To live as if the whole world were a cloister

This approach to ministry is one that places relationship and community above one’s personal faith journey and conversion. In fact, one’s own conversion, if indicative of a Franciscan hue, should lead toward humanity and away from only one’s self. It is for precisely this reason that Francis insisted that the friars were to remain mendicants and not monks, to live as if the whole world were a cloister and not be limited to the four walls of private religious life.

~Francis of Assisi and the Future of Faith by Daniel Horan OFM

The Our Father – Thy Will Be Done

It’s primarily a matter of the heart, this petition of the Lord’s will. To long for the kingdom, to long for God’s will, to ask for it, beg for it, desire it with fervent desire. And to know—really know—that our own will and our own kingdom are not really taking us to a happy place.

Fr. Denis Lemieux, “A Matter of the Heart”.

Freedom from Religion | First Things

God without priests. Churches without authority. Faiths that are optional. It’s wonderfully liberating. The divine can’t get his hands on us anymore! Now we can be spiritual without being religious. It’s the luxury good human beings have always wanted: bespoke worship, idols made to spec.

R.R. Reno, “Freedom from Religion” | First Things

[Editor’s note: this may be one of those quotes that benefits greatly from reading the piece that the quote was taken from. Just in case the tone of this fragment isn’t clear because it is a mere fragment, R.R. Reno isn’t advocating a religion as described above but is describing what, in some sense, has become what currently passes for religion.]

This is your home

One morning just before dismissing us, the priest said, “Stay as long as you like. This is your home.”

Oh, this IS my home! I thought, and wandered around for a bit, then went and sat before the Blessed Sacrament myself. Of course the Church is no one building; every Catholic church is my home. But that I could leave my earthly home, drive eight minutes, and sit before Christ is a sacred mystery and gift beyond all imagining.

~Heather King, Shirt of Flame

The world would be a very different place

Christ’s perfect humility was rooted in His complete confidence in God’s love and perfect plan. God’s perfect plan for our redemption gives us, in turn, the courage to trust Him. That trust is the basis upon which we strive for humility.

If we were all able to be as humble and obedient as Christ, the world would be a very different place. When we are open to God, we are open to grace and the Holy Spirit. We are open to accept God’s guidance in learning from our mistakes and fulfilling the potential for which He created us. We leave behind pride and open the way for joy, generosity, love, and all the other fruits of the Spirit. Those gifts can change not only our own lives, but the lives of everyone we know.

~The Power of Humility, Christopher News Notes

The only way we have of knowing

The mystery of the poor is this: That they are Jesus, and what you do for them you do for Him. It is the only way we have of knowing and believing in our love. The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge of and belief in love.

~Dorothy Day, The Mystery of the Poor

Give up the illusion

Christians should know better than most that we are not in ultimate control of our lives, and therefore be better at flourishing in situations which call for us to give up the illusion of control.  But are we?  Living in a culture which celebrates self-actualization above almost everything else makes this a very difficult counter-cultural practice. Indeed, I count myself among the Christians who need to get better at trusting in God and giving up the illusion of control.

~Charles Camosy, The Allure of Choice and Control: From Pete Carroll, to Defensive Medicine, to the NRA | Catholic Moral Theology

Use our gifts wisely

The humility and gratitude that arise from acknowledging God as the source of all good gifts should lead us to freely share those gifts with others. Hoarding our talents, resources, and power for our own good or glory is an injustice. Francis calls us to use our gifts wisely, serving God and others through good works.

~Francis of Assisi and the Future of Faith by Daniel Horan OFM