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Saint Francis and 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 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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Notes from a Friar: A Look at Hell

A lot of people have questions about heaven, hell, and purgatory. To better understand hell, let’s review a bit. Everything about God and us centers on relationship. Heaven is complete and perfect union with God for eternity. Purgatory is union with God (through sanctifying grace), which is imperfect and incomplete. Purification from our sins then brings about a perfect union with God. In contrast, hell is complete, total and absolute separation from God for all eternity. Don’t think of heaven, purgatory, and hell as physical places. View them as states of existence. Think of the time you fell in love and the total exhilaration you felt. Consider the moment a loved one died unexpectedly and the shock, loss and disorientation you experienced. Each brought about an internal experience that touched your whole being.
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Br. Casey Cole on Reaching People Outside of Church

When you think “new” and “fresh,” you probably don't think about a religious order that's 800 years old. But Br. Casey Cole, OFM, is spreading his Franciscan message to untold numbers of Catholics, young and old, through YouTube, his blog, and his vibrant social media channels. His message is reaching people beyond the church walls.
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Finding God in the Everyday

Ever felt lost on your spiritual journey? Many people have—even in the Bible. A very wealthy young man runs to Jesus, kneels at his feet and asks him: “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mk 10:17). After this eager inquirer asserts that he has faithfully kept God’s commands all his life, Jesus lovingly invites him to a deeper level of discipleship—along with a promise that he will find treasure in heaven—after selling his possessions. When the young man hears this, he walks away sad because he refuses to give up his many possessions. 
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Faith and Family for February 13: The Beatitudes

Read LK 6:17, 20-26 Jesus came down with the twelve and stood on a stretch of level ground with a great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon. And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you,
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Psalm 36: Sin Speaks to the Sinner

The Book of Psalms was composed many centuries before Jesus’ time. The psalms are beautiful prayers that fit every condition and circumstance of life. They praise the Lord’s goodness and cry out in complaint and despair for the suffering we experience. The Book of Psalms, inspired as it is by God, gives us a powerful insight into human nature. The imagery is strong and so telling in its description. One such example is the opening verse of Psalm 36, entitled “Human Wickedness and Divine Providence.”
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My Journey to Lourdes

In December of 2015, I was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Over the coming days, the weight of my diagnosis became real: How would I cope? Who would take care of my family? Though my body was failing, this disease could not touch my spirit. I turned to Our Lady for help, taking a pilgrimage to Lourdes in France for healing and wholeness.  
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A Reflection on Psalm 139

1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
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Faith and Family for February 6: Go Cast Your Nets

Read LK 5:1-11 While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." Simon said in reply,
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A Celebration of Saints

Each time we pray the Nicene Creed, we say, “I believe in the communion of saints.” This statement is filled with profound implications for what it means to be the family of God. You and I are brothers and sisters, children of God created in his own image and likeness. In fact, all human beings are our sisters and brothers. 
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