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Countdown to the Papal Visit

Tick, tick, tick. That seems to be the sound in my head this week as I get ready for Pope Francis' fast-approaching trip to Cuba and the US. But that ticking is not just in my head. All of us at Franciscan Media are hearing it as we gear up for this event. You see, we're going all out in our coverage of this historic visit.
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Blessed Are You: Spiritual Poverty

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. —Matthew 5:3 Interesting, isn’t it, that Jesus begins this beautiful sermon by talking about the poor? It was certainly the earthly life he knew: birth in a lowly stable; growing up as a carpenter’s son.
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Blessed Are You: The Peacemakers

Our guest blogger today is Melanie Rigney, author of Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” —Matthew 5:9 We love peacemakers, in theory anyway. Think of all the poems and songs that have been written about the concept of peace over the millennia. In City of God, St. Augustine waxed poetically about peace in and between the body and soul; peace with God; and among people.
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Knowing Forgiveness

Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a fourth-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012. When I found out about Pope Francis' recent announcement that priests would be able to grant absolution to women who had gotten abortions, I was shocked.
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Thanksgiving and Family

Recently my brother Tommy’s illness, death and funeral led me to reflect on my family. We are bonded and stick together like glue in times of crisis and in times of joy. Families are always amazing, albeit imperfect, in forming the future of our society and world. We were a big family, five girls and five boys. So, with Mom and Dad we made a household of 12. Being the youngest of the bunch, I learned a lot from my siblings.
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Christmas Countdown

113 days. That's how long we have until Christmas. And while it may seem far off, as we all know, it will creep up on us faster than we expected. Every year I tell myself that I'm going to be more proactive and start my shopping earlier than I did last year in hopes of avoiding the stress of years past. But I usually fail, and find myself grabbing whatever I think will fit the bill. My hopes of thoughtful gifts with a little more substance and thought to it go out the door.
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Chime Travelers: A Fun Adventure

Maybe it's that it reminds them of school, or maybe it's lack of material that interests them, but my kids aren't real big fans of reading. As an avid reader myself, that makes me sad. So I'm always on the lookout for books that may grab their attention and draw them into the world of the written word.
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Carry God with You, Always

Our guest blogger is Teresa Tomeo, syndicated talk show host, motivational speaker, and author of Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag: On-the-Go Devotions from Servant Books It’s definitely not a coincidence, but what I like to call a “God-cidence.” The whole idea behind my new book Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag; On-the-Go Devotions is to help women get in the habit of carrying the Lord with them every day and everywhere; to find Him in the big and small events of our lives. The book includes a daily reflection on the many areas in the lives of today’s busy women, along with a Scripture verse and a prayer.
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Relax, Regroup, Refocus

Our guest blogger is Teresa Tomeo, syndicated talk show host, motivational speaker, and author of Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag: On-the-Go Devotions. Today’s modern American woman is the queen of multitasking—juggling, jobs, children’s homework, housework, church commitments, social commitments…you name it. You probably consider it a good day if you actually have time to read a few ingredients on the back of the cereal box. You get the picture…and that is exactly why I wrote Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag. We’re all busy. But deep down we also know that none of what we do really matters if we’re not rooted in something or someone much bigger than ourselves.
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A Transcendent Hope

Our blog today is an excerpt from The Blessing of Family: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis. Listen! Young people are the window through which the future enters the world. They are the window, and so they present us with great challenges. Our generation will show that it can rise to the promise found in each young person when we know how to give them space.
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