A Saint to Sow With

Saint_Clare_of_Montefalco

This month, the saint I drew from Jen Fulwiler's randomizer was Saint Clare of Montefalco. Since yesterday I linked to the pranks that the Dominicans and Jesuits were playing on each other, I was a little amused to find out that there was a long running squabble about whether St Clare is a saint in the Franciscan or Augustinian tradition.  It appears that, when she was younger, she was a third order Franciscan, but, by the time she discerned her vocation as a nun, she joined an Augustinian … [Read more...]

Mary’s “Amen” and Our “No”s [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along. Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, the solemnity in which the Church celebrates Mary's "Amen" and consent to be part of God's plan for salvation.  But, in our day-to-day lives, we seldom have moments that feel like … [Read more...]

Very Boring Kinds of Goodness

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I mentioned yesterday that I've not made any exciting changes for Lent (neither giving up a food nor picking up volunteer hours at the local something).  It's not that these might not be good things to do, but I didn't get a very right feeling about them, when I thought it over, and I am trying to do better about only working on the parts of acting morally that are easy for me to turn into rules to implement. Here's a very small, very dull example from earlier this week about the kind of … [Read more...]

Girding My Loins for Lent [Pope Francis Bookclub]

dual wielding sun

In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along. In this week's chapter of Pope Francis's book, he quotes a letter by St. Ignatius of Loyola that seemed particularly appropriate for Lent: Experiencing difficulty is nothing exceptional; rather it is what ordinarily happens … [Read more...]

Looking toward Lent with St. Ulrich

W-stulri

This month, Jen Fulwiler's randomized saint assigner spun up St. Ulrich of Augsburg for me, who was apparently the first saint to be canonized.  That's not the first saint to be recognized, but in 933, he was the first to be officially canonized by the pope, instead of having veneration root itself solely through the consensus of the laity. St. Ulrich is the saint who will be ushering me into Lent, but I'll confess I'm a little unsure what to do with him.  He served as a court retainer, a … [Read more...]

The Consolation within Desolation [Pope Francis Bookclub]

elijah

In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along. When Pope Francis described the experiences of the prophets, an inheritance to which we are called, I didn't recognize myself in this description of their plight. These experiences of our ancestors in the faith should … [Read more...]

Mercy is Not Intransitive

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The release of Kerry Weber's Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep Your Day Job is well timed for Lent.  If you're of a mind to, you could finish this slim spiritual memoir before Ash Wednesday and let it inform your choices of sacrifices. Weber, a Mercy Associate and managing editor at America magazine, decides that for Lent, she'll try to practice the seven Corporal Works of Mercy: To feed the hungry. To give drink to … [Read more...]


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