Fraternity on the Periphery

A dear friend of mine who has spent the past two years living in Nazareth introduced me to the story of Blessed Charles de Foucauld. Somehow I had never heard his story before or, at least, it hadn’t caught my attention.

The Vatican’s very short summary of him is this:

Blessed Charles de Foucauld, born in 1858, was a French aristocrat and religious, whose work and writings led to the founding of the Congregation of the Little Brothers of Jesus. During his adventurous life, he was a Cavalry Officer in the French Army, and then an explorer and geographer before becoming a Catholic priest and hermit who lived among the Tuareg in Algeria’s Sahara Desert. He lived a life of prayer, meditation and adoration, in the incessant desire to be, for each person, a “universal brother”, a living image of the love of Jesus. On the evening of December 1, 1916, he was killed by bandits.

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The World Will Be Saved by Beau[tiful] Breakfasts

“The world will be saved by beauty.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

I recently returned to the Middle East to continue my practical education in fundamentally human things.

Among the “courses” that I took was breakfast.

The photo above is of my breakfast plate from the Amani Cafe in Nazareth. A dear friend of mine who has been living there for the past two years told me that this cafe was among her favourites.

I was so impressed by this breakfast platter that I wrote the following comment beneath my social media post about it:

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Is your work to die for?

Today is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker and this post examines Pope Francis’ beautiful Apostolic Letter “With A Father’s Heart” to explore the practical ways in which we can see work as a context for self-gift through which we fulfill the meaning of our lives.

I have organized the themes of the letter into the following eight categories. Each category begins with a excerpt from the letter and then includes a question or two for our contemplation of some possible practical applications.

1. Names and Relationships:

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