Friar’s E-Spirations: Loving—Graciously

I shared last month how inspired I was by St. Francis of Assisi praising God in all creation and what a joy it is for me to walk outside and soak in the beauty of God’s world. Pope Francis began his new encyclical by quoting “The Canticle of Creatures” by

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Our Christian Creeds:
They’re Really Documents of Love

A few years ago, I began reflecting upon the Apostles' Creed from the viewpoint of God’s overflowing love. Everything God, our heavenly Creator, has done for us has been done out of love. And this is especially true as revealed to us through God the Son—through the life, death and

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Reflections on the Stigmata

The Greek word stigma means “a scar left by a hot iron: brand,” according to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Eleventh Edition). Stigmata—the plural form of the same Greek word—can also mean “bodily marks resembling the wounds of the crucified Christ.” This provides a basic background for understanding the mysterious phenomenon of

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Beatitudes: Eight Attitudes That Open Us to God’s Saving Love

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus does not comfort the proud, but those broken in spirit. He assures them that they are the true recipients of God’s saving love. In the Old Testament, God’s poor are called the anawim, the Hebrew

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Will I See My Pet in Heaven?

The title of this E-spiration is also the title of a children’s edition of a book I wrote recently dealing with the question of whether we will see our pets again in the next life. In my experience, children are more ready than most adults to accept the

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Delightful Book of Proverbs

The Book of Proverbs, which was written about 400 years before the birth of Jesus, covers only 32 pages in the Bible. These are wisdom sayings that were attributed to King Solomon, the son of King David. In fact, for many years, Proverbs had been called “The Book of Wisdom.”

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Jesus and the Moth

Chapters 5, 6, and 7 of Matthew’s Gospel contain Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. These chapters contain about 101 verses and are considered a basic summary of Jesus’ teaching for anyone wishing to become his disciple. There is no question that Jesus’ words are simple yet profound. For example: “Blessed

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Our Deepest Relationship Is with God

Last month, I wrote about the deeply felt experience we can have with one another. Given that we are created in God’s own image and likeness, it is not an exaggeration to say that these human relationships are God-like. This month, I want to reflect the ultimate basis for those

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Holding On to Christmas

This Christmas, I hope you are feeling the deep joy of Jesus’ presence. I also pray that you allow that joy to stay with you for many days!For me, the place to start is the stable in Bethlehem. St. Ignatius of Loyola suggests imagining yourself as a participant

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: God Speaks to All

Someone once asked me how many languages God speaks. I quickly realized that the person needed a fundamental answer. Of course, God speaks all languages.It is better to think of God as communicating, which opens up many more possibilities. We humans communicate with more than words. In our

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations