5 Minutes

  • By Fr. Joseph Byerley
  • 22 Jul, 2017

Spiritual Fitness

I was having lunch with a couple of friends the other day. One of them was telling me about a book that he picked up in the library of the prison where he volunteers. I don’t remember the exact title, but it was some sort of self-help book that claims substantial benefit from doing five minutes of exercise right when you wake up in the morning, before you do anything else. My friend has been trying this the past month or so and has said that he can definitely feel the difference. Mind you, my friend is already a fitness nut and distance runner. Yet he has found value in starting off his day with just five minutes of physical activity – whether it is walking on the treadmill, stretching, some pushups and sit-ups, really anything to get the heart moving in the morning. So a guy, who already works out frequently and regularly does ten mile runs, says he had noticed a positive difference in those five minutes of activity right when he gets up in the morning. It’s probably a good thing for any of us to do.

I guess you know where I am heading. If getting our physical heart beating fast first in the morning is good for our bodies, even if one is already physically fit, think about the comparable value of getting our spiritual hearts – our souls - also beating fast first thing in the morning. What is the first thing you do when the alarm goes off? How about making the Sign of the Cross and thanking God for another day? Then, after turning off the alarm, before you do your five minutes of exercise, how about working out your soul for five minutes? Taking five minutes to connect with God first thing in the morning, no matter how spiritually “fit” we may already be, will give us a great spiritual jump start for the day. There are a host of morning prayers around (two examples are below) that one can pray as a way of starting your day off with the Lord. By consciously taking those five minutes or so in the morning to acknowledge God and opening our hearts to Him, we will not only receive His grace as we awake, but we will also orient our whole day to the Lord and provide ourselves with essential spiritual protection from evil first thing in the morning. Beginning your day with God can’t be anything but great for us.

So if you are not in the practice of starting your day off with those five minutes, give it a shot. If you need, write yourself a note to remind you. Put it near your alarm clock or on the floor next to your bed. Better yet, make it ten minutes – five for God and five for your body. I can guarantee that small investment of time in the morning will pay huge benefits throughout the day, spiritually and physically.

God bless you,

Father Joseph Byerley

Morning Offering
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day
for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians,
and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month.
Amen.

Morning Offering to the Holy Trinity
Most Holy and Adorable Trinity, One God in Three Persons, I praise You and give You thanks for all the favors You has bestowed upon me. Your goodness has preserved me until now, I offer You my whole being and in particular, all my thoughts, words, and deeds, together with all the trials I may undergo this day. Give them Your blessing. May Your Divine Love animate them and may they serve Your greater glory. I make this morning
offering in union with the Divine intentions of Jesus Christ Who offers himself daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and in union with Mary, His Virgin Mother and our Mother, who was always the faithful handmaid
of the Lord.
 Amen.
By Fr. Joseph Byerley 17 Aug, 2017

(From Catholic.org) The August 21 solar eclipse will be visible mostly in the United States, but it's impact is already being noticed around the world. It's fueling an interest in astrology and fortune telling, as such events often do. Now, Pope Francis has issued a warning against "false securities," reminding us to trust in Christ. People are flocking to astrologers and fortune tellers to find meaning in the event. It's natural for people to seek meaning in things they don't understand. This is especially common when the event in question is rare or poorly understood. As we know, a solar eclipse is the product of the Moon passing in front of the Sun from the perspective of a person on the surface of the Earth. There is no meaning beyond this. Yet, astrologers are enjoying renewed interest in their trade.

Pope Francis reminded audiences last Sunday when he said, "When we do not cling to the Word of the Lord, but consult horoscopes and fortune tellers, we begin to sink." Pope Francis connected his comment to the Gospel reading in which Peter began to sink in the water but was saved by Christ. The word of God, Pope Francis said, is "like an outstretched rope to cling to in front of the hostile and turbulent waters." We sink when we put our faith in the wrong things. "The guarantee against a shipwreck is faith in Christ and in his word."

Heading off to College? God is there!

Every college has a Catholic center located somewhere on or near the campus. There will be Mass, definitely on Sundays and often during the week, as well as a supportive community of fellow Catholic students. Our Lord always wants to be near to us and help us. College is a really important time for any person’s growth. It is so important for us to make sure that God plays a big part in that growth. Getting to Sunday Mass, practicing our faith, saying our prayers are all essential in staying close to God and receiving his grace, protection, and love.

House of Charity Update
We are very close to our goal for this year…we are at 89%. We are about $16,000 from making our goal. Thank you so much for what you have done so far. If you haven’t made your gift yet, please do so, we need to come through for the needy in our diocese and for the good of our parish. You are always so generous and responsive, please, let’s make our goal!

God bless,

Father Joseph Byerley
By Fr. Joseph Byerley 13 Aug, 2017
There is a story of a saintly priest from long ago who had a problem with one of his parishioners who attended daily Mass but left immediately after Communion. He solved the problem by ordering two altar boys with lighted candles to walk on either side of the man as soon as he started to leave the church and accompany him all the way to his carriage (pre-automobile days). After three days repeating this action, the somewhat flustered and embarrassed gentleman asked the priest for an explanation. He was told that since Christ was still present in him as he left the church, his presence had to be honored by lighted candles. Needless to say, the man didn’t leave Mass early again.
I wonder sometimes if we, including us priests, remain sufficiently aware of the truth of Christ’s presence abiding with us as Mass comes to conclusion. Honestly, I really don’t know what to say to those who regularly choose to come to Mass late or leave Mass early. Nor do I know what to say to those who come to worship God at Mass in shorts and tee shirts and flip flops. Of course, sometimes neither of those situations can be helped. I understand that and the Lord certainly does too. But coming to Mass on time and dressing well for the Lord is, to a certain extent, one of those things you either “get” or you don’t. There is very little a priest can say to people who choose to leave Mass early, come late, or dress inappropriately. Saying anything, no matter how well thought out, or kind, or gentle, usually comes off very badly. At the same time, I do have a responsibility before God to encourage and instruct the people entrusted to me by Him. Take one look at the letters of Saint Paul to his people, his parishioners if you like, and anything I would say or have said wouldn’t seem all that bad. After all, he used to call people “foolish”, “backsliders”, “ignorant”, etc. I wouldn’t dare say that to you. Of course, I am no saint either, so I better not say things like that.
However it is quite sad to observe the near contempt we can sometimes have for the Lord at Mass. We dress for the beach when we come to worship Almighty God. Before and after Mass, in Church, we can talk about everything but the Lord, as if the Church were some kind of lounge. We can arrive late, we leave early, never giving ourselves time to spiritually prepare for Mass or to thank the Lord for coming into our hearts.
The Mass is the one of the greatest things in which we can participate, for at Mass, we enter into the one saving sacrifice of Jesus to the Father on our behalf. It is the celebration of our salvation. We are inserted into this eternal event and are united with Jesus Christ. There is nothing on earth that is more beautiful, profound or important than the Mass. I know we all believe this and I hope we always do everything we can to keep conscious of that each time we come to Mass and show our consciousness externally by our dress, our behavior during and after, and how and when we arrive and depart. For all of these things together will have a great impact on both our subjective experience of Mass as well as the spiritual benefit we receive. In the end, if we believe worship of God at Mass is important and act as if it is important to us, then very likely, it will become as important to us as it really is.

God bless you,


Father Joseph Byerley
By Fr. Joseph Byerley 07 Aug, 2017
Given our contemporary world situation, that seems to experience almost daily violence and suffering both at home and abroad, I think it opportune to relate some of the late Pope Saint John Paul II’s message on the World Day of Peace of January 1, 2002, just a few months after
9-11. The Holy Father makes some profound points in his address. I was tempted to reproduce the whole text, but there isn’t room, but I urge you to look it up for it is well worth reading. Here are some weighty words to ponder.

     How do we restore the moral and social order subjected to such horrific violence? My reasoned conviction, confirmed in turn by biblical revelation, is that the shattered order cannot be fully restored except by a response that combines justice with forgiveness. The pillars of true peace are justice and that form of love which is forgiveness…But in the present circumstances, how can we speak of justice and forgiveness as the source and condition of peace? We can and we must, no matter how difficult this may be; a difficulty which often comes from thinking that justice and forgiveness are irreconcilable. But forgiveness is the opposite of resentment and revenge, not of justice…Forgiveness is in no way opposed to justice, as if to forgive meant to overlook the need to right the wrong done. It is rather the fullness of justice, leading to that tranquility of order which is much more than a fragile and temporary cessation of hostilities, involving as it does the deepest healing of the wounds which fester in human hearts. Justice and forgiveness are both essential to such healing.
     It is precisely peace born of justice and forgiveness that is under assault today by international terrorism. When ter-rorist organizations use their own followers as weapons to be launched against defenceless and unsuspecting people they show clearly the death-wish that feeds them. Terrorism springs from hatred, and it generates isolation, mistrust and closure. Violence is added to violence in a tragic sequence that exasperates successive generations, each one inheriting the hatred which divided those that went before. Terrorism is built on contempt for human life. For this reason, not only does it commit intolerable crimes, but because it resorts to terror as a political and military means it is itself a true crime against humanity.
There exists therefore a right to defend oneself against terrorism, a right which, as always, must be exercised with respect for moral and legal limits in the choice of ends and means. The guilty must be correctly identified, since criminal cul-pability is always personal and cannot be extended to the nation, ethnic group or religion to which the terrorists may belong. International cooperation in the fight against terrorist activities must also include a courageous and resolute political, diplo-matic and economic commitment to relieving situations of oppression and marginalization which facilitate the designs of terrorists. The recruitment of terrorists in fact is easier in situations where rights are trampled upon and injustices tolerated over a long period of time.
     Still, it must be firmly stated that the injustices existing in the world can never be used to excuse acts of terrorism, and it should be noted that the victims of the radical breakdown of order which terrorism seeks to achieve include above all the countless millions of men and women who are least well-positioned to withstand a collapse of international solidarity — namely, the people of the developing world, who already live on a thin margin of survival and who would be most grievously affected by global economic and political chaos. The terrorist claim to be acting on behalf of the poor is a patent falsehood.
     Those who kill by acts of terrorism actually despair of humanity, of life, of the future. In their view, everything is to be hated and destroyed. Terrorists hold that the truth in which they believe or the suffering that they have undergone are so absolute that their reaction in destroying even innocent lives is justified. Terrorism is often the outcome of that fanatic fundamentalism which springs from the conviction that one's own vision of the truth must be forced upon everyone else. To try to impose on others by violent means what we consider to be the truth is an offence against human dignity, and ultimately an offence against God whose image that person bears. For this reason, what is usually referred to as fundamentalism is an atti-tude radically opposed to belief in God. Terrorism exploits not just people, it exploits God: it ends by making him an idol to be used for one's own purposes. Consequently, no religious leader can condone terrorism, and much less preach it. It is a profa-nation of religion to declare oneself a terrorist in the name of God, to do violence to others in his name. Terrorist violence is a contradiction of faith in God, the Creator of man, who cares for man and loves him. It is altogether contrary to faith in Christ the Lord, who taught his disciples to pray: "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors" (Mt 6:12).
     Forgiveness is not a proposal that can be immediately understood or easily accepted; in many ways it is a paradoxical message. Forgiveness in fact always involves an apparent short-term loss for a real long-term gain. Violence is the exact op-posite; opting as it does for an apparent short-term gain, it involves a real and permanent loss. Forgiveness may seem like weakness, but it demands great spiritual strength and moral courage, both in granting it and in accepting it. It may seem in some way to diminish us, but in fact it leads us to a fuller and richer humanity, more radiant with the splendour of the Creator…
     Prayer for peace is not an afterthought to the work of peace. It is of the very essence of building the peace of order, justice, and freedom. To pray for peace is to open the human heart to the inroads of God's power to renew all things. With the life-giving force of his grace, God can create openings for peace where only obstacles and closures are apparent; he can strengthen and enlarge the solidarity of the human family in spite of our endless history of division and conflict. To pray for peace is to pray for justice, for a right-ordering of relations within and among nations and peoples. It is to pray for freedom, especially for the religious freedom that is a basic human and civil right of every individual. To pray for peace is to seek God's forgiveness, and to implore the courage to forgive those who have trespassed against us…
     No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness: this is what in this Message I wish to say to believers and unbelievers alike, to all men and women of good will who are concerned for the good of the human family and for its future.
     No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness: this is what I wish to say to those responsible for the future of the human community, entreating them to be guided in their weighty and difficult decisions by the light of man's true good, al-ways with a view to the common good. No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness: I shall not tire of repeating this warning to those who, for one reason or another, nourish feelings of hatred, a desire for revenge or the will to destroy.

May the God of peace bless you,

Fr. Joseph Byerley
By Fr. Joseph Byerley 30 Jul, 2017
Often we hear that a person is “spiritual but not religious” or that one is “close to God but not the Church.” Certainly there have been times the Church has not always been the most effective witness to Christ, yet, as the Holy Father explains below, it’s precisely in the living history of the Church that the Christian faith makes sense. Our relationship with Jesus, although personal, is not private. Despite the failings of its members, in-cluding, sadly some of its leaders, Jesus intended to start a church and for us to be active members of it.

God bless you,

Father Joseph Byerley

In a recent homily, Pope Francis noted that in proclaiming the Gospel, the apostles do not begin solely with Christ, but rather by recalling the history of the people of God. “Jesus”, he said, “does not make sense without this history.” The Holy Father went on to say that a Christian without the Church is “purely idealistic.”

"But you cannot understand a Christian alone, just like you cannot understand Jesus Christ alone. Jesus Christ did not fall from the sky like a superhero who comes to save us. No. Jesus Christ has a history,” he said. “And we can say, and it is true, that God has a history because He wanted to walk with us. And you cannot understand Jesus Christ without His history. So a Christian without history, without a Christian nation, a Christian without the Church is incomprehensible. It is a thing of the laboratory, an artificial thing, a thing that cannot give life". The Holy Father emphasized the importance of this dimension of history, saying that a “Christian is one who keeps the memory of the history of his people, who keeps the memory of his people’s journey, who keeps the memory of his Church.” This memory, he said, is that of a journey towards the fulfillment of a promise.

“And for this, a Christian in the Church is a man, a woman with hope: hope in the promise. It is not expectation: no, no! That’s something else: It is hope. Right, on we go! [Towards] that which does not disappoint,” he said. Concluding his homily, Pope Francis invited the faithful to ask God for the grace of memory that allows us to look forward with hope. In doing so, one follows the path towards God and renews the covenant with Him.

"It would do us good today,” he said, “to think about our Christian identity. Our Christian identity is belonging to a people: the Church. Without this, we are not Christians.”

“We entered the Church through baptism: there we are Christians. And for this reason, we should be in the habit of asking for the grace of memory, the memory of the journey that the people of God has made; also of personal memory: What God did for me, in my life, how has he made me walk ... Ask for the grace of hope, which is not optimism: no, no! It 's something else. And ask for the grace to renew the covenant with the Lord who has called us every day. May the Lord give us these three graces, which are necessary for the Christian identity.”
By Fr. Joseph Byerley 22 Jul, 2017
I was having lunch with a couple of friends the other day. One of them was telling me about a book that he picked up in the library of the prison where he volunteers. I don’t remember the exact title, but it was some sort of self-help book that claims substantial benefit from doing five minutes of exercise right when you wake up in the morning, before you do anything else. My friend has been trying this the past month or so and has said that he can definitely feel the difference. Mind you, my friend is already a fitness nut and distance runner. Yet he has found value in starting off his day with just five minutes of physical activity – whether it is walking on the treadmill, stretching, some pushups and sit-ups, really anything to get the heart moving in the morning. So a guy, who already works out frequently and regularly does ten mile runs, says he had noticed a positive difference in those five minutes of activity right when he gets up in the morning. It’s probably a good thing for any of us to do.

I guess you know where I am heading. If getting our physical heart beating fast first in the morning is good for our bodies, even if one is already physically fit, think about the comparable value of getting our spiritual hearts – our souls - also beating fast first thing in the morning. What is the first thing you do when the alarm goes off? How about making the Sign of the Cross and thanking God for another day? Then, after turning off the alarm, before you do your five minutes of exercise, how about working out your soul for five minutes? Taking five minutes to connect with God first thing in the morning, no matter how spiritually “fit” we may already be, will give us a great spiritual jump start for the day. There are a host of morning prayers around (two examples are below) that one can pray as a way of starting your day off with the Lord. By consciously taking those five minutes or so in the morning to acknowledge God and opening our hearts to Him, we will not only receive His grace as we awake, but we will also orient our whole day to the Lord and provide ourselves with essential spiritual protection from evil first thing in the morning. Beginning your day with God can’t be anything but great for us.

So if you are not in the practice of starting your day off with those five minutes, give it a shot. If you need, write yourself a note to remind you. Put it near your alarm clock or on the floor next to your bed. Better yet, make it ten minutes – five for God and five for your body. I can guarantee that small investment of time in the morning will pay huge benefits throughout the day, spiritually and physically.

God bless you,

Father Joseph Byerley
By Fr. Joseph Byerley 12 Jul, 2017
Firstly, I would like to thank our outgoing Youth Minister, Dominique Mehmet, for her wonderful love and commitment to our young people here at Saint Rose of Lima. As the mother of a new beautiful baby, Dominique has decided to focus her time on motherhood and her baby son. Thanks again Dominique!
Secondly, I would like to introduce to the parish our new full time Youth Minister, Jeffrey Shields. Jeffrey has a lot of experience in working with youth and also has great en-thusiasm for the role. Providentially, as Dominique was deciding to step away from the Youth Minster position, Jeffrey became available. I really believe that Jeffery will do great things here for our youth and will definitely help our young people develop their relationship with the Lord.

Please make sure you give him a big St. Rose of Lima welcome when you see him!

God bless you,

Father Joseph Byerley
By Fr. Joseph Byerley 10 Jul, 2017
When someone thinks about what is valuable, the usual answers will probably come up: money, precious metals, stocks, real estate, etc. And yes those things are valuable. But there is a possession of ours that is more valuable than all of the money in the world. And it doesn’t matter if you are Bill Gates and a multi-billionaire or a homeless person living on the street. Both share this invaluable commodity. It is the twenty four hours that we are given each day by God to use.
We all make claims as to what is important to us. Another way of saying that is we make claims as to what (or who) is valuable to us. How do we actually show these claims to be true? By our actions. Just like saying “I love you” means nothing if one doesn’t act in a loving way towards the person who is supposedly loved, so too it is for what we claim is valuable to us. And the clearest indicator of what is important to us, what is valuable to us, is how much time we devote to it. How much of our precious twenty four hours a day we give to something or someone is the true gauge of the value to us.
Actually, going back to the example of the difference in saying “I love you” and truly showing love is very much connected to the use of our time. How much of our time we are willing to give to another is very much associated to how much we truly have love for that person. We have heard often the admonition to “make the time” for something or someone. This is exactly what it means to love. To give of our most pre-cious resource, our time, to another is one of the most central expressions of love. By “spending” our time on someone, we are eliminating that period of time that we can use for our own wants and desires and needs. It is truly the gift of self; it is love.
So we all should be asking ourselves about how we use our time (including us priests). How much of my time do I give my family, my spouse, my children, my job, my hobbies, my church, social media, my friends, and of course God? For instance, there are 168 hours in a week. Sunday Mass is about an hour….that’s just under 0.6% of the week. Even with a really long homily, it would still be far less than one percent of the whole week. Compare that to how much time during the week do we spend at the gym? Or watching TV? What about prayer? If one were to pray just 15 minutes of each day, that would be just about 1% of the whole day. Even if you take into account getting eight hours of sleep at night, 15 minutes a day of prayer would still only be 1.5% of the day. And compare that to how much time a day do we play games on our phones and computers and tablets? Or how much time do we spend a day on social media?
No matter what we claim, what we actually do with our time shows what is important to us. Perhaps a good summer exercise would be to inventory the use of our time and evaluate whether it matches our statements of what is important to us. If it doesn’t, then maybe it would be helpful to reprioritize the use of our time, including the time we spend on the Lord, to keep it in line with what we say is important to us. This is the best way to use the great treasure that God gives us, our time.

God bless you,
Father Joseph Byerley
By Fr. Joseph Byerley 30 Jun, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

I wanted to let you know how grateful I am for your participation in the Summer Vacation Jackpot Raffle. As you can see from below, we made a nice profit for the renovation of our Parish Lounge. While we didn’t sell all of the tickets, everyone did a great job and I thank you for taking part in the raffle. What we have collected for the Church will be a big chunk of the renovation expense; and I am sure that the winners are happy going into the summer with a few extra dollars in their pockets as well! I am particularly grateful to the Saint Rose Finance Council who initiated and coordinated the raffle and the Saint Rose Parish Council too, for helping to sell the tickets along with the Finance Council. We will soon begin firming up the design and getting estimates and then go through the diocesan approval process. After which, we will get to work. Thanks again for your support of the raffle and of your parish!


God bless you,
Father Joseph Byerley

By Fr. Joseph Byerley 15 Jun, 2017

Today is Feast of Corpus Domini – The Body and Blood of Christ. Our belief in the abiding True Presence (and not symbolic) of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist is a central component of the Catholic Faith. Every time we genuflect to the tabernacle in a church (and especially participation in a Eucharistic procession like we do today) we both testify to our personal faith in the reality of Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist as well as open our hearts to the Lord’s grace to reinforce our faith in His Eucharistic Presence. Praying before the Lord in the tabernacle, or even better during Eucharistic Adoration, has been encouraged from the earliest time of the Church to help us develop and come closer to the Lord. During an audience Pope Emeritus Ben-edict XVI shared this beautiful address regarding the value of Eucharistic Adoration:

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Today’s solemnity of Corpus Domini, which in the Vatican and other nations was already celebrated this past Thursday, invites us to contemplate the great mystery of our faith: the most holy Eucharist, the real presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the altar.
Every time that the priest renews the Eucharistic sacrifice, in the prayer of consecration he repeats: "This is my body … this is my blood." He does this giving his voice, his hands, and his heart to Christ, who wanted to remain with us as the beating heart of the Church. But even after the celebration of the divine mysteries, the Lord Jesus remains living in the tabernacle; because of this he is praised, especially by Eucha-ristic adoration.
Indeed, there is an intrinsic connection between celebration (of Mass) and adoration. The holy Mass, in fact, is in itself the Church's greatest act of adoration: "No one eats this food," St. Augustine writes, "if he has not first worshipped it". Adoration outside holy Mass prolongs and intensifies what happened in the li-turgical celebration and renders a true and profound reception of Christ possible.
…In life today, which is often noisy and scattered, it is more important than ever to recover the capac-ity for interior silence and recollection: Eucharistic adoration permits one to do this not only within one's "I" but rather in the company of that "You" full of love who is Jesus Christ, "the God who is near us."
May the Virgin Mary, Eucharistic Woman, lead us into the secret of true adoration. Her heart, humble and silent, was always recollected around the mystery of Jesus, in whom she worshipped the presence of God and his redemptive love. By her intercession may there grow faith in the Eucharistic mystery, the joy of participating at holy Mass, especially on Sunday, and the desire to bear witness to the immense charity of Christ.
Don’t forget, we have Eucharistic Adoration Monday to Friday from after the 8:30AM Mass to 8:00PM. Come out and spend an hour with the Lord, it will be the best hour of your day!

God bless you,

Father Joseph Byerley
By Fr. Joseph Byerley 07 Jun, 2017
I wish to congratulate all of our St. Rose of Lima parishioners who graduated this year. Whether it was from kindergarten, grammar school, high school, college, or graduate school, we are very proud of you and ask God to bless you as you move on to the next stage in your life. May all that you have learned help you to be successful in your lives. But most importantly, that through your growth in the awareness of the truth in the world, you may become ever closer to Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
In a special way, I also want to acknowledge our graduates from St. Rose of Lima School. This past Wednesday, June 7th, our 44
8th graders graduated from St. Rose of Lima School. We will of course miss them and wish they could stay with us, but we know we must let them go to grow to their full potential. May the Lord bless you in a special way as you move onto high school. Take all the best from St. Rose of Lima to wherever you go. We are sure you will make us proud! Go Falcons!

Congratulations again and God bless you!

Father Joseph Byerley
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