I Have No Idea Where Pope Francis Gets These Ideas About Lent

Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.

—Pope Francis, Message of His Holiness for Lent 2014

Oh. Wait. [Read more...]

St. Francis, Poverty, and the Saving Madness of the Gospel…

Months and months ago, long before there was an inkling that Pope Benedict XVI would step aside, I came across this little book, titled simply I, Francis, in a used book store in my town. As I recall, it was a buck (or two) so I picked it up figuring it was a biography of the saint who turned the world on its head. To be quite honest, it sat under a stack of other books for a long time, and I didn’t even flip through it until recently.

Of course, we now have a Pope who for the first time has taken the name of St. Francis of Assisi, so I figured I should start boning up on this saint from Umbria. Very quickly I realized that Carlo Carretto wasn’t just putting a normal biography down on paper when his mind and heart were called to share Francis’s story. Instead, Caretto was called to bring Francis to life for us in way that is fictional, truthful (based on the facts of the saints life), and beautiful.

He does so by becoming Francis himself. [Read more...]

It’s Cyber Monday, So Put Your Hard Earned Money Here

A few days back, I asked readers to contribute five whole dollars (each) to help raise completion funds for the film All That Remains. Five bucks a piece is a princely sum I know, but it must have been too much to ask. [Read more...]


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