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Entries related to: poverty

Saint Francis in Over-the-Rhine

In 2009’s Crazy Heart, Jeff Bridges won a well-deserved Oscar for playing Bad Blake, an aging country singer, failed father, drunk, and warrior poet. The film’s theme song, “The Weary Kind,” is playing in my office as I write this. Piercing the gravel-laden and unforgettable delivery of Ryan Bingham’s voice are the sounds of the neighborhood in which I work: police sirens, pedestrians, and blaring car horns fill the air. The chorus of the song reflects the journey of the film’s protagonist, but it’s just as true of the neighborhood I’m in: “This ain’t no place for the weary kind.”
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Mother Teresa: Extending a Loving Hand to All

  On December 13, 1979, Mother Teresa went to the Iranian embassy in Rome. America was concerned with the fate of the hostages taken when the American embassy in Iran was seized by Islamic revolutionaries led by Ayatollah Khomeini. “I have come to see you about the American hostages,” Mother Teresa said. “I come as a mother who longs for her children. I am willing to go to Iran or to talk to the Ayatollah on the telephone.”
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Mother Teresa and Francis of Assisi: Two Saints, One Spirit

Every day after Holy Communion, Mother Teresa and her community would say the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis. The foundress of the Missionaries of Charity carried with her a small reproduction of an old painting of Francis in which the weeping saint holds a cloth to his eyes. “He’s wiping his tears,” she said, showing the picture to the Franciscans around her. “I think he’s crying after receiving the Stigmata.” She treasured this keepsake, remarking that it is different from other items given to her, which her sisters and friends would sometimes “steal.” “I would never give this away,” she said, smiling. Why did Mother Teresa admire Francis? And why did she think that he has had an impact on her life? “I suppose it’s because Francis of Assisi tried to imitate the poverty of Christ so closely,” she said.
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I Was Homeless

Bible reading has gotten me into trouble over and over again. This began to happen when I went to live in subsidized housing for two years. There, the social worker, who was the assistant to the director, threatened me with a day-treatment program for the mental health-challenged because, as she said, I was “reading that book so much.” She seemed to have limitless power over the residents of the five housing complexes in town, so I gave away my furniture and left my little apartment with my Bible and not much else.
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My Own Money Story

 
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Jesus' Challenge: Embrace Poverty

In 1987, I got sober. In 1990, with the law degree I’d earned while drinking, I landed a job as an attorney and started making money for the first time I my life. In 1994, I quit that job in order to embark on the precarious vocation of a writer. In 1996, I converted to Catholicism and joined the Church.
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