Plunging deeper into reality

Faith is not a matter of adding something on to reality; it is a matter of plunging deeper into reality, of aligning oneself with the truth about the human condition. Reality is already enchanted, if you will. As Catholics, as apostolic witnesses, we are not trying to convince our neighbors to recognize something different from everyday reality; we are trying to help them recognize what is true, good, and beautiful in the reality that we all perceive.

Phil Lawler, “To defend marriage, the truth is enchanting enough”

It exists for one purpose only

A corporation is not a living creature. It has no soul. It has no heart. It has no feelings. It can neither experience towards you nor enjoy from you even the concept of loyalty. It is a legal fiction, and it exists for one purpose only: to make profit. If you assist in this goal in the long term, your ongoing association with the organization is facilitated. If you detract from it consistently, you will be cut. Family is “where they have to take you in no matter what you’ve done.” A corporation is… well, it’s sort of the exact opposite of this.

~ David Brady,  “Loyalty and Layoffs”

Combat the culture

I would therefore like us all to make the serious commitment to respect and care for creation, to pay attention to every person, to combat the culture of waste and of throwing out so as to foster a culture of solidarity and encounter.

~ Pope Francis, quoted in “Pope Francis’ guide to avoiding a ‘throwaway culture‘” (Our Sunday Visitor website)

Embracing the good things of creation

Through penance he recognized his sinfulness and need for conversion. Through poverty he became aware of the human tendency to possess, as he realized his radical dependency on all things. Through humility he realized his solidarity with all creatures. Through compassion he came to feel for the things of the earth, including the tiniest of creatures. Creation became a ladder by which he could ascend to God, not by transcending creation but by embracing it as brother. For by embracing the good things of creation, Francis came to embrace the whole Christ who is the Word of the Father.

~ Ilia Delio, Franciscan Prayer

Because he was very humble

Swift to forgive, slow to grow angry, free in nature, remarkable in memory, subtle in discussing, careful in choices, he (Francis) was simple in everything! Strict with himself, kind with others, he was discerning in everything! … Because he was very humble, he showed meekness to all people, and duly adapted himself to the behavior of all. Holy among the holy, among sinners he was like one of them.

~ Thomas of Celano, The Life of St. Francis

Enthusiasm and courage

The missionary mandate which the Church received from the Risen Lord (cf. Mk 16:15) has assumed new forms and methods over time, depending on the places and situations where it was realized and various moments in history. Even though proclaiming the Gospel in our day is much more complicated than in the past, the Church’s task is one and the same as from the very beginning. Since the mission has not changed, it can be rightly said that we can make our own, even today, the enthusiasm and courage which characterized the Apostles and early disciples. The Holy Spirit, who moved them to throw open the doors of the Cenacle and sent them forth as evangelizers (cf. Acts 2: 1-4), is the same Spirit who guides the Church today and prompts a renewed proclamation of hope to the people of our time.

~ Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei

To follow his lead

With nothing else to claim as his own, Francis disciplined his spirit to be guided by the Spirit of Christ, the Son, in order to follow the heavenly Father’s will and to please him alone. Poverty freed him to live out his baptismal call just as it gifted him with a transparency that drew others—women as well as men—to follow his lead.

~ Regis Armstrong, The Franciscan Tradition (Spirituality in History)

Not the earthly status quo

Jesus was crucified, in part, because he did not come to preach a word that kept things the way they were, but instead was sent to proclaim the in-breaking of God’s Reign, which is about the establishment of justice and not the earthly status quo of injustice and violence. In other words, Jesus was not sent to be a “nice guy,” because nice guys don’t rock the boat nor do they upset people by challenging the way things are. And, oh, how Jesus upset certain people who had so much to lose because they had gained all — power, wealth, status, etc. — at the expense of others!

~ Daniel P. Horan, OFM, Jesus Was Not Such A ‘Nice Guy’