And here's something else I've worked on quite a bit in 2012: a new digital magazine, called Liberty+Vine. Check out our free sample issue, which includes an article I wrote about my experience of running, specifically in the Jerusalem Half-Marathon in March.
Throwing aside common sense and doubtlessly all manner of digital protocol, below are the links to blogs I've written for AmericanCatholic.org so far in 2012. They cover everything from travel to social issues to ... vegetables!
Simple, Beautiful Love
There You Are!
Just Not in the Cards
Babes in Bikinis
What Is the American Dream?
People are Living in Motels
The Beastie Boys: Spiritual Savants
'The Ferrari Might Be Next'
Are You Catholic Enough?
Words of Hope and Wisdom
Are You a Game-Changer?
Another Brick in the Wall
Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!
Suddenly I Was Crying
Looking for Lent in All the Wrong Places
Pro-Life? Then Be Pro-Mom
Below are several blog posts for AmericanCatholic.org from my CNEWA-sponsored trip to Lebanon in November 2010.
Quite Literally Powerless
St. Francis Was With Me
Imprisoned By Circumstance
What's in a Miracle?
Live From Beirut
Here is the article I wrote for St. Anthony Messenger magazine -- my first published magazine piece, complete with some photo credits in the print edition.
And here is the special page at AmericanCatholic.org that features the daily Web stories I filed from Lebanon.
Today was one of the best days of my first five weeks at St. Anthony Messenger Press.
After a discussion about branding, I raised some questions at the periodicals department meeting regarding St. Francis and what it means to be Franciscan.
The ensuing conversation, led by Father Pat McCloskey, OFM, was fascinating and inspiring, and I came away feeling like we'd had an "aha! moment" about some key (re)building blocks for our company.
I went through my notes to jot down key points and had an "aha! moment" of my own: This, I determined, merited a blog post.
So with apologies for oversimplification, here are 26 things I learned today about Franciscans, all of which made me feel energized for the work that is to come.
1. Care for creation is a priority.
2. At heart, all Franciscans might be anarchists. (So says Father Pat!)
3. Franciscans believe in accepting the Church, warts and all.
4. They recognize the problems with the Church, but they don't criticize.
5. "Common values, unique expressions."
6. Francis was a free spirit, but his values apply to people who do a variety of things.
7. Franciscans are wary of structure and formula.
8. They trust that a person "is what he is before God -- and nothing more."
9. Humility flows from the Franciscans' honesty.
10. Franciscans can be pretty liberal, generally.
11. They believe God doesn't love just humanity, but he loves each person as an individual.
12. The Church should serve.
13. Franciscans find a thread that connects.
14. They are on a faith journey, and they respect where anyone else might be on his/her journey.
15. "A Franciscan at their best is humble and honest. That's the yardstick."
16. A core belief is respect for creation, stemming from their trust in the goodness of God and their focus on the Incarnation.
17. The Incarnation is seen as God showing humility -- a revolutionary concept when it first was espoused.
18. Inclusivity and simplicity are key tenets.
19. The first Cincinnati friars were former preachers; they somewhat just transferred forms of pastoral ministry.
20. Franciscans embrace St. Anthony because he was a popular (of the people) preacher. They tapped into his following; he was engaged in society differently from Francis.
21. "If Anthony went down to Fountain Square and started speaking, he'd get an audience."
22. "Any whiff of pretense is going to undermine what (Franciscans are) trying to do."
23. Honesty without criticism.
24. Acceptance that the Church is run by people and people are flawed, so the Church never will be perfect.
25. Original Franciscans beat naysayers at their own game by being honest about problems in the Church, not denying them. It was a kind of grassroots reform.
26. Franciscans believe in the "uniqueness of each person precisely because he/she was created by God."
Amen to that.
Welcome to my brain! You're likely to find posts about sports, travel, food, wine, media, TV and music. Should be something for just about everyone!