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

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Foundation of Our Lives

Jesus always used the simplest but most powerful images in his teachings. One time he startled people listening to him when he said, “It won’t matter if you call out ‘Lord, Lord’ when you die.” It won’t matter? It is interesting because people can be misled by their own estimation

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

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 Past—Graces or Regrets

There is a dramatic scene in John’s Gospel shortly after Jesus’ Resurrection. Jesus asked Peter a question, “Peter, do you love me?” A strange question, really! Recall that Peter had abandoned Jesus in his time of need even though just hours before at the Last Supper, he was protesting that

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

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

We believe that the host and wine when consecrated at Mass only appear to be bread and wine. In reality they are the Body and Blood of Jesus. Sometimes other Christians think Catholics are being cannibalistic in saying we “eat the Body and Blood of Jesus.” We are in fact

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Keep Things in Perspective

In the Gospel of Luke, there is a curious little scene shortly after Jesus began his public ministry. He had proclaimed that the “Spirit of the Lord” was upon him in the synagogue in Nazareth (Lk 4:18). Then his first real healing miracle took place at the home of Peter,

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Blessing of Animals

Every year, as the feast of St. Francis of Assisi draws near, many Franciscan churches—and indeed many other venues—invite the public to a variety of animal blessings.A short time ago, I was asked by a woman named Chris, whom I had not previously met, to bless her 12-year-old-dog,

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Reflections on the Joyful Mysteries

With this E-spiration, I am offering brief meditations on the Five Joyful Mysteries. My long-range plan is to share similar reflections on each of the four Mysteries of the Rosary. Thus, after the Joyful Mysteries, we will move on to the Luminous, the Sorrowful, and the Glorious Mysteries. But these

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations