Friar’s E-Spirations: Psalm 36: Sin Speaks to the Sinner

The Book of Psalms was composed many centuries before Jesus’ time. The psalms are beautiful prayers that fit every condition and circumstance of life. They praise the Lord’s goodness and cry out in complaint and despair for the suffering we experience. The Book of Psalms, inspired as it is by

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Mysterious Workings of Grace

When speaking of the word grace, it is important to clarify what grace really is. Grace is not something that we get from God. Grace is actually God working within our whole person. Sometimes you hear people speak as though God would ladle out grace. Rather, grace is the presence

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Unexpected

God calls each of us by name, and sometimes God asks us to do something we never expected to do. To say yes demands trust and faith in God. A prime example is the couple from Nazareth: Joseph and Mary. We remember each of them this month—Joseph on the 19th

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Size Doesn’t Matter, Really

In our society, it seems that everything has to be bigger or the greatest. “More is more,” as they say. But the truth is this: size is not really that important.If we want to consider something really big, all we need do is think of the universe. It’s

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: A Grain of Sand

Several months ago, I wrote a column entitled “Just a moment, please.” In it I spoke of the unbelievable significance a single moment can have in our lives: Mary’s “fiat” when God asked her to become the mother of the word of God. At that moment, the entire direction of

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Jesus Becomes a Brother to All Creatures

Next we look at Jesus’ coming at the end of time. We can do this by way of the haunting image of Christ found in the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible. In Revelation 3:20 we read: “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking. If you

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: Honoring St. Clare of Assisi

It was August 11, 1993. I had just taken lunch at St. Francis Friary, our Franciscan headquarters across the street from the St. Anthony Messenger Press building. I have worked as an editor and writer there for many years. After lunch, I stopped to say a prayer in the friary

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Assumption of Mary

On November 1, 1951, Pope Pius XII declared Mary’s assumption into heaven at the end of her life as a doctrine of faith—a dogma for all Catholics. The question of Mary’s assumption into heaven had been discussed for many centuries prior to 1951. True, some notable theologians in the past

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Jesus’ Brief Time in Ministry

Jesus’ life can be divided into two parts. What is surprising is that, while he is the Son of God who came to redeem the world, he spent 90 percent of his life in the remote town of Nazareth. Only 10 percent or, at most, 30 months made up his

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations