Fasting and Praying for Peace

When Pope Francis issued his call for people to set aside September 7 to fast and pray for peace in Syria, I found myself tempted to dismiss it as a predictable and idealistic response to a disturbingly complex situation. I had to knock down a few cynical arguments in my head (“Right, because God...

To Live as Francis Lived

I’ve started my official period of formation as a secular Franciscan. It always seems a bit complicated to explain this to people. I’m learning not to say, “Well, it’s like a religious order but you don’t live in community.” In fact it is a religious order, and it does...

Where the Wild Things Are

A story from the early legends of St. Francis tells of him having such care for all God’s creatures that he would stop to put earthworms back in the dirt when they strayed onto the roads after a rain. I’ve been doing this a lot during our rainy summer. Then a few days ago I was driving to a...

Moving beyond Decorum

One of the many things I love about St. Francis was the way he could follow the Gospel so completely and yet not judge others for their failures. He said: “I warn all the friars and exhort them not to condemn or look down on people whom they see wearing soft or gaudy clothes and enjoying luxuries in food...

Last-Minute Jitters

The plans are made; the reception is scheduled. This is the next stage on a journey that began in Assisi almost two years ago. In a little less than a week, I will be formally received as a formation candidate in the St. Michael fraternity of the Secular Franciscans. We gather once a month in Over-the-Rhine...

« Older Entries Next Entries »