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. Perhaps this letter was written by Francis after September 1224...

Making Good Choices

Fearing that he might not resist the temptations commonly experienced by lawyers, Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1578–1622) became a Capuchin priest, a noted preacher, and a martyr. Each of us will die eventually. “What kind of conscience will I bring to that moment?” should be our main concern. “By faith,...

Ask a Franciscan: Is Every Encyclical Infallible?

Q. I know that the pope’s infallibility is not a personal trait but is part of his office as the successor of St. Peter. Even so, is every encyclical infallible? A. The short answer is no. Vatican I’s decree “Eternal Pastor” taught: “The Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when...

Ask a Franciscan: How Did Evil Begin?

Q. What is the absolute root cause of evil? How can an absolute evil (the devil) come from an absolute good (God)? Didn’t Satan choose something that already existed? If paradise is real, how could evil enter into it? When people speak of “free will,” it sounds as though they mean “without God.”...

Ask a Franciscan: To Give or Not to Give?

Q. What should we do when we’re driving and we see a man by the side of the road holding a sign that reads, “Family hungry. Will do anything for food”? When I see this, I feel sad and confused. What if the person is not really in need, but hoping to get money for drugs? What if the person really is in...

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