Friar’s E-Spirations: The Theology of a Poet

I don’t read a lot of poetry, but I do have a favorite author and one who is deeply appreciated by many: Emily Dickinson. She lived in Amherst, Massachusetts, in the latter part of the 19th century. She was shy and lived a very reclusive life. During her 55 years,

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Power of Hope

The loss of hope is a terrible thing. It can be lethal. But for most of us, a deficiency of hope shows itself in more subtle ways: discouragement, putting our trust in everything but God, or focusing too much on the negative in the world.This month, I find

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Generosity of God

Most of us are attuned to the issue of fairness. But what is interesting is how often people criticize God for not being fair. I’m reminded of Jesus’ parable about the workers who were hired to work all day and those hired at the end of the day. The parable

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: It’s the Rock Foundation That Matters

One of the beautiful characteristics of Jesus’ teachings is that his examples are easy to understand and down to earth. You don’t need to be a genius to figure out what he is saying. Even a child can grasp what Jesus means. Jesus once spoke of how some people miss

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Memories of Padua

As the feast of St. Anthony (June 13) draws near, my memories go back to Padua where I spent several days in 2006. I had the opportunity to stay for a few days in the large friary of the Conventual Franciscan Friars. The friary stands right next to the magnificent

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Rich Man and His Harvest

There are 18 parables in the Gospel of Luke. One of the shortest ones contains one of the most powerful messages. It’s about the rich man who had a magnificent harvest. He faced a conundrum: “What shall I do with this fantastic harvest? My barns will never hold all of

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

A Spirit of Gratitude

This holiday season, take a step back from the noise and chaos. Focus on your blessings. By Friar Jack Wintz, OFM

Jack Wintz, OFM

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: ‘Those Who Once Walked with Us’

What’s in a name? Maybe an opportunity! A name can be affirming and friendly. It can also be judgmental and offensive. I’m intrigued by the names we give to Catholics who do not regularly attend Mass. Some names are negative: “lost sheep,” “fallen away,” “ex-Catholics.” Others are more neutral, such

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations