The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

Though written in simple language, St. Francis’ Peace Prayer provides rich material for spiritual reflection. The following are some of my thoughts on the Peace Prayer inspired by the lines of this prayer and by the example of St. Francis. Lord, make me an instrument of your peace Like that of...

The Final Instructions of Saint Francis

In September 1226, Francis realized that he would die soon. He dictated a Testament for his friars to help them grow in their zeal for Gospel living and the good example that would give power to their words. In fact, Francis died at the sunset that marked the start of October 4. The Testament is a short...

Another Way to Pray

Some may find in our litanies a helpful source of prayer. Not only can we pray a litany straight through, but we can just pick out one or the other invocation to open our hearts to God. In the litany of the Sacred Heart, for instance, we might pick out “Burning furnace of charity.” The image of Jesus’...

A Jesuit Heart with a Franciscan Name

When the Pope’s birth and papal names were announced from St. Peter’s balcony in March 2013, many assumed that the first Jesuit pope was selecting the great Jesuit missionary St. Francis Xavier as his patron. But it soon became clear that it was Francis of Assisi who inspired Cardinal...

Loving People in Need

“Everyone else spits on the homeless, but not here.” So says Joey, a man who accepted Pope Francis’ invitation to spend his nights in Vatican City. Along with dozens of other homeless people, Joey has been slumbering in a Vatican-issued sleeping bag near St. Peter’s Basilica. According to Catholic...

The Day I Met Pope Francis

“God always surprises us; he bursts our categories; he wreaks havoc with our plans. And he tells us: Trust me; do not be afraid; let yourself be surprised.” I couldn’t have agreed more with Pope Francis when I heard him preach these words. It was October 13, 2013. I was standing in St. Peter’s...

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