Commit yourselves firmly

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

Evangelii Gaudium: An authentic faith

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

Evangelii Gaudium: The great danger in today’s world

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”

Failing most of the time

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….

You have never talked to a mere mortal

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.

And not as owners

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)