Care for Creation – Franciscan Action Network

I saw Ilia Delio’s book, “Care for Creation,” earlier today and it reminded me how important caring for our common home is. A conversation I had earlier this week led me to look at the teachings of the Episcopal Church and The Society of St. Francis which in turn led me to the Franciscan Action Network and this page on the care for creation. There are some folks who think that FAN is too progressive. I wonder what these folks would have thought about that carpenter from Nazareth who said we should love our enemies and do good to those who hate us. That’s crazy talk isn’t it. Many of his contemporaries thought St. Francis was crazy too. He loved lepers and in them saw the face of Christ. I’m sure the legalists of his day wanted him and his followers to quit living in mud huts and caring for the lepers and indigents around Assisi. Life can be messy and it looks like it’s going to get real messy with this Coronavirus on the loose. We didn’t join hands at the sign of peace today during liturgy and there was no passing of the communion cup. I read where some churches have removed the holy water fonts to stem the spread of disease. Creation is in need of a lot of care as are our sisters and brothers who’ve been exposed to this new virus. One thing is for sure regardless of what you believe is that life is very uncertain and it’s getting even more uncertain no matter what you do.
Source: Care for Creation – Franciscan Action Network

Breath of life

It’s that season in the United States when some folks roll out the “real Christian” card and it’s usually around a woman’s right to choose. I hope most folks choose life. I’m glad my Mom chose life. Even with its ups and downs it’s been a great life. That being said I do support a woman’s right to choose. There are many who assert that life begins at conception and while that may be their belief I believe that life begins at first breath. I used to work in labor and delivery forty some years ago while serving in the United States Navy and babies had to take their first breath. Some babies had difficulty and required extra help and we were there to assist them. Breath is the miracle of life. All living things breathe therefore breath is life.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. — Genesis 2:7

Looking for a good book to read?

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good LifeThe Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

I liked it. The title might put some people off and the language might put some people off too. His frank manner of writing attracted me and held my attention all the way through the book. I think it’s a great book and maybe even a candidate for a best seller award. I loved his analogies and examples. I’d recommend this book as a great read to anyone and especially those of us who have doubts about ourselves.


Still don’t know

In just six days it’ll be three years since I started blogging. My first post on January 9, 2006 contained this quote 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

I still have no real idea of where I’m going and it really doesn’t matter. The more open I am to change the more successful I am. Openness and flexibility are signs of life while stiffness and rigidity are symptomatic of death and dying. I pray always to be open and in the words of the St. Irenaeus,

It is not thou that shapest God
it is God that shapest thee.
If thou art the work of God
await the hand of the artist
who does all things in due season.
Offer Him thy heart,
soft and tractable,
and keep the form
in which the artist has fashioned thee.
Let thy clay be moist,
lest thou grow hard
and lose the imprint of his fingers.

– St. Irenaeus

Giving it away

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

“It is better to give than to receive..,” but that’s not how most of us live. We live as though it were better to get than to give. I know I’m guilty of it myself. It’s a proven fact though that giving actually results in better health for the giver. Among other things I’m a technology consultant. I recommend solutions for people and businesses. I try to give a lot of what I do to others. I believe that it will come back to me in blessings and it does.

There is an old adage that in order to keep what you have, you have to give it away. It has to do with powerful forces in the universe. Some call it karma. Call it what you will but it works and if you want happiness, then give it away. If you want wealth, give it away. If you want peace, give it. May God, Allah, Yahweh, the Great Spirit, Buddha, Krishna or whomever or whatever you hold sacred move you to give what you have. We need that more than ever right now.