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Lose Something? Ask St. Anthony for Help!
On June 13th, we celebrate the feast of one of the most beloved of Franciscan saints, St. Anthony of Padua. You probably know him as the saint to turn to when you’ve misplaced your keys or your wallet, and you may even have recognized that there are other things worth finding, too—lost friendships, lost faith, lost people.But how did Anthony become the guide to that which has been lost?The story has changed slightly over time with the retelling, but its essence is that a novice monk ...
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Bless and Do Not Curse: How Love Preserves Your Spirit
I love you. You know that. I’m sorry. You know you’re my dearest daughter. The words were soothing, forgiving, as I rested a moment in my father’s hug. It had been a long week and a lot of work as we prepared their house to go on the market and my parents to move.I love you. You know that.All my failures rushed over me. I hadn’t been able that week to plaster over my own broken humanness with a schedule of prayer and community and work. Instead I saw myself. In the raw. T...
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28

An Enigmatic Saint for Our Times

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An Enigmatic Saint for Our Times
When I was in grade school, for some now-forgotten reason, all the girls in my class had a sort of competition going around our patron saints. We had long discussions about which one was “better” than the others. A totally silly endeavor, but one at which I excelled because, after all, who can beat Joan of Arc? (Joan is known in France as Jeanne d’Arc, but as she explained at her trial,  “in my country [the region of Lorraine], people called me Jeannette.”...
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When We Want to Say, "I Told You So"
My friend Gracie went to court again a few weeks ago.She’s not in any trouble—Gracie is one of the most law-abiding people I know—but her son is. He’s 18 and has been sporadically in trouble with the law for at least the last four years, mostly for stupidity. He’s sold marijuana. He’s passed on photographs to other kids that he shouldn’t have. That sort of thing. And every time it happens, Gracie is in despair and does what she can to get him out of the ...
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19

The Saint of the Impossible

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The Saint of the Impossible
Rita finished baking the bread and setting the table for supper, then looked out the door to see her if her husband, Paolo, was approaching. Not yet, so she didn’t need to call her sons in from outside. Rita took a deep breath and looked up to the mountains. Despite the peaceful evening, her heart was not entirely at peace.The endless feuding that tore medieval Italy apart had recently flared up in Cascia and its neighboring villages. Paolo’s family had been involved for generations....
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13

The Physician’s Scalpel

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The Physician’s Scalpel
I believe healing is possible. It wasn’t always that way. For years I struggled with my woundedness and I began to think that there would be no healing for me. I would seek help and then be afraid to go the whole mile, slipping back into what I knew–isolation and distrust–once again securing the barriers I had constructed to protect myself. This even after experiencing the powerful love of Jesus crucified!In my last article of this series on the Spirituality of Healing I told t...
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| Categories: Prayer and Holiness, Living the Faith Today | Tags: | View Count: (683)
02

Spend a Month with Mary!

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Spend a Month with Mary!
It’s finally here! We who live in the Northern Hemisphere are delighted to welcome the flowers that April showers (and there were a lot of them!) bring to us now. May is the most delightful of months, because it feels like the earth itself is awakening from hibernation.It’s also the Month of Mary. Many of us have childhood memories of May processions, of crowning statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of the songs in her honor. But… do you know why May is especially Mary’s ...
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To Anyone Who Feels Helpless Facing Today's Problems
I met my friend Theresa for coffee the other day. She was upset. "My brother is leaving the Church," she said miserably. "He says it's not doing what it was called to do. He says homeless people are dying on the streets. He says he can't trust the clergy anymore. He says he's too discouraged to continue defending the Church to other people."Theresa's brother's concerns aren't new, or even unique to the twenty-first century. In fact, they...
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Mary Magdalene—A New Twist on Jesus Films
One of my spiritual practices on Good Friday, or sometime during Holy Week, is to watch the classic 1977 British-Italian television miniseries directed by Franco Zeffirelli, Jesus of Nazareth—my favorite “Jesus film” of all time. Watching especially the passion, death, and resurrection scenes allow me to connect deeply and concretely with the reality that we celebrate during the Holy Triduum. Robert Powell’s powerful blue eyes and stoic demeanor captivate me, though his l...
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| Categories: Living the Faith Today, Lent, Inspiration | Tags: | View Count: (2204)
Three Reasons to Read Saint Louis de Montfort
There’s a story about Louis-Marie de Montfort embracing a dying leper in the street. He carried the man to a religious house, where he called out, “Open the door for Jesus Christ!”Seeing Christ in the poor, the disenfranchised, had always been part of his spirituality. In 1693, at the age of 20, Louis chose to begin seminary in Paris. He adopted the life of a mendicant, deciding to walk the entire 230 miles to Paris. He arrived with the tattered outward appearance of a poor beg...
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| Categories: Living the Faith Today, How to Share Your Faith, Inspiration | Tags: | View Count: (3390)
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