Fri 6 Dec 2013
This is the verse from Matthew: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. In the Gospel, when Jesus says these words, he’s ravenous from forty days in the desert. But he’s speaking with the devil here about a great deal more than bread. Men and women need food and shelter to survive. These things are basic to their dignity. But they need God to be fully alive. Human beings are more than a bundle of appetites. Our longings go beyond what we can see and touch and taste. We were made for God. And material answers to questions of the soul can never be more than a narcotic. The proof is all around us. So much of the suffering in modern American life—we see it every day—can be traced to our misdirected desires, and the distractions we use to feed them. We look for joy and purpose in things that can never give us either.
~ Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M.Cap., Remarks delivered October 1, 2013 at Philadelphia’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary as part of a Year of Faith discussion series, via First Things
Thu 5 Dec 2013
To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.
~ Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
Wed 4 Dec 2013
Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.
~ Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
Tue 3 Dec 2013
God’s word is unpredictable in its power. The Gospel speaks of a seed which, once sown, grows by itself, even as the farmer sleeps (Mk 4:26-29). The Church has to accept this unruly freedom of the word, which accomplishes what it wills in ways that surpass our calculations and ways of thinking.
~ Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium via a minor friar blog: Evangelii Gaudium: My Favorite Parts.
Sun 1 Dec 2013
Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor disturbance.
~ St. Francis of Assisi, The Admonitions
Sat 30 Nov 2013
You are called to give your own contribution, inspired by the person and message of St. Francis of Assisi, in speeding up the advent of a civilization in which the dignity of the human person, co-responsibility and love will be a living reality. You must deepen the true foundations of the world-wide fraternity and create everywhere the spirit of welcome and the atmosphere of brotherliness. Commit yourselves firmly against all forms of exploitation, discrimination, and marginalization and against all attitudes of indifference towards others.
~ Pope John Paul II, Address to SFO 10th General Chapter, November 22, 2002
Fri 29 Nov 2013
Consequently,no one can demand that religion should be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life, without concern for the soundness of civil institutions, without a right to offer an opinion on events affecting society. Who would claim to lock up in a church and silence the message of Saint Francis of Assisi or Blessed Teresa of Calcutta? They themselves would have found this unacceptable. An authentic faith – which is never comfortable or completely personal – always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better that we found it.
~ Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
Thu 28 Nov 2013
If God sends you adversity, receive it humbly and thankfully; think that you have deserved it, and that it is for your good. If He sends you prosperity, thank Him for it and beware of giving way to pride; for we ought not to use God’s gifts as arms against Him.
~ St. Louis King and Tertiary
Wed 27 Nov 2013
The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.
~ Pope Francis via uCatholic, 20 Quotes From Pope Francis’ First Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”
Tue 26 Nov 2013
Grace is a gift of God; but as a general rule it is given only to him who asks for it by fervent and constant prayer, who makes a good use of it, and who corresponds with it promptly and faithfully.
~ St. Leonard of Port Maurice, OFM
Mon 25 Nov 2013
One of the things Christ must have learned in the thirty yeas before his public ministry is that no amount of discussion or reasoning will convert the human heart. If you hunger and thirst for goodness, beauty, truth, you will fall upon the Gospels weeping with joy; if you don’t, you will steadfastly, insanely deny them, or worse, try to twist them to support your own ends, insisting that Love thine enemies means to kill them, and that Blessed are the poor means blessed are the prosperous. So again we return to the scandal of the Cross. Of praying in secret, of hungering and thirsting for justice, of quietly and mostly hiddenly consenting to the ongoing Crucifixion of trying to live out our smallest moments in love. Failing most of the time, of course, but still…
~ Heather King, Jesus Said So Little….
Sun 24 Nov 2013
The Saints were so completely dead to themselves that they cared very little whether others agreed with them or not.
~ St. John Vianney
Sat 23 Nov 2013
Truth and serenity lie sleeping in silence and solitude. The greatest malady of our time is the absence of stillness and silence. Empty your heart; sit in stillness. Quiet your fears; rest in God.
~ Gerry Straub, An Inner Restfulness
Fri 22 Nov 2013
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would strongly be tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.
~ C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory via Strange Herring.
Thu 21 Nov 2013
Secular Franciscans should pledge themselves to reduce their own personal needs so as to be better able to share spiritual and material goods with their brothers and sisters, especially those most in need. They should give thanks to God for the goods they have received, using them as good stewards and not as owners.
They should take a firm position against consumerism and against ideologies and practices which prefer riches over human and religious values and which permit the exploitation of the human person.
~ General Constitutions of the Secular Franciscan Order (Article 15)
Wed 20 Nov 2013
It can be difficult to see God’s love in our world when faced with violence, illness, and poverty, but God’s gracious presence is made manifest in our good works. In someway, it is up to each of us to help bring the presence of God to our world.
~ Daniel Horan OFM, Francis of Assisi and the Future of Faith
Tue 19 Nov 2013
The wisdom of Francis makes us realize that God loves us in our incomplete humanity even though we are always running away trying to rid ourselves of defects, wounds and brokenness. If we could only see that God is there in the cracks of our splintered human lives we would already be healed.
~Ilia Delio, The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective
Mon 18 Nov 2013
The poverty and deprivation Francis chooses to suffer for the rest of his life is really a kissing of the leper’s hand, a further putting on of the mind of Christ that enables Francis to become poor, to see the world as God sees it.
~ Murray Bodo, O.F.M., The Way of St. Francis: The Challenge of Franciscan Spirituality for Everyone
Sun 17 Nov 2013
Dear God. I cannot love Thee the way I want to. You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and my self is the earth’s shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon. The crescent is very beautiful and perhaps that is all one like I am should or could see; but what I am afraid of, dear God, is that my self shadow will grow so large that it blocks the whole moon, and that I will judge myself by the shadow that is nothing. I do not know you God because I am in the way. Please help me push myself aside.
~ Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal