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Entries related to: church

The Third Order of Saint Francis: A Note

When I was perhaps ten years old my mother and father, devout Catholics who sought a deeper and more intimate spiritual experience than just their parish life, began attending meetings of the Third Order of Saint Francis, one of the many tertiary clans in the Church; the first two Orders being men and women who have sworn vows and belong to one of Catholicism’s many congregations of priests, monks, brothers, and sisters.
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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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Self-Giving Love

Our guest blogger today is Edward Sri, author of Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II's Love and Responsibility. Image: freestocks.org One of the chief hallmarks of the objective aspect of love is the gift of self. John Paul II teaches that what makes betrothed (married) love different from all other forms of love such as attraction, desire, and friendship is that two people give themselves to each other. They are not just attracted to each other, and they do not simply desire what is good for each other. In betrothed love, each person surrenders himself entirely to the other. Yet the very idea of self-giving love raises some important questions: How can one person give himself to another? What does this mean? After all, each human person is utterly unique.
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Advent: The Beginning of a New Year

This week we begin our celebration of Advent. This time of year can bring to mind really great memories of childhood Christmases spent opening presents and visiting family. But it can also bring up memories that maybe you’d rather not have. Maybe a loved one died at this time of year or you experienced some other kind of negative emotion that you always associate with Advent and Christmas.
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An Advent Reflection with Kelly Wahlquist

                        Enjoy this Advent reflection from author Kelly Wahlquist! I love the season of Advent. I like the colors, the smells, the rituals, all the good things that come with it. And at the end, we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus. With all the festivities and commitments attached to the season of Advent and Christmas I often forget that this is the beginning of a new year.
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Thanksgiving Day

“What are you thankful for?” That question triggers reflection on this national holiday. I allow events of the past to run through my mind and I invite you to do the same.
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The View from Mt. Nebo

Franciscan Father Fergus Clarke greets our small group at his community’s residence on Mt. Nebo, a site sacred to three major religions and more than half the earth’s population. He’s dressed in his brown robe, some shockingly cool-looking sunglasses, and a radiant smile. “Welcome to Mt. Nebo,” he says in an Irish lilt that evokes green valleys while we look at miles of dry and desert vistas. “Would you like to see our turtles?”
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Pope Francis's Winning Smile

That smile. Oh, that smile. When Pope Francis exited the plane at Joint Base Andrews, it was there. Those present for the welcome erupted. How could you not? His smile—and his wit—have drawn people to him, as well as back to the Church. He seems to be able to spread his message without seeming condescending or authoritarian. But it is a message which he is not afraid to preach. It is a message he most certainly will be sharing during this visit. This morning he is at the White House, tomorrow he is at Congress. Later this week, he will be at the UN, along with that smile.
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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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