This special vocation

This new rule is only the third revision in eight centuries. The extraordinary continuity that Secular Franciscans have kept through the turbulent centuries and the ever-new quality of making a spiritual and social impact on the contemporary scene, plus the never-ending blessing and approval of the official Church for this Secular Franciscan spirituality and mission, all point to the success and influence of this special vocation within the very heart of the Church.

~ Benet A. Fonck, OFM, Called to Follow Christ

To enter into contact with that infinite love

Prayer does not blind us to the world, but it transforms our vision of the world, and makes us see it, all men, and all the history of mankind, in the light of God. To pray ‘in spirit and in truth’ enables us to enter into contact with that infinite love, that inscrutable freedom which is at work behind the complexities and the intricacies of human existence. This does not mean fabricating for ourselves pious rationalizations to explain everything that happens. It involves no surreptitious manipulation of the hard truths of life.

~ Fr. Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer via Oh……. Francesco

Up to now we have done nothing

St. Francis recognized that his brothers were prone to celebrating the memories and stories of the saints, of other people – and then not build anew. Instead of living stones we friars too often became inanimate stones. St Francis told us that up to now we have done nothing, so let us begin again – because it is as Jesus promises: whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these.

~ Fr. George Corrigan, OFM, Build with Living Stones

Something so deep, so mysterious, and so creative

The ordinary and proper response to our world is to turn on the radio, open the newspaper, go to another movie, talk to more people, or to look impatiently for new attractions and distractions. To listen patiently to the voice of the Spirit in prayer is radical displacement which at first creates unusual discomfort. We are so accustomed to our impatient way of life that we do not expect much from the moment. Every attempt to ‘live it through’ or to ‘stay with it’ is so contrary to our usual habits that all our impulses rise up in protest. But when discipline keeps us faithful, we slowly begin to sense that something so deep, so mysterious, and so creative is happening here and now that we are drawn toward it – not by our impulses but by the Holy Spirit.

~ Henri Nouwen, Compassion via Contemplative Prayer | Father James

Daily conversion is so hard and so important

“This day is yours, Lord,” I say each day upon rising. Yet, before I even finish my first cup of coffee, the day has become mine. Hidden in the humor of that statement is the reason why daily conversion is so hard and so important: it is easy to forget God. It is easy to turn to God only when our backs are to the wall or we are facing grave danger. Sadly, God is often the last option. But God wants more than being our first option: God desires to be our only option. Only when God becomes our sole source of life is true human peace and joy possible.

~ Gerry Straub, Our Sole Source of Life

When we have been stripped down to nothing

Christ was never much concerned with the successful: the successful don’t need him. He was concerned with the poor in spirit, the clueless, the broken, the ones who can’t fit in no matter how hard we try. No one knew better than Christ that deep in the human heart is the tremulous, desperate hope that we have not been forgotten. When we have been stripped down to nothing, deep in our souls is the urge to head toward the innocent man who was nailed to the Cross because maybe he, at least, can understand.

~ Heather King, For All the Forgotten

Transformed into living witnesses

A serious life of contemplative prayer is very important for the times in which we live. The traditional structures of support that have made our lives comfortable and easy are presently engulfed in confusion, but transformation is slowly taking place.

God is moving us away from clinging to things, people and institutions. He is calling us to detachment, to the desert, to the journey into the night of naked faith. He is calling us to cling to him, and only him. This journey is difficult, frightening at times, and even risky. But, those who embark upon the journey will be transformed into living witnesses of the God of love.

~ Fr. James Farfaglia, Prayer Is the Only Way

To be transformed

The message of Jesus is folly, in human terms. Anybody who spoke like Jesus today would be considered mad, only good for a psychiatrist. His message is not for the wise; those who think that they have the power, strength and knowledge to transform the world will not understand that the folly of His message is the gift of the Spirit and the transformation of their hearts. The message is for the wounded and the little ones, the poor ones, those who are awaiting the liberator and the good news. The deeply wounded person will always recognise the liberator, because the presence of Jesus will free him, bring him peace and strength and courage, and although he cannot understand the meaning of the little piece of bread and the wine, he knows that he needs them to be transformed.

~ Jean Vanier, Be Not Afraid via Heather King

Built up day after day

To wage war on misery and to struggle against injustice is to promote, along with improved conditions, the human and spiritual progress of all men, and therefore the common good of humanity. Peace cannot be limited to a mere absence of war, the result of an ever precarious balance of forces. No, peace is something that is built up day after day, in the pursuit of an order intended by God, which implies a more perfect form of justice among men.

~ Pope Paul VI, On the Development of Peoples (Populorum Progressio), #76