Use words only when necessary…

St. Francis said, “Preach the Gospel everday and use words only when necessary.” That’s part of the legend of Francis. That quote which came to me by way of a friend who was my adult introduction to a Franciscan way of life. I’m reluctant at times to share the Gospel with friends because the Gospel has been given a bad name by “Bible thumpers” who seem more intent on demonstrations of personal piety than actually living out the story.

St. Francis saw himself as brother and sister to all. I wish I was as optimistic as Francis. I live my life at times both at work and at play with no real evidence of good news. I think, “how can I be good news?” to the people I work with, the children I meet everyday. What is it that the people I work and live with each day need the most?

One of the challenging stories in the New Testament is the story of the Good Samaritan. Who are the outcasts at my work and in my life who I’m asked to bathe and care for?

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life. Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”–St. Luke, 10:25-37.

Explaining a Spiritual Experience

I got this link today from a friend and it’s just beautiful. I hope it grounds you as it has me.

Explaining a spiritual experience

This is very beautiful and came from a friend who wanted to contribute something to what I’m trying to do here. I think there are lots of people out there who are getting lost in the maelstrom of everyday living and they are not getting fed. I sense a real hunger in most people for a spiritual experience that’s grounded in their own daily life. St. Francis reminded the people of Gubbio that they were good people. They didn’t have to accept any doctrine or profess anything, they were just inherently good as created by God. He greeted them, Good Morning, Good People! Peace and all Good!

How often do I bless those around me with a greeting like this?

I don’t know where I’m going…

I really don’t know where this blog will go but I’ve had it in my head and heart to have a blog where folks who’d like to celebrate peace and life in the manner of St. Francis and St. Clare could share ideas and maybe some prayers for each other and the world around us.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the Incarnation in Franciscan Spirituality and the implications that has for person or persons attempting to live out Franciscan values. What does it all mean?

One of my favorite prayers and contemplations comes from Thomas Merton.

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.Nor do I re ally know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

– Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”