Remembering St. Francis of Assisi

FrancisSmallforTour blog

Saint Francis of Assisi died 787 years ago today, and yet he seems more alive than ever despite the passage of time. In the Catholic tradition, this anniversary marks the "Feast Day of St. Francis." Remembering the champions who have gone before seems an appropriate tradition and one which Protestants lose out on. Francis of Assisi is certainly one whom Christians of all traditions ought to know and celebrate.I lived in Assisi when I wrote my book about St. Francis and came to love the … [Read more...]

The Day the World Stopped

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I was writing a book, titled Facing Forward, in September 2001, a memoir related to the uncertainties of mid-life. Then on a bright Tuesday morning, September 11, everything stopped. Uncertainties about mid-life were irrelevant. I joined our country in a collective lament. The world as we knew it ended that day and the world has not been the same since.I include below the concluding paragraphs of the chapter I was writing in the aftermath of  this sad day. In the end I found that -- whether i … [Read more...]

August Lunatic of the Month ~ Josh Weathers Singing “I Will Always Love You”

Josh Weathers

Full disclosure: This astounding performance by Josh Weathers of Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You, sung with all the vocal reach and dexterity of the late Whitney Houston, did not originally take place this month. But the discovery of the video of it did.He tells a lively back story (be patient and listen) about how it came to pass that he learned and memorized the song, with all of its octaval gymnastics, as he sips whiskey before beginning to give it a go. (I commend him for not … [Read more...]

When a Poet Dies the Music Stops; When An Irish Poet Dies the Music Flies

heaney2

Irish poet, Seamus Heaney -- esteemed, brilliant, humble, plaintive and true -- crossed o`er the hoary sea today. He died at 74 in Dublin after a brief illness. He was known for many poems; he won the Noble prize in literature and has been globally recognized as Ireland’s greatest poet since William Butler Yeats.Michael Longley, a Belfast poet and close friend of Heaney, recalled chatting with Heaney over whiskey and beer earlier this month at a western Irish literary festival: "He was a w … [Read more...]

Why I Support Edward Snowden

Michael-Hastings-email

The first and foremost reason that I support Edward Snowden is that I have lost faith in all others who demonize him. In this regard I think primarily of our government, but not exclusively. Time and again those who claim to be "looking out for us" (meaning, us citizens) have been shown to be liars and manipulators. In that regard I continue to be shocked by the collective shrug this has elicited on the part of the general population. I have written elsewhere about how our (and Snowden's) … [Read more...]

Do Not Let Others Judge You (and Don’t Judge)

My son drew this as a boy: a very good picture of judgment.

 People will judge you, of course. That is my point. Determine in your heart and mind, ahead of time, how this will affect you. Depending upon your moment in life and the circumstances in which you find yourself, others will always take liberties with opinions and conclusions about your situation, your efforts, stratagems, applied logic or whatever else. It is good if you possess the ability to thank them. It is better if, after thanking them, you think about what they have said and … [Read more...]

What You Do, Do — With a Swift Pace and Nimble Step

Visual 12 FrancisCutsClaresHair1

Clare of Assisi died 760 years ago tomorrow (August 11, 1253). Yet she remains as much a beacon for women and men of faith today as she did in her own day. For centuries the story of Clare  has been interpreted through the life of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), the one-time playboy who was destined to become Catholicism’s most popular saint.Yet her indomitable faith complements that of her guide and truest love, St. Francis, whom I wrote about in my book A Mended and Broken Heart: The L … [Read more...]


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