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Follower of Saint Francis: Father Christian Reuter, OFM

Image: Prison museum in Ankara, Turkey. As Catholics, we are challenged by our faith to look into the faces of the marginalized, and to see the light of God shining back at us. Our culture, though, seems to revel in blame and punishment. Father Christian Reuter, OFM, knows well the cycle of violence, and, over the last 13 years, has promoted an alternative approach through his work in prison ministry.
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What Is a Saint?

We are tempted to reply at once: “a very holy person.” Ah, but what is holiness? That is a more complex issue. We can’t point to a foolproof lifestyle to define what holiness is supposed to look like. Some canonized saints of the Church were kings and queens in palaces; others begged on the streets of their cities. Some were wellborn and educated, while as many were peasants, unsuccessful students, or simpleminded.
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Prayers to Grow in Faith and Virtue

We have a tendency to believe that we need to be in control of our lives and, oftentimes, of the lives of our family, our coworkers, and our neighbors. We build up burdens upon ourselves and when we are completely stressed, then we run to God. But God says, “come to me,” “trust in me,” “have faith the size of a mustard seed,” before you are worried and weak. He wants it all. He can handle it and he can give us the grace we need and the strength we need to follow his will. Trust in him and, above all, have faith. 
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A Walk with Three Female Saints

Staying faithful—and faith-filled—can be difficult for anybody. For women who are looking for role models as they make their way along their spiritual journeys, they should look no further than three holy women. Three holy and inspiring women, Saints Clare of Assisi, Julie Billiart, and Angela Merici: Each one was ahead of her time. Dedicated to serving the Lord, they recognized societal needs and sought remedies for these concerns. Each of these female saints founded a religious order of women with the intent of bringing education to women and care to society’s poor and marginalized.
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Models of Faith: Pope Francis and Abraham Lincoln

Pope Francis mentioned four prominent Americans during his address to Congress on September 24, 2015. Three of these Americans—Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and Martin Luther King Jr.—seemed to be obvious choices as all three were significant religious leaders. Why Francis selected the fourth person, Abraham Lincoln, is less clear.
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True Beauty Comes from God

Image: Yanko Peyankov. Standing next to my daughter in front of a mirror used to be a jarring experience for me. I gave birth to her when I was almost 40 years old after many years of infertility; so we have certainly never been mistaken for sisters. Still, her beautiful, young face unconsciously became my beauty standard, and my aging skin could not stand up to the comparison.
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The Power of the Ascension

  Image: The Ascension of Christ, Gustave Doré. As a graduating college student, I’ve got a lot to think about. On the one hand, I’m excited to finally be at a point where I don’t have to worry about taking exams, doing homework, or studying. But, on the other hand, I’m pretty nervous about taking on the responsibilities of the “real world.” It’s been a time of mixed emotions for me, and it’s specifically posed a challenge to my faith life.
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Archbishop Fulton Sheen: A Man for Our Times

Image: Fulton J. Sheen, 1952. Library of Congress. "America needs a saint, an American saint…a saint who would be a priest, and preferably a bishop, to prove that sanctity in a nation must begin with the bishops." —Fulton Sheen, Missions and the World Crisis
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Pope Francis on Mercy

Image: Pope Francis blesses a child during a special audience with members of Doctors with Africa at the Vatican May 7. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)  The following are excerpts from A Year of Mercy: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis, edited by Diane M. Houdek and published by Franciscan Media.
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My Own Money Story

 
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