Posts from:

God and Heaven Come Down to Earth

Why do we want to make God such a powerful force that works (as we like to imagine) by intervening and controlling situations and making things turn out comfortably for his favorites? What if the true nature and “power” of God was expressed in quite different human metaphors? What if heaven was a place where there were no social distinctions, where the vulnerable was more powerful than the oppressive? Fragility, tenderness, the marginal, the simply beautiful rather than the magnificent?

Read More »

Compassion Is More than Behavior

Compassion is more than behavior. It is the way that things are done, the fundamental current through which action flows toward self and others. And the source of compassion is not less than the true self, that irreducible “I” in which the ego has been fully absorbed and therefore is invisible and casts no shadow. When action flows from this non-geographical point of pure identity, it is unconcerned about what it looks like and even about whether it is good or bad in the eyes of others. Compassion is pure action issuing from purity of heart.

Read More »

The Angels We Meet

Jesus was cared for after he was exhausted by what he went through in the forty days in the desert. He had confronted the dark forces of his ego, urging him to power, self-sufficiency and pride. He had seen through them and did not succumb to the temptation to give up the struggle to be real, to stay real and to deny the easy allurements of illusion. But that can be exhausting at times and, like any human being, he needed to be ministered to. Where do we find this ministry of spiritual friendship and accompaniment in our own lives?

Read More »

Special Status Is an Illusion

Special status is an illusion in which we take refuge when things are going well. We may even thank God because the storm missed us and hit the next peninsula. When things go badly—when we lose what we have enjoyed or fail to achieve what we have long worked and hoped for, or have the time of pleasure cut short—the special status feels as if it has been withdrawn. Even if it is just life and ever-changing circumstances that cause us to lose what we value—like health—we get a nagging feeling of being picked on. We feel angry at something (a Santa Claus God or the government).

Read More »

Lent Prepares Us for Disappointment

In a digital age virtual reality seems more convenient than actuality. Whims can be satisfied on the spot. You can pay extra for same-day delivery. If the name of an actor is on the tip of your tongue, Google can help your memory. When you want out-of-season vegetables you just need to find the right supermarket. In practice, these are perks of twenty-first-century living (in the First World) that we are reluctant to give up. The incremental danger, however, is a creeping distance from the world where disappointment and loss are inevitable.

Read More »

Physical and Spiritual Are Intertwined

Our five senses and physical life are intricately woven into our spiritual seasons. When our spiritual life is clouded by negative states of mind or recurrent patterns that keep us self-absorbed, our senses too lose their edge. We feel dull, depressed and unengaged with the world and all its relationships, in which we live and breathe. But when we are spiritually awake, our senses pick up the vitality of life and we can smell, see, touch, hear and taste—whether it is ravishing or disgusting, at least we will sense it fully for what it is.

Read More »

Didn't find what you are looking for?

Search again

Franciscan Media logo


We are Franciscan Media, a sponsored ministry of the Franciscan friars of St. John the Baptist Province. We strive to inspire a loving world that embraces the Franciscan spirit of harmony, joy, and simplicity. May our resources renew your spirit as we share God’s love in the spirit of St. Francis.


28 W. Liberty Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Customer Service:

Technical Questions:

Writer’s Guidelines
Privacy Policy
Post a Prayer Request

Skip to content