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St. Francis Novena | Day Seven: Love

St. Francis composed the “Canticle of Creatures” in the early part of 1225 when he was staying with Clare and the ladies at San Damiano. He was lying in a little hut that became overrun by field mice.
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St. Francis Novena | Day Six: Peace

Though he probably didn’t write it, the Peace Prayer attributed to St. Francis captures much of his spirit. He spent time and energy being an “instrument of peace.” He sought to reconcile.
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St. Francis Novena | Day Five: Poverty

For St. Francis, poverty wasn’t a state or condition that afflicts some unfortunate people. For him, poverty was a choice—not something that anyone or anything imposed upon him.
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St. Francis Novena | Day Four: Creation

The Jesuit priest poet Gerard Manley Hopkins has a beautiful line in one of his poems. “The world,” he wrote, “is charged with the grandeur of God.” Though St. Francis lived long before Hopkins, I think he would agree.
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St. Francis Novena | Day Three: The Gospels

We would be missing something if we were only given a sheet of music to experience Johann Sebastian Bach’s music or an unpainted or darkened Caravaggio canvas. Music is experienced through sound and vibration, while art is enjoyed through sight and the interplay of light, darkness, and touch.
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St. Francis Novena | Day Two: Evangelization

Evangelization is a Franciscan priority because it was a priority for St. Francis. And it was a priority because he had encountered Jesus and just couldn’t keep that to himself.
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St. Francis Novena | Day One: The Incarnation

Christianity is the only religion which proclaims that God became a human being. This is unique and central to Christian understanding. St. Francis was fascinated by what we have come to call the Incarnation. 
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Notes from a Friar: Letting God Love Us

In recent years, a gradual illumination has come about in my life. And this has greatly affected my understanding of God’s will. In the second half of my life, this intuition or insight has made my soul feel lighter and brighter—and more joyful.
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Family: Holiness in Its Place

The life of God is not lived in a vacuum. We do not become Christians and then withdraw from relationships with others. Holiness is not something we find outside normal, everyday human activity. Any and all fruits of following Christ with Francis must show up primarily in those relationships which are fundamental: family life. Charity and prayer, penance, poverty, humility—all must have their first fruits in what we contribute to the atmosphere of our home.
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Our Belief in God

In his lifetime, Jesus’ mission was not about building himself up. He came to love and to save every human being. And he would do that no matter what the cost—even death on the cross. He worked all of his public life to show how much God loved everyone—including those rejected by the religious leaders who were convinced God couldn’t love people who broke the law.
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