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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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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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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.
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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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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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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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