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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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Helping Brother Leo

Brother Leo was one of Francis’ first followers and closest companions, especially in the last years of Francis’ life. We have several letters from Francis to groups of people. His letter to Leo is one of only two letters to individuals. Perhaps this letter was written by Francis after September 1224 when he received the stigmata, the five wounds of Christ’s passion, at the hermitage of La Verna. Leo brought him food there each day.
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Bridging the Digital Divide

The other night I was working in our upstairs office when I got an instant message on the computer from Mark--who was just downstairs watching TV--asking me to check something in the office for him. Now mind you, we don’t live in a 14-story house where it would be quite an endeavor for him to hike all the way up to the office and check on whatever it was he needed. No, it is one flight of stairs--18 steps to be exact.
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Jean Vanier: The One I Reject Is the One Who Heals Me

The following is an excerpt from Jean Vanier's new book The Gospel of John, The Gospel of Relationship, published by Franciscan Media. We are all filled with fears, prejudices, and wounds. We are afraid of our own limits, fragility, and mortality. We are afraid of those who are different, of people with disabilities. If we let go of our defenses, we meet within ourselves those parts of us that are also wounded, disabled, and weak. It is extraordinary to discover within ourselves the wounded person we have been hiding! As we welcome those around us who are wounded, we can enter into a relationship with the wounded person within ourselves.
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When Love Goes Wrong

When I decided to write a book about the experience of shame and Christian spiritual growth, I didn’t talk about it much. Too negative, too discouraging—these were the reactions I figured I’d get. But I was wrong. Instead, I’ve been amazed, mildly startled actually, by the consistently constructive, encouraging responses I’ve received once word slipped out that I was hard at work on such a book. “I’m glad you’re writing about that; it’s really important. So many people find it hard to take themselves seriously, let alone love themselves.” That’s the kind of feedback I’ve been getting.
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The Chime Travelers Series Arrives!

Lisa M. Hendey, founder and editor of CatholicMom.com, give us a glimpse into her new Chime Travelers books, published by Servant. When the bells chime, get ready for adventure and fun as you join Katie and Patrick on their travels back in time to far-distant lands. The mysterious strangers they meet along the way turn out to be saints of old who become close friends who help our young travelers understand their faith a little better. Are you ready for the trip of a lifetime? Be ready when you hear the bells chime.
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Our Belief in God

Today we welcome guest blogger Jim Van Vurst, OFM, who writes A Friar's E-spirations. In his lifetime, Jesus’ mission was not about building himself up. He came to love and to save every human being. And he would do that no matter what the cost—even death on the cross. He worked all of his public life to show how much God loved everyone—including those rejected by the religious leaders who were convinced God couldn’t love people who broke the law.
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Guiding Teens Into Christian Maturity

The following is an excerpt from the book What Teens Want You to Know But Won’t Tell You by Roy Petitfils. Teens want and need adults to be grounded in being adults. When your goal is to be liked by young people you risk losing sight of the bigger goal, which is to journey with them into Christian maturity. Secondly, you’ll lose the respect of teens, which is worth a lot more than being liked. The key to effectively reaching them and deepening our relationships with them is not by trying to be their friend, but by being friendly, authentic, and respectful to them while maintaining healthy boundaries as an adult.
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Living a Good Christian Life

We talk a lot about being committed to living a Christian life, but what does it really mean? Going to Mass on Sundays, receiving the sacraments and actively praying are all good ways of being a witness to the Gospel and living a good Christian life. But how do we really connect with people, especially young people who are seeking answers to the meaning of life in this increasingly secularized, individualized and materialistic society?
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Created to Relate: God's Design for Peace and Joy

Our guest blogger today is Kelly M. Wahlquist, author of Created to Relate: God's Design for Peace and Joy. As a woman created to relate, you can tap into a divine peace. It doesn’t matter if you are fighting cancer, battling depression, taking care of aging parents, sleep-deprived from tending to young children, or feeling as though you are under a heap of bills and will never see the light of day. God’s peace has been promised to you since the beginning of creation. Just rest in him and let his peace fill your heart. Here are some ways to break down the barriers to peace while strengthening your relationship with Christ:
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