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Just reminding erryone of my current location #rio #papafrancis #skyline #beautiful

Posted by on 7-22-13

El Jueves salgo para Puerto Rico y estare participando del JMJ en PR. Un Evento unido al JMJ de Brasil. Seran dias de mucha gracia, poder y misericordia. Contamos con sus oraciones! Para mas info porfavor visiten www.jmj2013pr.com #jmj #jmj2013pr #brasil #puertorico #unasolaiglesia #jovenes #catholic #catolico #papafrancis

Posted by on 7-22-13

“Não tenho ouro nem prata.. Vim aqui transmitir o maior presente que recebi nessa vida: Jesus Cristo” – Papa Francisco, no Palácio Guanabara, na sua chegada no Rio de Janeiro

Posted by on 7-22-13

Nada mejor que coger cosas de los hoteles y encontrartelas un tiempo mas tarde #recuerdoson #abril2013 #antequera #campeonatoespañaporescuelas #catalunya #buenequipo #genialrelevo #granada #bocadecaballo #dientesdeleon #mojopicon #bananas #pasajeros #titofrancis #papafrancis #yayofrancis #quierovolver

Posted by on 7-22-13

El papa Francisco acaba de recitar: “Necesitamos santos sin velo, sin sotana. Necesitamos santos de jeans y zapatillas. Necesitamos santos que vayan al cine, escuchen musica y paseen con sus amigos. Necesitamos santos que coloquen a Dios en primer lugar y que sobresalgan en la Universidad. Necesitamos santos que busquen tiempo cada dia para rezar y que sepan enamorar en la pureza y castidad, o que consagren su castidad. Necesitamos santos modernos, santos del siglo XXI con una espiritualidad insertada en nuestro tiempo. Necesitamos santos comprometidos con los pobres y los necesarios cambios sociales. Necesitamos santos que vivan en el mundo, se santifiquen en el mundo y que no tengan miedo de vivir en el mundo. Necesitamos santos que tomen Coca Cola y coman hot-dogs, que sean internautas, que escuchen iPod. Necesitamos santos que amen la Eucaristia y que no tengan vergüenza de tomar una cerveza o comer pizza el fin de semana con los amigos. Necesitamos santos a los que les guste el cine, el teatro, la musica, la danza, el deporte. Necesitamos santos sociables, abiertos, normales, amigos, alegres, compañeros. Necesitamos santos que esten en el mundo y que sepan saborear las cosas puras y buenas del mundo, pero sin ser mundanos”. Amen!!!!!!! (Esta parte la dije yo) :) #santidadenjeans #santidad #PapaFrancis #Iglesia #yes #holiness

Posted by on 7-21-13

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Spiritual Stumbles...

Posted on May 21, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Heather King who resides in Los Angeles and speaks nationwide. This blog is adapted from Heather King’s book Stumble: Virtue, Vice, and the Space Between (Franciscan Media). Her blog can be found at shirtofflame.blogspot.com.

I find there are two types of people who attack me when they discover I’m Catholic. The first are lapsed or disgruntled Catholics who claim to be revolted by the Church but can’t stop talking about it. The second type are always trying to get me to say something bad about other (in their eyes, lukewarm) members of the Church. None of these folks can bear the gap between how a follower of Christ should be and how a person who claims to be a follower of Christ actually is.

But you have to be somewhat nuts to sign up for something that is basically impossible to achieve. As Thomas Merton observed, “We must remember that in order to choose religious life, you must be a misfit.”

Christ did not confine himself to politics. He didn’t say, “We need more rights.” He didn’t say, “Let’s overthrow the Romans.” He said, “We need to live in total integrity and love. In order to do so, we need a Church, and because we are never going to do so perfectly, the Church will inevitably also be imperfect.”

To avoid the scandal of the cross, which is to say the scandal of the Church, is impossible. How could a Church made up of us be anything but imperfect? What Church would take us except a Church that tolerated imperfection? Where else would we drag ourselves to pray for the people we resent at any given moment—our mothers, our spouses, our kids, our friends, our politicians, the other people in church—but to church?

Where else would we go to be reminded of the perpetual death and perpetual rebirth but to Mass? In order to try resurrecting the Church we keep wrecking, we have to keep going to church—because we need Christ: to walk with us, to live.

*****

Photo by blue67sign/Shutterstock

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Spiritual Stumbles...

Posted on May 21, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Heather King who resides in Los Angeles and speaks nationwide. This blog is adapted from Heather King’s book Stumble: Virtue, Vice, and the Space Between (Franciscan Media). Her blog can be found at shirtofflame.blogspot.com.

I find there are two types of people who attack me when they discover I’m Catholic. The first are lapsed or disgruntled Catholics who claim to be revolted by the Church but can’t stop talking about it. The second type are always trying to get me to say something bad about other (in their eyes, lukewarm) members of the Church. None of these folks can bear the gap between how a follower of Christ should be and how a person who claims to be a follower of Christ actually is.

But you have to be somewhat nuts to sign up for something that is basically impossible to achieve. As Thomas Merton observed, “We must remember that in order to choose religious life, you must be a misfit.”

Christ did not confine himself to politics. He didn’t say, “We need more rights.” He didn’t say, “Let’s overthrow the Romans.” He said, “We need to live in total integrity and love. In order to do so, we need a Church, and because we are never going to do so perfectly, the Church will inevitably also be imperfect.”

To avoid the scandal of the cross, which is to say the scandal of the Church, is impossible. How could a Church made up of us be anything but imperfect? What Church would take us except a Church that tolerated imperfection? Where else would we drag ourselves to pray for the people we resent at any given moment—our mothers, our spouses, our kids, our friends, our politicians, the other people in church—but to church?

Where else would we go to be reminded of the perpetual death and perpetual rebirth but to Mass? In order to try resurrecting the Church we keep wrecking, we have to keep going to church—because we need Christ: to walk with us, to live.

*****

Photo by blue67sign/Shutterstock

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Ridding the World of Evil...

Posted on May 20, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Since the beginning of human history, violence and bloody warfare have been among humanity’s most common ways of eliminating those seen as enemies. And in recent decades, we have not found better methods, or so it seems, of eliminating these opponents. Our “enemies” are still there, despite the escalation of bloody conflicts, whether in our own neighborhoods or on the international scene. Consider, for example, the violent conflicts still raging or smoldering in the Middle East (Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Israel, West Bank, Gaza, etc.).

Henri Nouwen Remembered

An approach that has helped me personally in struggling with the question of how to rid our world of evil began with a discussion I had long ago with the late Father Henri Nouwen in 1974. At that time, he shared with me in an interview some of Thomas Merton’s thoughts on nonviolence. Nouwen was a teacher at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, at the time and had recently written Pray to Live, a book about Merton.

Father Nouwen said that Thomas Merton saw a close link between violence and a faulty notion of evil. “If you see evil as something ‘out there,’ something outside yourself, sharply defined and irreversible,” explained Nouwen, “then the only way to deal with it is in the same way you deal with a malignant tumor —You cut it out, take it out, eradicate it, burn it away, kill it —which means you immediately become violent.” Father Nouwen pointed out how Adolf Hitler had identified Jews as “the evil thing” and believed that “once you take that away, there will be no more evil.”

The Perspective of Thomas Merton

Merton, a Trappist monk who had studied Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas on nonviolence, believed that the above way of thinking was an oversimplification. Thanks to Gandhi, said Nouwen, “Merton started to discover that the roots of all problems were in his own soul, too, that evil is not something outside himself that could be identified, but part of the whole human condition of which he was a part.”

Father Nouwen emphasized Merton’s view that the roots of all evil are in the human heart, and the first place to start converting or reversing the evil process is in one’s own heart.

To follow the wisdom of Thomas Merton, therefore, we should not only make a big effort to exterminate the evil outside ourselves, but first of all to diminish the evil tendencies within us: selfishness, pride, vengeance, hatred, violence. These impulses we hold in common with all humanity.

Words of Jesus and Further Thoughts

As most of us are aware, Jesus had already taught a similar way of dealing with evil when he said, “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the splinter from your eye, when you don’t even notice the wooden beam in your own eye” (Lk 6:41-42). In the same chapter of Luke, Jesus also teaches about loving your enemies and forgiving rather than condemning others.

Societies have a right and a duty to protect their citizens from terrorism—and to confront and bring to justice to those who commit acts of mass murder. It is not enough to look only outside oneself, however. It i s not fair to simply point to a country like Iran or Iraq as evil and at the same time to pretend that we are free of evil? Is our own national record free of all blemishes—we with our history of racism, violence and corporate bosses sucking the life savings from defenseless people lower on the economic ladder?

We do well to reflect on Thomas Merton’s advice to hate injustice, evil, tyranny and greed, but we must hate these things in ourselves—not only in those who are “out there” across the ocean.

*****
Photo by Igor Zh/Shutterstock

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Pope Francis cancelled many regular events…...

Posted on May 20, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

From the Daily Beast:

WHY IS POPE FRANCIS CANCELING EVENTS?

No one can argue that Pope Francis deserves a little break. Since taking office in March 2013, the 77-year-old Argentinian has been on the move almost nonstop greeting his adoring public and reforming the Vatican’s many troubled institutions.

But an announcement by the Vatican’s news service on Monday that the pope will be drastically curtailing his schedule by suspending his popular Wednesday audiences in July and skipping his daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, where he lives, has many in Rome wondering if the pope is really OK.
Many people already have tickets for the July audiences, which implies that the decision to suspend them was spontaneous, not preplanned. Several Vatican insiders also have noted that the pope is gaining weight and breathing harder than usual, which has caused some of his close associates to warn him to slow down. “Some in the Holy See are beginning to openly discuss concerns about Francis’ condition and asking if the Holy Father is overtaxing himself,” longtime Vatican correspondent Edward Pentin wrote after the surprising changes to the pope’s schedule.

The worries began last week, when the pope spontaneously canceled his Monday and Tuesday engagements after his historic trip to the Holy Land and Peace prayer with leaders from Israel and Palestine, sending the Vatican press corps in Rome into a minor moment of panic. This week’s announcement of his amended schedule has only added to the speculation that the pope’s health is suffering.
[…]

Read the rest there.

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Carry the Gospel With You...

Posted on May 18, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our blog today is an excerpt from Franciscan Media’s new book The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis, edited by Alicia von Stamwitz.

We, the disciples of Jesus, are called to be people who listen to his voice and take his words seriously. To listen to Jesus, we must be close to him, to follow him, like the crowd in the Gospel who chase him through the streets of Palestine.

Jesus did not have a teaching post or a fixed pulpit, he was an itinerant teacher, who proposed his teachings, teachings given to him by the Father, along the streets, covering distances that were not always predictable or easy. Follow Jesus in order to listen to him. But also let us listen to Jesus in his written Word, in the Gospel. I pose a question to you: do you read a passage of the Gospel everyday? Yes, no… yes, no… half of the time…some say yes, some no.

It is important! Do you read the Gospel? It is so good; it is a good thing to have a small book of the Gospel, a little one, and to carry it in our pocket or in our purse and read a little passage in whatever moment presents itself during the day. In any given moment of the day I take the Gospel from my pocket and I read something, a short passage. Jesus is there and he speaks to us in the Gospel!

*****

Photo by Natykach Nataliia/Shutterstock

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Some Monday Vatican drilling...

Posted on May 18, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

You all should check out today’s Monday Vatican by Andrea Gagliarducci.

This week Andrea drills into the circumstances and implications of the recently election of Card. Tagle of Manila as head of Caritas International.

Here is one section:

The progressive wing likes Cardinal Tagle very much, and appreciates the fact that he is part of the editorial committee of the so-called “School of Bologna” that is committed to writing a history of the Second Vatican Council, interpreting it as a rupture with the past – and not according to the hermeneutic of continuity promoted by Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Tagle’s election is thus interpreted as a break with the institutional efforts promoted by Benedict XVI. But saying that Cardinal Tagle is the “Asian Pope Francis”would also represent a contrived interpretation of facts.

There is some examination of the state of the ongoing reform of the Roman Curia… what’s happening and what isn’t.  Pope Francis may be figuring out that the Roman Curia isn’t such a useless structure after all.   It had to happen.

There is also some focus on Archbp. Fernandez, whose star seems to be sputtering out.

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Relax–and Strengthen...

Posted on May 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Today we welcome guest blogger Kathy Coffey. This comes from the “Living Simply” column in St. Anthony Messenger.

A simple cure for frustration, stress or fatigue isn’t always found in the pharmacy or medicine cabinet. Instead, it’s closer to home: a deep, belly breath. Breathing has always been sacred to the world’s religious traditions. We believe that humanity began when God breathed life into us (Genesis 2:7), and that Jesus continued this gift by breathing the Holy Spirit into the disciples (John 20:22).

At stressful times, we take short, shallow breaths. But what we need most then is more oxygen, not less. It may be the easiest New Year’s resolution you’ve ever made. Allow the breath to anchor and energize, naturally.

So the next time you want to scream at a salesperson or collapse for a nap, try this source of calm and energy instead.

Inhale so that your stomach swells like a balloon. (Place one hand there to make sure it’s happening.) Pause, then exhale completely so the stomach is slightly hollowed.

Then match prayer to breath. Spontaneous words are good: “Thank you for the breath of life.” Or borrow from the Bible: “It’s good to be here.” “I came that you might have life.” Or Rumi: “Lord, how good the air smells today!”

****Image from Shutterstock.com/Olivier Le Moal

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Croatia’s Fearless Defender of Life...

Posted on May 16, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Perhaps no other event in world history illustrates the depths of human cruelty like the Holocaust. More than 60 years have passed, but the shadows of that era linger. Apart from the bravery and resolve of the Jewish people—those who survived and those who didn’t—few shards of light penetrated such unparalleled darkness.

There were exceptions—people who risked life and liberty to ensure the survival of the innocent. Blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac was among them. From the start, Stepinac devoted his life to battling “isms.” He waged wars on Communism, fascism and, most of all, the evils of Nazism.

Born to a peasant family in Krašic, Croatia, Stepinac lived under four different governments, all of which influenced his life and sculpted his courageous resistance. After serving in the military, Stepinac chose to be a priest and was ordained in 1930. Deep faith and a concern for human rights dominated his life. His voice—which defended people of all faiths—would be his legacy. It would also be his undoing.

Two years after he was consecrated archbishop of Zagreb—the largest city in Croatia—World War II began. Almost immediately, Stepinac used his position to speak out against the treatment of Jews and Orthodox Christians.

He backed his statements with action, instructing his priests to provide baptismal certificates to any in need of protection. He knew refugees might well return to their own faith tradition “when these times of madness and savageness are over,” as he once wrote.

Stepinac also allowed people—mostly Jews—to hide in monasteries. Estimates of lives saved—directly or indirectly—by Cardinal Stepinac are in the hundreds, including 60 residents of a Jewish home for the elderly.

After the war ended, Stepinac waged a private war against Communism. Such opposition garnered unwanted attention: Falsely accused of war crimes, he was arrested and tried in September of 1946. Convicted, he was sentenced to 16 years of hard labor, despite vehement opposition from many Jews who credited Stepinac with saving their lives.

He was released from prison in 1951 but put under house arrest, dying nine years later from arsenic poisoning, it is suspected. But his memory endures.

What is it about heroism that captures the human heart? I think these brave men and women exhibit qualities that speak to our own potential.

Stepinac—a defender of life in its purest sense—was a restless, righteous spirit: What the Nazis sought to destroy, he fought to save. When nations turned a blind eye to those cruelly victimized, he shed a light as bright as heaven on them. He spoke for those whose own voices were muffled. Simply put, Stepinac wasn’t afraid to stand up.

In my own life, I try to follow the lead of this holy martyr. Stepinac proves that speaking out is a noble act. The many people he saved—and the generations alive today because of him—are the fruits of his life’s work.

Alojzije Stepinac’s life exemplifies the passage from the Talmud which states: “Whoever saves one life is as though he had saved the entire world.”

Image:
Shutterstock/ Zvonimir Atletic

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More Than Intercession...

Posted on May 15, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a fourth-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012.

When most people think of prayer, they think of only one specific kind of prayer: intercession.  It seems to me that the vast majority of prayer involves asking God to provide us with something specific, whether it’s something big, like healing for a loved one, or something small, like the strength to get through the stresses of a day.  This isn’t at all a bad thing—intercessory prayer helps us connect with both God and the people for whom we pray. It can even make miracles happen.  It’s important for us to pray for specific things, but I often feel that people put so much emphasis on intercessory prayer, that we forget prayer is so much more than asking God for things.

The power of prayer stretches far beyond God giving us things that we need or want. Prayer allows us to connect with God, to bring His holy presence into our lives, no matter where we are.  Prayer is a spiritual transporter that brings us into the presence of the creator of the universe and the savior of the world.

As important as intercession is, that connection is what makes prayer truly miraculous.  I think a lot of us forget that beautiful connection when we focus so much on intercessory prayer.  We get so caught up in asking God for different things that we forget to pause and take the advice of Psalm 46:11: “Be still and know that I am God!”  Sometimes, we ought to consider not only what we need to remember to ask or tell God, but what God needs to hear from us.  We need to offer our praises to God, to thank Him for all that He’s done for us, and to tell Him that we love Him.  Sometimes, even just repeating the name “Jesus” is all we need to connect with the Lord.  No matter how we do it, though, we need to emphasize communicating with God as much as we emphasize praying for specific things.

Intercessory prayer is important, even necessary, to living a Christian life. But we need to remember that it’s not the only way to pray.  We need to remember that sometimes we need to enter into prayer with no intention except to grow closer to God.

*****
Photo: Carlos Santa Maria/PhotoXpress

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The Gift of Life...

Posted on May 14, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

This past Sunday here in the United States we celebrated Mother’s Day—a day when we reflect on that special family relationship from the various perspectives through which we approach it. For example, I myself am a mother, and I am also a daughter of my mother who is still alive. Many of you celebrated the memories of your deceased mothers, as my own mother did. Still others bear the most indescribable pain of motherhood—having lost a child to death through miscarriage, stillbirth, illness, accident, or even murder or execution.

But whether we visit our mothers in person, call them on the phone or by computer, or simply keep them alive in our hearts, we thank God them and for the many spiritual gifts that mothers and children share.

*****

Photo by Yoshi-5/Shutterstock

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Pope Francis Is Coming...

Posted on May 13, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Pope Francis is coming in September. There’s lots of excitement, even as final planning for the events involved is still underway. As always there are detractors and critics, but overall the pope’s visit will be a major event in the life of the Catholic Church in the United States.

The pope will draw the attention of international reporters and of American pundits. Since Pope Francis’ popularity keeps growing he will have opportunities to discuss issues like marriage, poverty and religious liberty, not to mention terrorism and the persecution and slaughter of Christians in the Middle East.

After his arrival in Washington, DC, the pope will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra during a Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on September 23. Pope Francis will be welcomed to the White House that same day. On September 24 the pope will address a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Then he travels to New York. There, on September 25, Pope Francis will address the United Nations General Assembly.

The World Meeting of Families is the final destination on the pope’s schedule. He is expected to arrive in Philadelphia on Saturday, September 26. The Festival of Families and the Papal Mass on Sunday September 27 are expected to draw huge crowds.

While the papal schedule may be adjusted in the months ahead, the framework appears settled at this point. Undoubtedly there may be surprises surrounding the pope’s public events and speeches. With his penchant for justice for the poor and his insistence on religious freedom the pope may halt motorcades, visit the poor and give security details fits because of his spontaneity.

Monitor the Catholic media during the months ahead to learn more. Join with the nation’s bishops in celebrating the Fortnight for Freedom from June 22 through the Fourth of July. The months before the papal visit will be fraught with controversy and with religious issues like our Catholic understanding of marriage and human rights in the context of American secularity.

Photo Credit:  giulio napolitano / Shutterstock.com
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Don’t Forget to Laugh...

Posted on May 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Recently, we had a run of misfortunes in our house. The refrigerator broke, flooding the basement in the process. The oven door shattered all over the kitchen at 7:00 in the morning as I was getting the kids ready for school, our van tire got a hole in it and various drains in our house decided to quit working on a week-by-week schedule, requiring about six calls to our favorite plumber. Oh, and did I happen to mention that my husband, Mark, was conveniently out of town during all of these adventures? But you know what? I wasn’t mad at him. I was more sad that I didn’t have him home to laugh with me about all of it.

You see, one of the things I have always loved most about Mark is his ability to make me laugh—most of time without really trying and often at times when I don’t really feel like it. For instance, I remember once when we were in the middle of an argument and he tried to explain how he felt. What he meant to say was “I’m sorry, I felt stupid.” What came out was: “I’m sorry, stupid.” Silence, and then we both burst out laughing. To this day he still swears that it was all planned out. While it didn’t resolve what we were arguing about, it did bring us both back to a more civil and reasonable level.

Let’s face it, marriage can get pretty serious at times. Illness, job loss, a death in the family, financial worries, and other crises are a part of life and can weigh down our spirits. A lot of times, laughter and fun are the first things to go out the door. But they shouldn’t be. We need to laugh. Not only is it good for our relationships, but it’s good for our health, too. And allowing yourself to laugh and be happy certainly doesn’t mean denying the seriousness of whatever challenge you are facing. But it does give you a brief reprieve. Some time to recharge before facing life again.

And who better to laugh with than your spouse?

 

****
Photo: shutterstock/ jalcaraz

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Don’t Forget to Laugh...

Posted on May 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Recently, we had a run of misfortunes in our house. The refrigerator broke, flooding the basement in the process. The oven door shattered all over the kitchen at 7:00 in the morning as I was getting the kids ready for school, our van tire got a hole in it and various drains in our house decided to quit working on a week-by-week schedule, requiring about six calls to our favorite plumber. Oh, and did I happen to mention that my husband, Mark, was conveniently out of town during all of these adventures? But you know what? I wasn’t mad at him. I was more sad that I didn’t have him home to laugh with me about all of it.

You see, one of the things I have always loved most about Mark is his ability to make me laugh—most of time without really trying and often at times when I don’t really feel like it. For instance, I remember once when we were in the middle of an argument and he tried to explain how he felt. What he meant to say was “I’m sorry, I felt stupid.” What came out was: “I’m sorry, stupid.” Silence, and then we both burst out laughing. To this day he still swears that it was all planned out. While it didn’t resolve what we were arguing about, it did bring us both back to a more civil and reasonable level.

Let’s face it, marriage can get pretty serious at times. Illness, job loss, a death in the family, financial worries, and other crises are a part of life and can weigh down our spirits. A lot of times, laughter and fun are the first things to go out the door. But they shouldn’t be. We need to laugh. Not only is it good for our relationships, but it’s good for our health, too. And allowing yourself to laugh and be happy certainly doesn’t mean denying the seriousness of whatever challenge you are facing. But it does give you a brief reprieve. Some time to recharge before facing life again.

And who better to laugh with than your spouse?

 

****
Photo: shutterstock/ jalcaraz

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Ask a Franciscan: Why Is There So Much Injustice?...

Posted on May 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Q. If God is all-powerful and all-good, why does evil exist? I have heard the theories of human free will, responsibility, and weakness after Adam and Eve’s fall. We simply don’t know why God allows what God allows. Why is there so much unbearable injustice in the world?

A. The evidence of human suffering is undeniable. If someone uses that fact as a reason not to believe in God, the suffering doesn’t disappear. In fact, it may be even harder to handle.

As a group, are atheists more compassionate than people who believe in God? I don’t see any evidence to support such a generalization. Although some atheists work in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and similar services, they rarely, if ever, sponsor them officially.

People are killed by hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, catastrophic fires, and other causes. But most people never cite these as reasons not to believe in God or not to believe in God’s overall providence.

No, what they do cite are obviously human evils: murder, theft, abuse of children or vulnerable adults, and genocide that fill our daily news.

God did not have to create stars, rocks, flowers, birds, or people. God did all of that out of love, acting in perfect freedom. We never act with the same freedom, but every time we act in more genuine freedom, we are acting as people made in God’s image and likeness.

Most human suffering is caused by an abuse of human freedom. God could, of course, have created a world in which human freedom could not be abused. That would be the ultimate demonstration of micromanaging. In such a world, however, we could make no sense of authentic love or God-given freedom.

The evil that we encounter all too often does not indicate a lack of due diligence on God’s part, but rather a failure on humans’ part to use their freedom in a way that acknowledges God as the ultimate source of our freedom.

Later this month, we celebrate the anniversary of Christ’s birth, the most powerful reminder of God’s infinite and continuing love.

Do you have a question for Father Pat? Send them to Ask@FranciscanMedia.org!

*****
Photo: hikrcn/Shutterstock

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Ask a Franciscan: Why Is There So Much Injustice?...

Posted on May 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Q. If God is all-powerful and all-good, why does evil exist? I have heard the theories of human free will, responsibility, and weakness after Adam and Eve’s fall. We simply don’t know why God allows what God allows. Why is there so much unbearable injustice in the world?

A. The evidence of human suffering is undeniable. If someone uses that fact as a reason not to believe in God, the suffering doesn’t disappear. In fact, it may be even harder to handle.

As a group, are atheists more compassionate than people who believe in God? I don’t see any evidence to support such a generalization. Although some atheists work in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and similar services, they rarely, if ever, sponsor them officially.

People are killed by hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, catastrophic fires, and other causes. But most people never cite these as reasons not to believe in God or not to believe in God’s overall providence.

No, what they do cite are obviously human evils: murder, theft, abuse of children or vulnerable adults, and genocide that fill our daily news.

God did not have to create stars, rocks, flowers, birds, or people. God did all of that out of love, acting in perfect freedom. We never act with the same freedom, but every time we act in more genuine freedom, we are acting as people made in God’s image and likeness.

Most human suffering is caused by an abuse of human freedom. God could, of course, have created a world in which human freedom could not be abused. That would be the ultimate demonstration of micromanaging. In such a world, however, we could make no sense of authentic love or God-given freedom.

The evil that we encounter all too often does not indicate a lack of due diligence on God’s part, but rather a failure on humans’ part to use their freedom in a way that acknowledges God as the ultimate source of our freedom.

Later this month, we celebrate the anniversary of Christ’s birth, the most powerful reminder of God’s infinite and continuing love.

Do you have a question for Father Pat? Send them to Ask@FranciscanMedia.org!

*****
Photo: hikrcn/Shutterstock

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."