Did not our hearts burn within us?

I spent my evening tonight as the guest of the Friars at Mt. Irenaeus. I was invited there along with nearly two dozen other folks. The group was decidedly Franciscan. Some were students at St. Bonaventure University. Some were Seculars from the St. Irenaeus Fraternity. Some were faculty at St. Bonaventure University. We all had one thing in common. A love for Mt. Irenaeus and the ministry of the friars there. What sets Mt. Irenaeus apart from nearly every other place I’ve gone to Mass is the Franciscan charism as it’s practiced at “the Mountain.” All guests are received as Christ, no one is excluded. All homilies are open. That’s right you actually get to share what is on your mind at Mass as though you really mattered, and you do.

Our evening began with some snacks followed by a lovely dinner prepared by a couple of the Friars. The theme of the evening centered on St. Luke’s Gospel and “The Road to Emmaus.” We were invited by the friars to an open dialog about the theme and it’s relation to ministry at Mt. Irenaeus. It seemed to be consensus that Franciscan spirituality was really the key to all our lives. Living apart from the Mountain as we all do we had ample opportunity to share the fruits of that spirituality with a hungry world. In almost every other corner of Christianity I hear that Jesus came to earth to redeem us because we are imperfect and in need of redemption. The love of God is almost an afterthought and only after we’ve been redeemed. Franciscans believe that the Universe is for Christ and not Christ for the Universe. It’s a slight but important distinction and it’s what sets Franciscans apart. The emphasis at Mt. Irenaeus is shining that light of love on all that is done here. The mission of Mt. Irenaeus is to join with Jesus Christ in “making all things new!”

I’ve been coming here for over seven years now and the friars have shown me so much love that it spills into other areas of my life. They’ve opened my eyes to a world that needs love and people that need to be told over and over again that God loves them. When you start looking at all creation as brother and sister you start to realize that we’re all dependent on each other. That’s the way God intended. Seeing each other as brother and sister is one way to end war. The Franciscan movement ended the crusades eight hundred years ago. We need another movement like that today to scuttle the military industrial complex that threatens to ruin us.

2 Replies to “Did not our hearts burn within us?”

  1. “The Church has always held baptism to be “for the remission of sins”, and, as mentioned in Catechism of the Catholic Church, 403, infants too have traditionally been baptized, though not guilty of any actual personal sin. The sin that through baptism was remitted for them could only be original sin, with which they were connected by the very fact of being human beings. Based largely on this practice, Saint Augustine of Hippo articulated the teaching in reaction to Pelagianism, which insisted that human beings have of themselves, without the necessary help of God’s grace, the ability to lead a morally good life, and thus denied both the importance of baptism and the teaching that God is the giver of all that is good.”

    The quote was taken from Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not authoritative but I’m not an apologist for Catholicism or Christianity. That being said, the concept of “original sin” was articulated by St. Augustine in reaction to some heretics. Since Augustine articulated this so long ago it is taken as a fact. In my opinion it’s counterintuitive. It doesn’t make any sense to me and to my dying day it won’t. But, I don’t make it a point of arguing. I only affirm the Franciscan or Scotist view as it makes sense to me.

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