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Live the Gospel: A Message from Saint Francis

  “As we forgive those who trespass against us,” and what we do not fully forgive, O Lord, make us fully forgive, so that for your sake, we may truly love our enemies and devoutly intercede for them with you, thereby rendering no evil for evil, but striving in you to do good to all. —Saint Francis, Paraphrase of the Our Father
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A Celebration of Saints

Each time we pray the Nicene Creed, we say, “I believe in the communion of saints.” This statement is filled with profound implications for what it means to be the family of God. You and I are brothers and sisters, children of God created in his own image and likeness. In fact, all human beings are our sisters and brothers. 
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Four Great Spanish Saints

Last spring, 40 pilgrims, with me serving as chaplain, crossed northern Spain by motor-bus. We had the good fortune to visit—in the following sequence—the shrines and birthplaces of four prominent Spanish saints: Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Ignatius Loyola, and Saint Francis Xavier. I’m pleased to share these memories so that readers can follow our path across Spain and become better acquainted with these inspiring saints.
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Holy Quotes from Catholic Saints

As Catholics, our temptation is to admire saints from such a distance that we forget they were still human beings who cooperated with God’s grace as best they could each day. Our temptation is to admire bits and pieces of a saint’s life but to affirm that, considered as a whole, this person’s life is simply too extreme and God simply could not expect that much conversion and dedication from anyone. But God only asks that we do the best we can—in our own space, our own time, our own way. 
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Saint Teresa of Avila on Prayer

According to Saint Teresa—one of the Church’s great spiritual masters—prayer is a matter of coming into living contact with Jesus; it is not just recitation and repetition. Simply going through the motions doesn’t deserve the noble title of “prayer,” and it won’t lead to the union of our souls with Jesus. It was only through her living contact with Jesus that Saint Teresa began to love him.
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Finding Saints Francis and Clare

The Swiss Air flight from Zurich to Rome is the last stretch on a journey that’s proven one thing: I am simply not built for long flights. I’m taller than average: long on legs, short on tolerance for tight spaces. Sleep is impossible and sitting still for hours is a chore. It’s my mind, though, that is my true adversary: Every time I’m in the air, Don McLean’s “American Pie” plays in my head like a cerebral iPod with a grudge. But all fears and discomfort vanish as our airplane descends over a spectacular Italian wheat field ablaze with a gold I have never seen. I know I’m not in Cincinnati anymore.
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Saint Francis’ Message: God’s House Is All of Creation

  As Francis of Assisi looked out of his cave and down to Assisi from the heights of Mount Subasio, it was as if the whole of creation were spread out beneath his cave, and God’s goodness rushed in upon him. He could only think of that pure Goodness and how God shares his life with us. Everything good and beautiful comes from God.
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Saint Francis: A Holy Life

His name was Francis, the son of Pietro Bernardone, a cloth-merchant, and Lady Pica, who was of French origin. They lived in Assisi, Italy in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century. He was a man born of wealth, a leader who dreamed of knighthood and who went to war on a high steed only to be brought low to the earth in defeat and imprisonment that marked him with what has been the fate of countless soldiers and prisoners of war throughout the centuries. 
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The Wisdom of Saint Francis

  The spirituality of Saint Francis is not so much about the heroic deed as it is about the heroic love with which even the smallest deed is done. That is very clear from the quintessential story of Perfect Joy. It is not what Francis and Leo endure from the abusive brother that counts. It is, as Francis says to Leo, when we bear such abuse and suffering, “remembering the sufferings of Christ, the Blessed One, and how He taught us to bear all things for love of Him, then write down, Brother Leo, ‘This is perfect joy.’”
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Lessons from Saint Francis

  Once, nearly eight decades ago now, when I felt lost and confused in my burgeoning adolescence, Jesus gave me Saint Francis as my brother and friend, and I began to trade my own self-absorption for the adventure of the Holy Quest: the ascent of Mount Subasio on whose eastern side Francis was born and lived his youth in the armed and walled city of Assisi. 
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