Friar’s E-Spirations: The Paradox of Holiness

Our lived faith is filled with paradoxes—events in our lives that may seem to mean one thing but actually mean the opposite. An almost universal tendency is to judge our relationship with the Lord in terms of how we feel or experience that relationship—positive or negative. We know that one

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Amazing Numbers

How complex are our lives? If you really think about that question, the answer is beyond our wildest imagination.For example, consider Abraham of the Old Testament: the father of the Israelites. His descendants were Isaac, Jacob, and Judah. Scripture scholars estimate that about 42 generations later, Jesus was

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The God of the Old and New Testaments

People often wonder about the way God is described in the Old Testament—and the contrasting way Jesus spoke of God in the Gospels. Common descriptions of God (often used by nonbelievers) are that of cruel and vicious. It’s as if God changed from the Old to the New Testament. One

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: I Will Never Take Back My Love

It was recently Valentine’s Day. The title of this E-spiration would be a good message for a Valentine. Actually, “I will never take back my love,” is a message from God in Psalm 89. The words struck me as I was praying the Office of Readings. They are appropriate for

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Pope Francis: What a Visit!

It’s been a few weeks since Pope Francis completed his astounding visit to the United States. I don’t know if any of you made it to Washington, DC, New York, or Philadelphia, but if you did, I imagine your experiences were very special. I was content and grateful to find

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: What Is Holiness Really About?

The word holiness can have a discouraging effect on people. Some immediately dismiss it, perhaps a bit sadly, since they believe that whatever it is, holiness is way beyond their reach. They think of their failures and sins, and figure that if they could only get rid of them, then

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Giving Glory Back to God

Most of us who are Christian are well acquainted with the familiar prayer: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen.” This prayer is known as a doxology

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Time for Some Peace and Quiet

Once again, Christmas has come and gone. If your yuletide has been filled with lots of hustle and bustle, you are probably ready for some quiet time. In short, you may be longing for a little time of silence and reflection—in other words, for contemplative prayer.

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