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Saint Francis and the Marrow of the Gospel

Many people have lost heart today because we feel confused and powerless. The “powers and principalities” seem overwhelming: consumerism, racism, militarism, patriarchy, climate change, the corporate juggernaut. We feel helpless to choose our own lives, much less a common life, or to see any overarching meaning. The world is so complex, and we are so small. What can we do but let the waves of history carry us and try to keep afloat somehow? 
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Finding God in the Darkness of Depression

  I have a passionate devotion to Divine Mercy. I sing the Chaplet and pray this prayer of surrender, “Jesus, help the signature of my life be the signature of your Divine Mercy, ‘Jesus, I trust in you.’ ” And I strive to live that surrender minute by minute. But as I fell deeper and deeper into the dark hole of depression a couple of years ago, the prayer began to sit on my heart like a heavy weight. It made it hard for me to breathe.
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What Drew Me to the Franciscans

For Roger Lopez, OFM, his road to the Franciscans wasn't paved with struggle or strife—it was paved with food. After his meal with the friars was over, he noticed how the brothers immediately began working together to wash dishes, put away food, and clean the kitchen. In those simple acts, Friar Roger saw the makings of a family, a family he wanted to join.
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Why This Mom Doesn’t Meditate

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to become more meditative. It was part of a new-year resolution, having found myself drifting away from the reflective nature of my faith, focusing more on the actions than the message. Mass had become less about being spiritually connected; more about making sure that my kids were paying attention.
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Faith and Family: Telling the Story

Read LK 1:1-4; 4:14-21 Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus,  so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region.
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The Rich Man and His Harvest: A Gospel Parable

There are 18 parables in the Gospel of Luke. One of the shortest ones contains one of the most powerful messages. It’s about the rich man who had a magnificent harvest. He faced a conundrum: “What shall I do with this fantastic harvest? My barns will never hold all of this since they still have some of last year’s harvest.” His solution makes sense and, in fact, helps him plan for what he anticipates will be big harvests for years to come.
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Dr. King’s Undying ‘Dream’

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on a platform few people of color were given during the civil rights movement and dared to demand a life better than what they were living. And like a visionary with eyes affixed on the horizon, he stood on the precipice of social change and said, in a tone laden with hope, “I have a dream.”
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In Silence, We Find God

  In this day and age, it's very hard to be quiet. With our tablets, smartphones, and myriad other noisy distractions at our fingertips, sometimes it's virtually impossible to quiet our minds and our spirits. Brother Casey Cole, OFM, has some words of wisdom to share in this week's Franciscan Spirit video.
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Four Great Spanish Saints

Last spring, 40 pilgrims, with me serving as chaplain, crossed northern Spain by motor-bus. We had the good fortune to visit—in the following sequence—the shrines and birthplaces of four prominent Spanish saints: Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Ignatius Loyola, and Saint Francis Xavier. I’m pleased to share these memories so that readers can follow our path across Spain and become better acquainted with these inspiring saints.
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Faith and Family: Wedding at Cana

Read JN 2:1-11 There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you."
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