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Saint Francis and His Dreams

Saint Francis of Assisi had many different dreams during his lifetime. Some of his dreams were fulfilled while others were dashed. As a youth he often dreamed of becoming a knight and finding glory on the battlefield. Francis’ first adventure in pursuit of glory took place when he joined the Assisi army against the army of the neighboring city of Perugia. This turned out to be one of his failed dreams. His side lost, and he spent a good deal of time fighting depression in a Perugian prison.
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Religion of the Heart

It is my conviction that at the core of every religious tradition lies an experience that is accessible to all of us, if we open our hearts to it. The heart of every religion is the religion of the heart. Heart stands here for that core of our being where we are one with ourselves, one with all, one even with the divine ground of our being. Belonging is therefore a key word for understanding the heart—the oneness of limitless belonging. A second key word is meaning, for the heart is the organ for meaning.
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The Friends of Thomas Merton

On November 10, 1958, Thomas Merton wrote a letter to Pope John XXIII in which the famous American monk shared with the new pope some reflections about the world and Church. In one part, Merton describes how he has begun to understand that being a cloistered monk does not necessarily mean withdrawing from the world in an absolute sort of way.
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The Treadmill of Disengagement

I have always enjoyed exercise, especially when I am chasing after a ball or aiming for something I can hit. However, life’s demands began to limit my time to exercise. I started running to get the most exercise out of the time I had. In the winter when it was too cold to run outside, I would go into the gym and get on a treadmill.
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Earth and Spirit

Other seeds into good soil fell and brought forth much grain, growing up, increasing and yielding up to thirty, sixty and even a hundredfold.—Mark 4:8
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Proclaiming the Gospel

“The Gospel always needs to be proclaimed!” says Roger Lopez, OFM. But this friar understands that proclaiming the Gospel in the 21st century can be challenging but also exciting: podcasts, videos, and other forms of digital media can be a place where the spiritually hungry can be nourished by God's word.
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Saint Francis and the Power of Prayer

Our lives are so easily fragmented between responsibilities to friends, family, employers, neighbors, and the larger human family that we may think we don’t have the time or energy for prayer. That was the experience of Saint Francis of Assisi up until his mid-twenties. Then he discovered that prayer was more real than many of the things he had been considering more important.
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Raising Saints: A Message for Parents

I once heard a priest refer to everyone he met as a “saint.” At first it struck me as odd, but once I thought about it, I realized he was right. At the least, such a greeting can inspire us to live up to the challenge of being saints.
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Saint Francis and the Eucharist

Saint Francis of Assisi’s life is a study in contrasts. He is admired the world over, yet he’s a hard one to neatly categorize. Born into great wealth, the young Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone stripped himself, literally, of all material affluence to embrace “lady poverty.” 
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Of Wandering and Welcome

Wanderers, explorers, pilgrims, and wayfarers—we have always been a migratory species. From our nomadic beginnings to our treks across mountains, deserts, and vast uncharted oceans, our ancestors traversed every habitable continent of the planet. Natural curiosity, combined with an insatiable hunger for connection, still inspires explorations of the ocean floor, the stark face of the moon, and even the infinite, inscrutable expanse of the visible universe.
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