To Pray as St. Francis Prayed

Most of us agree, I assume, that personal prayer can be described as a conversation between two parties—ourselves and God. Speaking for myself, I often find myself giving more importance to my side of the conversation than to God’s. I think, for example, that I have to be more responsible, try harder,...

Ridding the World of Evil

Since the beginning of human history, violence and bloody warfare have been among humanity’s most common ways of eliminating those seen as enemies. And in recent decades, we have not found better methods, or so it seems, of eliminating these opponents. Our “enemies” are still there, despite the...

The Way of the Cross

We come to walk with you, Jesus, confident that following your journey to the cross will lead us closer to God’s loving heart. In your bruised face and wounded body, we have a powerful image of God’s extraordinary care for us. Saints like Francis of Assisi shed streams of tears as they contemplated the...

Reflections on the Stigmata

I begin my reflections on the mystery of the stigmata (bodily marks resembling the wounds of the crucified Christ) by confessing that the first person I think of as having such bodily marks, apart from Jesus, is St. Francis of Assisi, who died in 1226. As the founder of the Franciscan Order, St. Francis is...

Giving Glory Back to God

Most of us who are Christian are well acquainted with the familiar prayer: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen.” This prayer is known as a doxology (from the Greek word doxa, meaning...

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