Mar. 16, 2011
Upcoming Programs
Contemplating the Dust and Ashes of Life and Lent

Our Lent has begun with the injunctions to "Turn away from sin and believe in the Good News" and to "remember that we are dust." An Ash Wednesday joke tells of a youngster who came home after hearing that second injunction at church, and came running back from his room saying, "Mommy, there's somebody under my bed either comming or going!"

We don't expect children to think a lot about death, but as we grow older, and aches and pains begin to crowd our agenda, and loved ones pass away, it is natural to think about one's own passage from life. Recently, I attended several wake services close together, and then the funeral of a confrere--a respected seminary teacher. Each of these deaths affected me differently.

Several of the individuals were only casual acquaintances--but at the funeral home I heard wonderful stories of a friend, spouse, hospice volunteer. Accounts of courageous suffering, gentle acceptance and faith were exchanged as loved ones gathered. At the wake of my deceased mother's best friend, I was moved to think of how the bonds of friendship transcend life and death, coming to rest in heaven.

Finally, at the memorial Mass for my Franciscan brother who taught me moral theology and helped to shape my ministry as a friar, we heard of his dying prayer. "Lord Jesus, come when you are ready, and make me ready when you come!"

All these experiences flavor my own Lent this year. Because of these stories and examples of faith, the thought of death makes it a bit easier to contemplate the fact that we all "are dust and unto dust we shall return!"

Have a blessed Lent!

Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.
American Catholic Radio: Upcoming Episodes (#11-13 , #11-14)
Use the links below to preview the shows or download them in MP3 format for broadcast.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Judy Zarick interviews Kyle Kramer, a high-achieving, private-school teacher who decided to forego a promising academic career. Instead, he bought a plot of land in Indiana and became a farmer so that he could be a better steward of God's creation.

Ask a Franciscan
Franciscan Father Dan Kroger responds to these pastoral questions: 1) Do we go straight to heaven or hell when we die? and 2) Since Christ is the only mediator between God and humans, shouldn't we confess our sins directly to him?

Marriage Moment
Nationally-known marriage ministers, retreat leaders, educators and motivational speakers Andrew and Terri Lyke answer the question, "Why is it important to connect to the community as a couple?"

Exploring Our Faith
John Feister's guest is Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, which supports and complements the USCCB's Office of Social Development and World Peace. He also works with the bishops' environmental justice program. Dan and John speak about climate change as a social justice issue, affecting the poorest of our brothers and sisters around the world.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Judy Zarick talks to former Planned Parenthood Director, Abby Johnson, about her conversion of heart from being pro-choice to pro-life. Abby and her husband decided to join the Catholic Church after being asked to leave the Episcopal Church.

Ask a Franciscan
Franciscan Father Don Miller answers these moral questions: 1) What does it mean to be excommunicated? and 2) What actions can merit excommunication?

Marriage Moment
Susan Hines-Brigger, assistant managing editor of St. Anthony Messenger, offers her commentary, "Moving from Me to We: A Lifelong Journey."

Exploring Our Faith
John Feister's guest is Capuchin Franciscan Father Michael H. Crosby, whose primary ministry is to help develop a spirituality of discipleship for U.S. and other "First World" Catholics through corporate and church reform. They speak about the concept of righteousness as expressed in the Gospels.
 
 
Franciscan Radio
Link to audio features Saint of the Day, Sunday Soundbites, and American Catholic Radio.
American Catholic Radio
A weekly half-hour catechetical program, in the popular style of the Franciscans.
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