Magnify and honor Him

Open your eyes therefore, prick up your spiritual ears, open your lips, and apply your heart, that you may see your God in all creatures, may hear Him, praise Him, love and adore Him, magnify and honor Him, lest the whole world rise against you.
~ St. Bonaventure, The Mind’s Road to God

This is our strength

We are at Jesus’ disposal. If he wants you to be sick in bed, if he wants you to proclaim His work in the street, if he wants you to clean the toilets all day, that’s all right, everything is all right. We must say, “I belong to you. You can do whatever you like.” And this is our strength. This is the joy of the Lord.

~ Mother Teresa, via OH……….. FRANCESCO

I would first of all have to be

If I were to be a good Franciscan, that is, Christlike, I would first of all have to be in almost all points as this peasant appears to be. That is–to set no store on pride in knowledge, or possessions, or ambitions, but completely obscure looking and acting: and with all that not envious, not ambitious, but quiet and good, and giving people things, and being patient, and working and living on little food. But being, first, nobody: this peasant, obscure and dark, and silent, and not knowing much how to talk: of such were Christ’s Apostles.

~ Thomas Merton, Run to the Mountain: The Story of a Vocation

What an incredible notion!

I hear from a lot of people who, as soon as I mention peace, want to know, But can’t we use violence here, and here and here? Aren’t we obligated to use violence in this situation and that situation? Aren’t you interested in in carving out the exception? And I’m like No. I am not. We live in a culture that worships violence. That cadre hardly needs another spokesperson. What an incredible notion! Why on God’s green earth would a follower of the Prince of Peace waste his or her time trying to figure out how to be “legitimately” violent? Why, in a world of flowers, trees, birds, books, music, wonder, would I be looking for an excuse, a loophole that “allowed” me to harm the flesh, spirit, mind and heart of another human being?

Heather King, PEACE IN OUR PERSONAL LIVES

It was in stillness and silence

I think we need to create a culture of emptiness more than Francis did, as modern life is so filled with busyness, so cluttered with unfiltered information tirelessly generated by the media and the internet, so over-stimulated by a dizzying array of electronic gadgets, so pressured by the allure of nonstop advertising, and so driven by productiveness, we are almost incapable of stillness and can’t tolerate silence. It was in stillness and silence that Francis forged his inner cloister of emptiness and flamed his desire for God.

~ Gerry Straub, A Culture of Emptiness.

Reflect over and over

Reflect over and over on the following thought—not simply as something you have heard, but as something you have actually experienced: not only on the basis of words, but also on the basis of facts: how unstable is worldly wealth, how insecure is worldly success, and how futile is worldly fame.

~ St. Bonaventure, Soliloquium

The finite things of the world

The issue is that we commonly fail to read the book of creation properly. We too easily give distorted importance to the finite things of the world which should be—in their goodness, truth, and beauty—symbols of the divine. Instead, we let them become ends in themselves, replacing the mystery of God, who alone can fill the emptiness that yawns in our depths.

~ St. Bonaventure, Soliloquium

If spiritual poverty is genuine

If humility of this sort is the first step in the journey, the journey does not end there. For humility opens one to an ever deeper and fuller life of grace that will find expression in an active love and a life of virtue. If spiritual poverty is genuine, it will express itself in our relations to all things. It can eventually express itself in the form of radical voluntary poverty, and such poverty is a furnace that purifies and leads ever more deeply into conformity with the poor and naked Christ.

~ Zachary Hayes OFM, Bonaventure: Mystical Writings

Jesus prayed

The bedrock of the Secular Franciscan life is prayer, stemming from the example Jesus has given us in the Gospels. Jesus prayed before, after and during each encounter of his day. He never moved into action without first being present to and communicating with his Father. It is this example that we are to follow. All that Secular Franciscans are and do stems from this communication with God.

~ Teresa V. Baker, OFS, “The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order” (Chapter 12 of the FUN Manual)