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,...

Prayerful Preaching

When Fernando Bulhom, an Augustinian canon in Portugal, became a friar in 1220 and took the name Anthony, he had already acquired a vast knowledge of Scripture. After a brief time as a missionary in Morocco and a short time as chaplain for friars in a hermitage at Montepaolo, his talents as a preacher...

Croatia’s Fearless Defender of Life

Perhaps no other event in world history illustrates the depths of human cruelty like the Holocaust. More than 60 years have passed, but the shadows of that era linger. Apart from the bravery and resolve of the Jewish people—those who survived and those who didn’t—few shards of light penetrated such...

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...

An Alternative Orthodoxy: Paying Attention to Different Things

Our guest blogger today is Richard Rohr, best-selling author of the new book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi. To learn more about Richard, click here. One of the earliest accounts of Francis, the “Legend of Perugia,” quotes Francis as telling the first friars, “You only know...

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