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...

Green Side of the Grass

Last Sunday, February 9,  freezing rain and snow started around 6:00 a.m.  Due to the slippery roads, a lot of people could not make it to the 10:00 a.m. Mass. Afterwards I was talking to a friend, a senior citizen like myself, from our smaller than normal crowd. I commented that a lot of folks were...

Psalm 36: Sin Speaks to the Sinner

Today’s guest blogger is Jim Van Vurst, OFM, who is the assistant for the Poor Clare Nuns in the Midwest and is a contributor to Franciscan Media’s FREE e-newsletter A Friar’s E-spirations. The Book of Psalms was composed many centuries before Jesus’ time. The psalms are beautiful prayers that...

Embracing God’s Cross

We have no stingy God. Instead, our God always offers us grace after grace and then grace within grace. I wrote in an earlier post about being graced with a sense of being embraced and consoled in the merciful arms of our crucified God, a God who is always reaching out in self-forgetting love to embrace our...

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...

Cinch By the Inch

“It’s a cinch by the inch, but hard by the yard” is a maxim I repeat often. When something feels too big for me, I remind myself that I don’t have to tackle it all at once. Breaking it down into smaller pieces makes it more manageable—and less overwhelming. As a college student, I parceled each...

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