Ask a Franciscan: Why Is There So Much Injustice?

Q. If God is all-powerful and all-good, why does evil exist? I have heard the theories of human free will, responsibility, and weakness after Adam and Eve’s fall. We simply don’t know why God allows what God allows. Why is there so much unbearable injustice in the world? A. The evidence of human...

Ask a Franciscan: Is It a Sin Not to Be ‘Green’?

Q: Dear Friar Pat: I hear different things from different Christians. Some think that being sensitive to ecological issues is a matter of faith. Others dismiss it as a fad and based on faulty science. Is someone committing a sin by denying the moral implications of ecological choices? A: Releasing toxic...

‘Virgin Made Church’

We do not know when Francis wrote “A Salutation of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” a short litany praising the mother of Jesus under many titles. After addressing her as lady, queen, and mother of God, Francis calls Mary “the virgin made Church.” He would have agreed with later scholars who have...

St. Francis and the Eucharist

We have two versions of St. Francis’ “Exhortation to the Clergy.” The earlier text was probably written before 1219; the other text dates from 1220. The first version reflects the concerns of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 that all priests show more reverence for the Eucharist, especially by making...

‘Doing Penance’

There are two versions of Francis’ “Exhortations” to laypeople who wanted to share his Gospel way of life in the single or married state. The older version, tentatively dated between 1209 and 1215, has two sections: one addressed to “Those who do penance” and the other addressed to “Those...

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