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Ave Maria: Calling upon Mother Mary

The Hail Mary has always been one of my favorite prayers and the one that I rely upon the most when I feel the need for assistance from the Mother of God. One of the first prayers I was taught, it reminds me of my grandmothers, May crownings and Marian songs.
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Letting Go and Shedding Layers of Myself

On a trip from the United States to Innsbruck, Austria, an ordinary experience exposed one of my patterns and gave me great insight into how I was living my life.
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Be a Living Prayer

Unlike Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s concentrated, step-by-step instructions for prayer in his Spiritual Exercises, Saint Francis of Assisi’s guidance for those who wish to follow his example of prayer and devotion is more diffuse.
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Honoring All of Creation

Is anyone else tired of our how polarized and paralyzed our national politics have become? At a time when we desperately need creative leadership from the men and women we elect to office, I long for leaders who govern from the center of their being.
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A Friar's Reflection on Mary

"God is love," John Quigley, OFM, says. "And God wanted a physical way to be God." Enter Mary. God chose this young woman from Nazareth to be the mother of his son. And through her holiness and trust in God, Mary ushered Jesus into the universe.
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Sacred Violence

Both René Girard and Gil Bailie have taught us that the most effective and common way to turn social hatred into social harmony is via a scapegoat. It works so well, it gathers the community so quickly, that it has endured through most of human history. Now it is the normal story line, so normal that we hardly see it. It remains denied, invisible, and unnoticed.
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Models of Faith: The Virgin Mary

When I was younger, it bothered me when Jesus addressed his Mother as “Woman” in the Gospels. This was long before I had grown into my own womanhood, or knew what it meant to be a woman. Now I hear that word in a new light.
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The Belly of the Whale

The word change normally refers to new beginnings. But transformation, the mystery we’re examining, more often happens not when something new begins, but when something old falls apart. The pain of something old falling apart—chaos—invites the soul to listen at a deeper level. It invites, and sometimes forces, the soul to go to a new place because the old place is falling apart. Most of us would never go to new places in any other way.
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I Am Made for God

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a human person. What began as a key theme of theology discussed in one of the graduate courses I teach, this has become something that has stayed on my mind a lot lately.
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The Security to Be Insecure

At the time of the Second Vatican Council, we Catholics were very self-confident. All indicators of numbers, vocations, money, and influence were positive and growing. There was no reason to reform or self-criticize. Our identity was clear, our boundaries were clear, our sense of the absolute was grounded and founded. We knew who we were and, ironically, we were therefore free to criticize ourselves, even from the very top.
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