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

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Simple Truths of the Gospel

I don’t know if you ever thought of how short the four gospels are. If you printed each one out individually, they might almost be called “booklets.” For example, in the Bible I use, the Gospel of St. Mark is only 27 pages long, while St.

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Canticle of Brother Sun: All Creatures = One Family

As a Franciscan friar for over 50 years, I am very familiar with the stories of St. Francis of Assisi and animals. Many of you no doubt are familiar with the story of this brown-robed friar preaching to the birds. Or maybe that of his releasing Brother Rabbit from a

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: “Lord, When Will the World End?”

One of the most common questions people have about the end of the world is, simply, “What will happen in the future?” Given all the signs from which we cannot escape, the questions to ask might be, “Are we approaching the end of the world? Is this what Jesus was

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Be Merciful—Just as the Father Is

There is a startling statement in Luke’s account of Jesus’ sermon on the plain (6:36-38). He says, “Be merciful, just as your father is merciful.” We are to be, as Jesus says, “like the Father.” We all limp through life with our failings; therefore, we can’t be 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: The Franciscan Coat of Arms

If you go to any of our Franciscan friaries, churches, or convents, you will almost always find the Franciscan Coat of Arms hanging on a wall or visible over a doorway. This holds true around the world as well as through the centuries. The Franciscan Coat of Arms often consists

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Power of the Spirit

Last month, in anticipation of Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to the Holy Land, we talked about our brothers and sisters in the Eastern Churches. Looking back on his trip, I am amazed by what the pope accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit in just 55 hours. He took significant

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations