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Ask a Franciscan: Why Is There So Much Injustice?

Posted by 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...

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Thank You, Mom

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

I have a confession to make: I don’t like children. Let me rephrase: I don’t like children I’m not related to or know in some capacity. The sound of a crying child in a grocery store sends me right to the Chilean wine section. If an angry child in a restaurant raises his voice one too many times, I want to dive under the table. And I can’t even talk about kids in theaters. But I was a child, too, once. I’ve always believed that one of my mom’s greatest accomplishments is that she survived my upbringing without being...

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God’s Love Has a Name and a Face

Posted by on May 7, 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. What is God’s love? It is not something vague, some generic feeling. God’s love has a name and a face: Jesus Christ, Jesus. Love for God is made manifest in Jesus. For we cannot love air…. Do we love air? Do we love all things? No, no we cannot; we love people and the person we love is Jesus, the gift of the Father among us. It is a love that gives value and beauty to everything else; a...

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The Day I Met Pope Francis

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

“God always surprises us; he bursts our categories; he wreaks havoc with our plans. And he tells us: Trust me; do not be afraid; let yourself be surprised.” I couldn’t have agreed more with Pope Francis when I heard him preach these words. It was October 13, 2013. I was standing in St. Peter’s Square with my father and my 4-month-old baby. As I watched him on the large-screen TVs from half a mile away, it was all the more amazing to think that, just the day before, we had kissed his ring and spoken with the pope face-to-face. Gift of a...

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7 Ways to Thank Mom

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

It would be a scary world without our mothers. Moms are proof that God loves us. Regardless of our age, our location, or our independence, there’s something unmistakably comforting about them. Franciscan Media and Servant Books offers titles that would make excellent gifts for moms who are looking for faith-affirming reading. Created to Relate: God’s Design for Peace and Joy: This book explains the natural gift women have for building and maintaining life-giving relationships. Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag: On-the-God...

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ASK FATHER: “We don’t go to Mass to adore Jesus…”?

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

From a reader… QUAERITUR: Last summer I heard a bishop say, “We don’t go to Mass to adore Jesus…” (I was too shocked to hear why we do go.) Last week, my own priest in his homily, said something to the effect that we go to Mass to support each other in our journey as Christians. I can support my friends over coffee; they aren’t why I come to Mass. Am I wrong to have adoration as my primary focus?? Doesn’t Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication still apply? Is this confusion why we have to...

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Pope Francis did two really cool things

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

First, yesterday, Pope Francis went to a parish near Ostia (Rome’s ancient port where St. Augustine’s mother, St. Monica, died – today is her feast in the traditional calendar). Before saying Mass, His Holiness heard confessions! Fathers… hear confession! Second, the Pope sent a message for the 750th anniversary of the death of Dante. If you haven’t read the Divine Comedy you just haven’t read enough yet. It is key. I recommend the translations by either… Dorothy Sayers   or… Anthony Esolen...

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Pope Francis did two really cool things

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

First, yesterday, Pope Francis went to a parish near Ostia (Rome’s ancient port where St. Augustine’s mother, St. Monica, died – today is her feast in the traditional calendar). Before saying Mass, His Holiness heard confessions! Fathers… hear confession! Second, the Pope sent a message for the 750th anniversary of the death of Dante. If you haven’t read the Divine Comedy you just haven’t read enough yet. It is key. I recommend the translations by either… Dorothy Sayers   or… Anthony Esolen...

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‘A Bruised and Dirty Church’

Posted by on May 1, 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. Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want...

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Ask a Franciscan: Is It a Sin Not to Be ‘Green’?

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Q: Dear Friar Pat: I hear different things from different Christians. Some think that being sensitive to ecological issues is a matter of faith. Others dismiss it as a fad and based on faulty science. Is someone committing a sin by denying the moral implications of ecological choices? A: Releasing toxic chemicals into a river during the night would be sinful, whether done by an individual or a company. That’s why it is done when it is unlikely to be detected. Choosing to drive to work rather than take public transportation may not be the most...

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Ask a Franciscan: Is It a Sin Not to Be ‘Green’?

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Q: Dear Friar Pat: I hear different things from different Christians. Some think that being sensitive to ecological issues is a matter of faith. Others dismiss it as a fad and based on faulty science. Is someone committing a sin by denying the moral implications of ecological choices? A: Releasing toxic chemicals into a river during the night would be sinful, whether done by an individual or a company. That’s why it is done when it is unlikely to be detected. Choosing to drive to work rather than take public transportation may not be the most...

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April Showers

Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

April showers are yielding to May flowers, right? During the past month, I’ve been watching two flowering trees in my backyard very closely. Two years ago I picked up a Dogwood tree and a Redbud tree from Lowe’s, with dreams of having clarions of spring out my back window. That’s the way that Cathy and I both remember our days working as lay missioners in Appalachia many years back. The dreary mountains of winter would gradually be decorated with striking white and red highlights from these two trees that flourish in the...

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‘Virgin Made Church’

Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

We do not know when Francis wrote “A Salutation of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” a short litany praising the mother of Jesus under many titles. After addressing her as lady, queen, and mother of God, Francis calls Mary “the virgin made Church.” He would have agreed with later scholars who have called her “the first Christian disciple.” Francis goes on to greet Mary as God’s palace, tabernacle, dwelling, robe, servant, and mother. He ends with a praise of all holy virtues that come through the help of the Holy Spirit to make us faithful to God....

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The Gift of Joy

Posted by on Apr 27, 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. Read the Gospel. Read the Gospel. We have spoken about it, do you remember? To read a passage of the Gospel every day; and to carry a little Gospel with us, in our pocket, in a purse, in some way, to keep it at hand. And there, reading a passage, we will find Jesus. Everything takes on meaning when you find your treasure there, in the Gospel. Jesus calls it “the Kingdom of God,” that is...

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A curious lacuna in ‘Misericordiae vultus’, the Bull for the Holy Year of Mercy

Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

From a reader… QUAERITUR: Today I was reading Misericordiae vultus and noticed that, in section 15 on the Works of Mercy, [Pope Francis] gives both full lists of 7 works, and then goes on to expand on all 7 of the Corporal Works but only 6 of the Spiritual. The Spiritual Work he doesn’t expand on is “admonish the sinner.” I’ve checked the English, Latin, Spanish, and Italian versions online to make sure one clause didn’t just drop out accidentally. Not there in any of them. Thoughts on this? Sure.  I have...

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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."