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Entries related to: st-francis

What Is Your View on Reality?

Everybody looks at the world through their own lens, a matrix of culturally inherited qualities, family influences, and other life experiences. This lens, or worldview, truly determines what we bring to every discussion. 
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Accepting God’s Unexpected Gifts

The word change normally refers to new beginnings. But transformation, the mystery we’re examining, more often happens not when something new begins, but when something old falls apart. The pain of something old falling apart—chaos—invites the soul to listen at a deeper level. It invites, and sometimes forces, the soul to go to a new place because the old place is falling apart. Most of us would never go to new places in any other way.
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Sacred Violence

Both René Girard and Gil Bailie have taught us that the most effective and common way to turn social hatred into social harmony is via a scapegoat. It works so well, it gathers the community so quickly, that it has endured through most of human history. Now it is the normal story line, so normal that we hardly see it. It remains denied, invisible, and unnoticed.
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The Belly of the Whale

The word change normally refers to new beginnings. But transformation, the mystery we’re examining, more often happens not when something new begins, but when something old falls apart. The pain of something old falling apart—chaos—invites the soul to listen at a deeper level. It invites, and sometimes forces, the soul to go to a new place because the old place is falling apart. Most of us would never go to new places in any other way.
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The Security to Be Insecure

At the time of the Second Vatican Council, we Catholics were very self-confident. All indicators of numbers, vocations, money, and influence were positive and growing. There was no reason to reform or self-criticize. Our identity was clear, our boundaries were clear, our sense of the absolute was grounded and founded. We knew who we were and, ironically, we were therefore free to criticize ourselves, even from the very top.
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Owning Our Cultural Biases

We’re living in a time when the far right and the far left in almost every institution are using the eccentricities and evils of the other end to justify their own extremes. There seems to be an emergence of reactionary and protectionist thinking all over the world, which then serves as justification for people’s overreacting on the political left.
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Hidden in Plain Sight

Saint Francis of Assisi stepped out into a world being recast by the emerging market economy. He lived amid a decaying old order in which his father was greedily buying up the small farms of debtors and moving quickly into the new entrepreneurial class. Francis stepped into a church that seems to have been largely out of touch with the masses. He trusted a deeper voice and a bigger truth. He sought one clear center and moved out from there.
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Saint Francis: An Instrument of Prayer

Our lives are so easily fragmented between responsibilities to friends, family, employers, neighbors, and the larger human family that we may think we don’t have the time or energy for prayer. That was the experience of Saint Francis of Assisi up until his mid-twenties. Then he discovered that prayer was more real than many of the things he had been considering more important.
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Blessed Are the Peacemakers

“Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his people; peace is our gift to each other.” These words, from Holocaust survivor and peace activist Elie Wiesel, are my go-to on Franciscan Media’s social channels whenever a mass shooting befouls our country. Needless to say, I’ve tweeted these words far too often.
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The Gospels According to Saint Francis

Recall the three texts that Saint Francis read when he went to the Church of Saint Nicholas with Brother Bernard, and opened the Bible three times. The order in which the texts appeared is Matthew 19:21, then Luke 9:3, and then Matthew 16:24.
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