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Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Exegesis of the Gospel: Lk 1:57-66, 80 With regard to the solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist and the Gospel passage that focuses directly on that event: The birth itself is stated without any details. More time is spent describing the circumcision and naming of this newborn child. And finally the response of the neighbors is given. They are not sure what to make of this child or what he was destined to become.
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Saint Francis And the Taming of the Wolf

The story of how Saint Francis of Assisi tamed the Wolf of Gubbio is one of the great legends linked with the life of the saint. I have never been too worried as to whether the story was historically true or not. I am more interested in seeing how the story fits into the pattern of biblical themes and of God’s plans for creation. In this well-known legend, Saint Francis goes to the Italian town of Gubbio, where a fierce wolf had been terrorizing the village and even killing some of the people, including children.
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Richard Rohr on the Legacy of Thomas Merton

I only saw Thomas Merton once. He walked in front of my family and me when we were visiting the Abbey of Gethsemani in early June 1961. I had read Sign of Jonah and Waters of Siloe in the high school seminary in Cincinnati, and already my youthful mind intuitively knew that this man was a prophet for my soul and for the Church in the world. So, on the day of my graduation and return to Kansas for the summer, I said to my parents, “Let’s take the southern route home. I have a place I want you to see.” Little did I imagine!
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The Best Place to Pray

  When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. (Matthew 6:6) The obvious answer to the question is: anywhere and everywhere, “walking in public or strolling alone...seated in your shop...while buying or selling...or even while cooking” (St. John Chrysostom). There are no limits. When I was teaching high school, I used to work out at a local fitness center that many of the students used. They would see me running on the treadmill at night, praying my rosary. Often students asked me, “Does praying on the treadmill count?”
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The Joys of Fatherhood

In the dark of night, my eyes opened. Before I knew what was happening, I found myself sitting up in bed and swinging my legs to the floor without really waking. Then, as I made my somnolent way across the room and out the bedroom door, I heard it—the sound that had filtered into my brain and kicked me into motion while I slept. 
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Has God Ever Called You?

Oftentimes we want direction from God: a clear, definitive answer to the questions in our hearts. But God doesn't always work that way, Br. Casey Cole, OFM, says. Sometimes God speaks to us through our work, through friends, or through family. Casey found his call in service.
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How Saint Anthony Found Me

Saint Anthony of Padua is a name that conjures up many ideas and images: some factual, some the stuff of legends, some just plain silly. But doesn’t that attest to his importance as a saint? Only the saints can have that kind of an effect on people’s thinking. They tend to be bigger than life, and that’s what their stories are all about—men and women who are bigger than life, and who passionately love the Lord.
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Friar to Friar: ‘Thank You, Saint Anthony’

The feast of Saint Anthony is tomorrow, but the celebration should be yearlong!  Anthony is, after all, one of the most revered saints in the Church calendar! Anthony faced several startling paradoxes. A paradox is defined as “a situation or event that appears to be of one value, perhaps negative, but then in time it is seen to be something positive.” It can happen the other way, too. Paradoxically, Jesus’ death had to be a sign of a complete failure of his mission and life.
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Similar Traits of Saints Anthony and Francis

On June 13, we celebrate the feast of Saint Anthony. This is the date on which he died in 1231, five years after the death of Saint Francis. Now is a good time to reflect on the many traits that Anthony and Francis hold in common.
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What Is the Franciscan Spirit?

As you can see, we have changed the name of our blog from American Catholic to Franciscan Spirit. We feel it better represents our mission: to spread the Gospel in the spirit of our founder, Saint Francis of Assisi. But what is the Franciscan spirit? 
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