The Ten Books on the Way of Life and Great Deeds of the Carmelites, I:7

8 January: St. Peter Thomas

January 8
SAINT PETER THOMAS
Bishop

Optional Memorial

Born about 1305 in southern Perigord in France, Peter Thomas entered the Carmelites when he was twenty-one. He was chosen by the Order as its procurator general to the Papal Court at Avignon in 1345. After being made bishop of Patti and Lipari in 1354, he was entrusted with many papal missions to promote peace and unity with the Eastern Churches. He was translated to the see of Corone in the Peloponnesus in 1359 and made Papal Legate for the East. In 1363, he was appointed Archbishop of Crete and in 1364 Latin Patriarch of Constantinople. He won a reputation as an apostle of church unity before he died at Famagosta on Cyprus in 1366.

From the Common of Pastors

Office of Readings

The First Reading
1 Timothy 1:1-7, 15-19, 2:1-8

A reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to Timothy

The calling of a pastor

From Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus appointed by the command of God our savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, to Timothy, true child of mine in the faith; wishing you grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.

As I asked you when I was leaving for Macedonia, please stay at Ephesus, to insist that certain people stop teaching strange doctrines and taking notice of myths and endless genealogies; these things are only likely to raise irrelevant doubts instead of furthering the design of God which are revealed in faith. The only purpose of this instruction is that there should be love, coming out of a pure heart, a clear conscience and a sincere faith. There are some people who have gone off the straight course and taken a road that leads to empty speculation; they claim to be doctors of the Law, but they understand neither the arguments they are using nor the opinions they are upholding.

Here is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I myself am the greatest of them; and if mercy has been shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the greatest evidence of his inexhaustible patience for all the other people who would later have to trust in him to come to eternal life. To the eternal King, the undying, invisible and only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Timothy, my son, these are the instructions that I am giving you: I ask you to remember the words once spoken over you by the prophets, and taking them to heart to fight like a good soldier with faith and a good conscience for your weapons. Some people have put conscience aside and wrecked their faith in consequence.

My advice is that, first of all, there should be prayers offered for everyone — petitions, intercessions and thanksgiving — and especially for kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live religious and reverent lives in peace and quiet. To do this is right, and will please God our Savior: he wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time, and I have been named a herald and apostle of it and — I am telling the truth and no lie — a teacher of the faith and the truth to the pagans.

In every place, then, I want the men to lift their hands up reverently in prayer, with no anger or argument.

Responsory

R/. Bear with one another in love; do all that you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together; there is one body and one Spirit, *
just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called.
V/. A servant of the Lord is to aim for holiness and faith, love, and peace, in union with all those who call on the Lord with pure minds; *
just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called.

The Second Reading
Bk I, Ch 6

A reading from The Book of the Institution of the First Monks

Love your neighbor as yourself

The Lord says, “The man who hears My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me.” And the first of all commandments is: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. This is the greatest and first commandment.” This cannot be observed without love of neighbor, because “he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen;” “and the second commandment is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” namely, in the things and for the reason that you love yourself. “His soul hates him who loves violence,” says the Psalmist. Therefore, love your neighbor as yourself in good and not in evil, and “whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them” and “what you hate, do not do to anyone.” Thus, you must love your neighbor, and so act that he becomes just if he is wicked, or remains just if he is good.

Again you must love yourself, not because of yourself, but because of God. Whatever is loved because of itself is thus made a source of joy and a happy life, the hope of attaining which is comforting even on earth. But you must not place the hope of a blessed life in yourself or another man. “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” Therefore, you must make the Lord the source of your joy and the happy life, as the apostle says: “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

If you understand this clearly, you must love God because of Himself, and yourself, not because of yourself, but because of God; and, since you must love your neighbor as yourself, you must love him, not because of himself, nor because of yourself, but because of God, and what else is this but to love God in your neighbor? “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandment.” In the preparation of your soul you do all of this if you love God because of Himself and your neighbor as yourself because of God. “On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

Responsory

R/. With all our hearts we desired nothing better than to share with you our own lives, as well as God’s gospel, *
so greatly had we learned to love you.
V/. My little children, I am in travail over you afresh, until I can see Christ’s image formed in you, *
so greatly had we learned to love you.

Prayer

Lord,
You inspired in Your bishop St. Peter Thomas
an intense desire to promote peace and Christian unity.
Following His example
may we live steadfast in the faith
and work perseveringly for peace.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. I am the good shepherd; I lay down my life for my sheep; and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. May the peace of Christ fill your hearts with joy, that peace to which all of you are called as one body.

peter-thomas_francisco-zurbaran
Saint Peter Thomas
Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598–1664)
Oil on canvas, after 1634
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
THERESE - Happy Birthday pink rose cake
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The tent-dwelling nomad

When King David was settled in his palace,
and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side,
he said to Nathan the prophet,
“Here I am living in a house of cedar,
while the ark of God dwells in a tent!”
Nathan answered the king,
“Go, do whatever you have in mind,
for the LORD is with you.”
But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
“Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD:
Should you build me a house to dwell in?

“‘It was I who took you from the pasture
and from the care of the flock
to be commander of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you went,
and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.
I will fix a place for my people Israel;
I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
without further disturbance.
Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies.
The LORD also reveals to you
that he will establish a house for you.
And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his Kingdom firm.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.'”

First Reading
Monday in Fourth Week of Advent – Mass in the Morning
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16

Nativity scene from Barcelona
A nativity scene in Barcelona, Spain

Advent 22: King

Oh, my soul! Let the will of God be done; this suits you. Serve and hope in His mercy, for He will cure your grief when penance for your faults will have gained some pardon for them. Don’t desire joy but suffering. O, true Lord and my King! I’m still not ready for suffering if Your sovereign hand and greatness do not favor me, but with these, I shall be able to do all things.

Soliloquies 6: Painful Longing For God

 

Christ revealing Himself to Saint Teresa_Quito School_Carmen Alto
Christ revealing Himself to Saint Teresa
Quito School (Ecuador, 17th c.)
Mural painting, c. 1653
Upper cloister, Convento del Carmen Alto, Quito, Ecuador

 

¡Oh ánima mía! Deja hacerse la voluntad de tu Dios; eso te conviene. Sirve y espera en su misericordia, que remediará tu pena, cuando la penitencia de tus culpas haya ganado algún perdón de ellas; no quieras gozar sin padecer. ¡Oh verdadero Señor y Rey mío!, que aun para esto no soy, si no me favorece vuestra soberana mano y grandeza, que con esto todo lo podré.

Exclamaciones del Alma a Dios: Capítulo 6

Soliloquies: 6, Painful Longing For God; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

Advent 21: Emmanuel

Mary, at the top of Calvary standing beside the Cross
To me you seem like a priest at the altar,
Offering your beloved Jesus, the sweet Emmanuel,
To appease the Father’s justice…
A prophet said, O afflicted Mother,
‘There is no sorrow like your sorrow!”
O Queen of Martyrs, while remaining in exile
You lavish on us all the blood of your heart!

Master of the Dominican Effigies, active c.1328-1350; The Crucifixion
The Crucifixion
Master of the Dominican Effigies (active c.1328–1350)
The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

Te me apareces, Virgen, en la sombría cumbre del Calvario, de pie junto a la cruz,
igual que un sacerdote en el altar,
ofreciendo tu Víctima, tu Jesús amadísimo, nuestro dulce Emmanuel,
para desenfadar la justicia del Padre.
Un profeta lo dijo, ¡oh Madre desolada!:
¡No hay dolor semejante a tu dolor!»
¡Oh Reina de los mártires, quedando en el destierro,
prodigas por nosotros toda la sangre de tu corazón!

The Poetry of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (PN 54) 
Translated by Fr. Donald Kinney, O.C.D.
Archives du Carmel de Lisieux
Copyright © by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

 

Advent 20: Key

Insofar as I can understand the door of entry to this castle is prayer and reflection. I don’t mean to refer to mental more than vocal prayer, for since vocal prayer is prayer it must be accompanied by reflection. A prayer in which a person is not aware of whom he is speaking to, what he is asking, who it is who is asking and of whom,

I do not call prayer however much the lips move.

Sometimes it will be so without this reflection, provided that the soul has these reflections at other times. Nonetheless, anyone who has the habit of speaking before God’s majesty as though he were speaking to a slave, without being careful to see how he is speaking, but saying whatever comes to his head and whatever he has learned from saying at other times, in my opinion is not praying. Please God, may no Christian pray in this way.

The Interior Castle: I:1

 

Key
Key | netzanette

 

Porque, a cuanto yo puedo entender, la puerta para entrar en este castillo es la oración y consideración, no digo más mental que vocal, que como sea oración ha de ser con consideración; porque la que no advierte con quién habla y lo que pide y quién es quien pide y a quién,

no la llamo yo oración

aunque mucho menee los labios; porque aunque algunas veces sí será, aunque no lleve este cuidado, mas es habiéndole llevado otras. Mas quien tuviese de costumbre hablar con la majestad de Dios como hablaría con su esclavo, que ni mira si dice mal, sino lo que se le viene a la boca y tiene deprendido por hacerlo otras veces, no la tengo por oración, ni plega a Dios que ningún cristiano la tenga de esta suerte

Castillo Interior: Moradas Primeras – Capítulo 1

The Interior Castle, First Dwelling; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

 

 

 

Advent 17: Wisdom

And then we will go on
to the high caverns in the rock

The rock mentioned here, as St. Paul says, is Christ (1 Cor. 10:4). The high caverns of this rock are the sublime, exalted, and deep mysteries of God’s wisdom in Christ, in the hypostatic union of the human nature with the divine Word, and in the corresponding union of human beings with God, and the mystery of the harmony between God’s justice and mercy with respect to the manifestations of his judgments in the salvation of the human race. These mysteries are so profound that she very appropriately calls them high caverns: high, because of the height of the sublime mysteries; and caverns, because of the depth of God’s wisdom in them. As caverns are deep and have many recesses, so each of the mysteries in Christ is singularly deep in wisdom and contains many recesses of his secret judgments of predestination and foreknowledge concerning the children of the earth. She then adds:

which are so well concealed;

They are so well concealed that however numerous are the mysteries and marvels that holy doctors have discovered and saintly souls understood in this earthly life, all the more is yet to be said and understood. There is much to fathom in Christ, for he is like an abundant mine with many recesses of treasures, so that however deep individuals may go they never reach the end or bottom, but rather in every recess find new veins with new riches everywhere. On this account St. Paul said of Christ (Col. 2:3):

In Christ dwell hidden all treasures and wisdom.

The Spiritual Canticle: Stanza 37

 

Mesa Arch, Arches National Park, Utah
Mesa Arch, Arches National Park, Utah | Robbie Shade

 

Y luego a las subidas
cavernas de la piedra nos iremos.

La piedra que aquí dice, según dice san Pablo (1 Cor. 10, 4) es Cristo. Las subidas cavernas de esta piedra son los subidos y altos y profundos misterios de sabiduría de Dios que hay en Cristo sobre la unión hipostática de la naturaleza humana con el Verbo divino, y en la respondencia que hay a ésta de la unión de los hombres a Dios y en las conveniencias de justicia y misericordia de Dios sobre la salud del género humano en manifestación de sus juicios, los cuales, por ser tan altos y profundos, bien propiamente los llama subidas cavernas, por la alteza de los misterios subidos y cavernas por la hondura y profundidad de la sabiduría de Dios en ellos; porque así como las cavernas son profundas y de muchos senos así cada misterio de los que hay en Cristo es profundísimo en sabiduría y tiene muchos senos de juicios suyos ocultos de predestinación y presciencia en los hijos de los hombres. Por lo cual, dice luego:

Que están bien escondidas.

Tanto, que por más misterios y maravillas que han descubierto los santos doctores y entendido las santas almas en este estado de vida, les quedó todo lo más por decir, y aun por entender; y así hay mucho que ahondar en Cristo: porque es como una abundante mina con muchos senos de tesoros, que, por más que ahonden, nunca les hallan fin ni término, antes van en cada seno hallando nuevas venas de nuevas riquezas acá y allá. Que, por eso, dijo san Pablo (Cl. 2, 3) del mismo Cristo, diciendo:

En Cristo moran todos los tesoros y sabiduría escondidos

Cántico Espiritual (CB): Canción 37

BAEZ - The joy of the Lord
Excerpt from a homily for the Third Sunday in Advent by Auxiliary Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. of the Archdiocese of Managua, Nicaragua

Advent 16: Wisdom

Wisdom enters through love, silence, and mortification. It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.

Sayings of Light and Love, 109

Nica Leon old man tshirt glasses dark background_hermes-rivera-265441-unsplash
A wise citizen of the Léon Department in Nicaragua | Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

La sabiduría entra por el amor, silencio y mortificación. Grande sabiduría es saber callar y no mirar dichos ni hechos ni vidas ajenas.

Puntos de amor, reunidos en Beas, 29

Sayings of Light and Love, 109
The Collected Works of Saint John of the Cross, Revised Edition
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D.
With Revisions and Introductions by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D.
ICS Publications
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

 

Advent 15: Elijah

Elijah, our Father, leads,
In our self-denying we follow him
Strongly and zealously,
Nuns of Carmel.

9903473755_386b7cfa95_o
Carmel of Valladolid, 21 September 2013 | Ángel Cantero

Al Padre Elías siguiendo
nos vamos contradiciendo
con su fortaleza y celo,
monjas del Carmelo.

Poetry: 10. On the Way to Heaven; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

Advent 14: A little song

… is a little song for Fray John of the Cross they sent me from the Incarnation. Tell him that I told you I greatly enjoyed it. I would like Francisco to sing it for you.

Letter 171

Cancionero_de_Palacio

… un cantarcillo a fray Juan de la Cruz, que me enviaron de la Encarnación. Diga que yo lo digo, que me cayó muy en gracia; para que cante Francisco a vuestra merced.

Carta 171

Letters: Letter 171 to Lorenzo de Cepeda, Avila; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

Nothing more to say

In this era of grace, now that the faith is established through Christ and the Gospel law made manifest, there is no reason for inquiring of him in this way, or expecting him to answer as before. In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word – and he has no more to say

Those who now desire to question God or receive some vision or revelation are guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him by not fixing their eyes entirely on Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.

God could answer as follows: If I have already told you all things in my Word, my Son, and if I have no other word, what answer or revelation can I now make that would surpass this? Fasten your eyes on him alone because in him I have spoken and revealed all and in him you will discover even more than you ask for and desire

One should not, then, inquire of God in this manner, nor is it necessary for God to speak any more.

SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS

The Ascent of Mount Carmel: Book Two, Chapter 22

 

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