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Why Ash Wednesday?

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a second-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. It’s no secret that most Catholics my age don’t go to Mass much anymore. Many of my fellow college students are not religious at all, but many of the people who still consider themselves Catholic don’t go to Mass because they don’t think they have time or they haven’t made going to Mass a...

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Ashes

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

If you receive blessed ashes to mark the start of Lent you will hear one of two phrases used by the minister who smears ashes on your forehead. “Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” “Repent and believe the Gospel.” Ashes are an ancient symbol of repentance. The church uses ashes as a powerful reminder—turn from evil and embrace the good—because life comes to an end and we all face divine judgment. Ultimately, ashes testify to our belief that there is more to life than material things or accomplishments. Ashes are also...

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The Journey of Our Lives

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Jim Van Vurst, OFM, co-author of the free e-newsletter A Friar’s E-spirations. To learn more, click here. It’s common to describe our lives on this earth as journeys. Each of us weaves a personal history made up of moments in which we are caught up in events—most of which we did not anticipate. And we make decisions and do things that affect others in ways we cannot grasp. I suspect there are a few of my readers who have kept diaries. I began journaling in 1972 after I had been ordained about 11 years. It was...

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What on earth is Pope Francis up to and why?

Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

One of my go-to guys for commentary on things Vatican is now Andrea Gagliarducci at his weekly Monday Vatican post. This week Andrea tackles the questions (my wording): What on earth is Pope Francis up to and why? Let’s see some of his piece.  You will have to read the whole thing there.  Here are samples with my oft-imitated treatment of emphases and comments: Pope Francis: Will It Really Be a Revolution? The week that begins today and ends with the creation of 20 new cardinals may represent the turning point of Pope Francis’...

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An Alternative Orthodoxy: Paying Attention to Different Things

Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Richard Rohr, best-selling author of the new book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi. To learn more about Richard, click here. One of the earliest accounts of Francis, the “Legend of Perugia,” quotes Francis as telling the first friars, “You only know as much as you do.” His emphasis on action, practice and lifestyle was foundational and revolutionary for its time and at the heart of Franciscan alternative orthodoxy (“heterodoxy”). For Francis and Clare, Jesus became someone to actually imitate...

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Francis’ Oldest Prayer

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

The oldest writing of St. Francis is probably his “Prayer before the Crucifix,” which dates to 1205 or 1206—very early in his conversion process. In this short prayer, after Francis asks God to enlighten the darkness of his heart, he requests “true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, sense, and knowledge” (translation in Francis of Assisi: Early Documents). With these gifts, Francis will be able to carry out God’s “holy and true command.” This is a very open-ended prayer, acknowledging God as the source of these gifts and Francis as the...

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Francis’ Oldest Prayer

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

The oldest writing of St. Francis is probably his “Prayer before the Crucifix,” which dates to 1205 or 1206—very early in his conversion process. In this short prayer, after Francis asks God to enlighten the darkness of his heart, he requests “true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, sense, and knowledge” (translation in Francis of Assisi: Early Documents). With these gifts, Francis will be able to carry out God’s “holy and true command.” This is a very open-ended prayer, acknowledging God as the source of these gifts and Francis as the...

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John Allen pulled a fast one over a Crux about the Synod

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

A preliminary list of some of the bishop-members of next October’s Synod of Bishops to discuss “the family” has been released.  There are big holes in the membership still, since many conferences haven’t yet elected officers, etc.  You can tell this is only a partial list: there’s no one on it from, for example, Germany (not that that would be horrible).   I am guessing that the Lord of the Synod, Card. Baldisseri, having learned from criticism last year that the names of the members were pretty much shrouded in...

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Perspective Is Everything

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

Circumstances in the life of a family member today have me thinking about perspective. The genius of St. Francis and perhaps the longevity of his fame are no doubt related to the perspective he was moved to in his life: which came through struggles and ultimate surrender to the movement of God. I struggle often with perspective. External forces and internal “demons” handicap my ability to see far beyond my own scope. Preparing for Lent and the things to come, I am resolved (and I invite you to consider) to incorporate a more...

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Polish Archbishop predicts ugly confrontations at Synod: “innovators have not been idle”

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

At the blog Witness for Church and Pope I saw this (my emphases): BREAKING NEWS from POLAND: Archbishop Henryk Hoser: “The Church has betrayed John Paul II…they did not follow his voice, they did not acquaint themselves with his teaching” Today’s Niedziela, from Poland, carries an interview with Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw-Praga, about the recent acts of treachery against Our Lord, His Church and our recently sainted Pope, St. Pope John Paul II. These acts of treachery were committed by an assortment of...

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Pope Francis condones beating children

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

The catholic Left hangs on every word that the Pope has, might, could utter about global warning and redistribution of wealth.  They can’t wait to see the next airplane presser or daily off the cuff fervorino, which they hold to have virtually magisterial authority.   When he says something about not talking about abortion or not judging a homosexual, he can’t possibly be wrong.  Pope Francis! The first Pope ever to smile or kiss a baby, the first Pope ever to preach mercy can’t possibly be wrong about anything… except...

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It’s Cold Outside!

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

Cold weather has swept much of the country these days, with wave after wave of blizzards across the northern US in recent weeks. Here’s shot of the spigot near my front door at home. Last October I turned the water off and left the faucet open, as usual, to keep the pipes intact through winter (to keep the pipes from freezing). But there must be a drip in this faucet! A very small drip. Look how a small drip builds up! It’s kind of like a living ice cube. Our habits do the same to us. If we make small acts of charity a daily...

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Nobody Doesn’t Love Serra

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Among all the announcements around Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the United States, one of the most exciting for Franciscan-minded people was the unveiling of plans to canonize American missionary Junipero Serra. While my fellow residents of the USA might tend to think that Christianity has been here forever, we were described as a “mission field” by the Church until 1908. Though the early Puritans and waves of immigrants from predominantly Catholic countries take the credit for the ingrained nature of Christianity in the...

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Living on the Edge of the Inside: Simplicity and Justice

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Richard Rohr, best-selling author of the new book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi. To learn more about Richard, click here. Francis and Clare were not so much prophets by what they said as in the radical, system-critiquing way that they lived their lives. They found both their inner and outer freedom by structurally living on the edge of the inside of both church and society. Too often people seek either inner freedom or outer freedom, but seldom—very seldom in my opinion—do people find both....

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The ‘Ups’ of Lent

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

Our guest blogger is Msgr. Richard Hilgartner, a former executive director of the US bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship and currently president of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. “What are you giving up for Lent?” is always a popular question among Catholics as Lent approaches, as if another New Year’s resolution is to be set (or reset). It becomes, for some, a badge of honor, and, for all, an opportunity to witness to the faith in a public way. Even people who might not identify themselves as the most devout members...

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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."