I'm a 19-Year-Old Girl and I Eat Lunch With Franciscan Friars

I'm a 19-Year-Old Girl and I Eat Lunch With Franciscan Friars

A packed lunch and an office building has never been more exciting.

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For starters, Friars are men who choose to live a simple lifestyle in their community. Theirs is a life of prayer and service to the Church and the world, following the life and example of St. Francis of Assisi. As brothers, they strive to follow the Gospel by living the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In addition to that, they try to walk in the footsteps of Christ by living and proclaiming the Gospel, using their God-given talents to serve the poor and marginalized.

A Franciscan's day is quite simple really, and much more "normal" than one might imagine. The Brown habit might throw you off a bit, but really their day is just composed of prayer, time with the community, and work. The friars – some are priests and some are not — can do any kind of honest work: pastoral work, social work, community work, education, missionary work, and so on. Among Franciscans, you will find social animators, doctors and nurses, cooks, preachers, parish priests, catechists, teachers and professors, journalist, laborers, and more.

In all of their ministry, Franciscans aim to follow in the footprints of Jesus Christ — to live a lively and true fraternity, rooted in a spirit of prayer, to which all work comes second. In their choice of how they live, where they live and what they do, they emphasize service to those who are most in need. That is very evident in what they do as well. I am currently interning at a non-profit ministry of the Franciscan Friars in Cincinnati, Ohio called Franciscan Media. We are proudly based in Cincinnati's historic Over-the-Rhine, aka the "bad part of town." where the Franciscans have ministered since the 1800s. This area is historically known for violence and poverty, with gated parking lots and food kitchens sprinkling the streets, but the Franciscan Corner is practically crime free and calm because they are so respected due to their good works for the community. I picked up on that pretty quickly.

Since 1893, Franciscan Media has sought to inform and inspire Catholics and others across the country and throughout the world. For many years, the principal communication was St. Anthony Messenger — which is still the number-one national Catholic family magazine, after more than 125 years. Though this publication has kept pace with the times over the years in content and appearance, we have expanded our efforts in both form and outreach.

This is where I come in. I have been writing for Franciscan's Blog for quite some time and was brought on board as a summer intern for a fresh perspective and a younger voice, which hopefully I am bringing to the table.

It just so happens that I get to work at a building connected to the St. Anthony Center, and at a non-profit publishing company who's publisher is a Friar. So the whole lunch thing is just an added bonus, and it makes for some good conversation and plenty of learning opportunities.

Cover Image Credit:

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Faithfulness Is Like The Clouds

God's faithfulness in our lives reaches higher than the clouds - that's pretty far.

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Psalms 36:5 "Your love Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies."

As I look out of the window in the airplane, I see the sun covering everything in its sight. And as I watch the sun cover the earth, I can feel the peace of God being to settle into my heart. We lift off the ground and I know His faithfulness travels with me wherever I go.

Something that I've learned in 2018 is that Gods' plan for my life is never late. He didn't messily throw my life together in 5 minutes, nor was He unwavering in the details of my life. He very cautiously knit together every moment of my life, even when I didn't understand why He chose to do what He did.

Over the past five months, I have been more aware of Gods faithfulness in my life than I have been in a very long time.

To make this story short, I did not grow up surrounded by extended family like most people I know. And while God has still been so good to me in my years growing up, I still had the small void in my heart that yearned for something more. Something that I had prayed to God in secret many times, but never intended to do anything about it.

This past summer I watched as God took that very desire of my heart and beautifully unravel them before my eyes in a plan that has been so intricately put together for years, but He chose to reveal it to me now. I watched as He taught me how to trust Him with everything in me, not just bits and pieces of me. I watched God reintroduce me into what it means to be proud of my culture and ethnicity in new and fresh ways. The dry and barren place of my heart that I felt could never see these promises that God had for me were beginning to come to life.

He gave me joy. Joy in people and in places that I lived 20 years without, but God knew one day He would surround me with. As I sat in the midst of conversations and togetherness, I was reminded that this was the very thing that I had prayed to God for so many years.

Our prayers are not insignificant to God. He holds every single one of them close.

So many times in my life I have asked God to just help me to understand what He's doing in my life. To just tell me why He's doing the things that He's doing. And so many more times after that, I have God remind me that maybe I'm not supposed to understand. Maybe I'm supposed to just let everything in me fall at His feet the same way that Mary did with Jesus. Maybe I'm supposed to constantly trust Him with every second of my life, even when I don't know the next step.

God never stops teaching me about His faithfulness, and I hope he never does stop. I hope in 2019 He brings me to places of growing more in what it means to invest in relationships, to speak into other lives about His goodness in mine. One significant thing that I learned recently is that Gods promises for our lives are never meant to run out. Just like His faithfulness in our lives are never meant to only happen for a few months. It is never ending and always secure. In Hebrews 10:23, It says "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."

..."For He who promised is faithful"

What a beautiful truth to know and to carry with us into this new year.

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