To die to themselves

What does Francis’ experience say to us today? What can we all imitate of him right now? Be it those that God calls to reform the Church by the way of holiness, be it those who feel called to renew her by way of criticism, be it those who he himself calls to reform her by way of the office that they hold? The same thing from which Francis’ spiritual adventure began: his conversion from the I to God, his denial of self. It is thus that true reformers are born, those who really change something in the Church, people who are dead to themselves. Better still, those who decide seriously to die to themselves, because it is an enterprise that lasts the whole of life and also beyond, if, as Saint Teresa of Avila said jokingly, our self-love dies 20 minutes after us.

~ Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap (preacher of the pontifical household), 1st Advent Homily 2013: “To prepare ourselves for Christmas in the company of Francis of Assisi” via ZENIT 

2013-12-15T12:02:28+00:00 December 15th, 2013|Self-Abandonment, suffering|4 Comments

Deeply marked by the cruciform love of Christ

The way to the goal of the spiritual journey, therefore, is only through the most burning love. But love demands a price. Insofar as the specific object of St. Francis’s reflection is the crucified Christ, when the religious subject is bound to such an object in the furnace of burning love, it becomes clear why at least the spirit of St. Francis would be deeply marked by the cruciform love of Christ. But because of the intensity of this experience, that which marked the soul poured over into his body as well. As the Journey of the Soul into God puts it: “his spirit shone through his flesh” (JS prol. 3

[5:295]).

~ Zachary Hayes OFM, Bonaventure: Mystical Writings

2017-02-20T20:02:11+00:00 December 13th, 2013|love, St. Francis of Assisi (about him), suffering|2 Comments

When we begin to seek out the crosses of others

We already know some crosses: a parent stricken with cancer, a brother in trouble with the law, a spouse who loses a job. These are the crosses that we can expect. The truly revolutionary moment in our Christian lives, however, comes when we begin to seek out the Crosses of others: to search to enter into the messiness of the lives of people we don’t take care of because of family ties or the loyalty of friendship. Christian greatness is when we find the thieves who hang in public and decide to hang with them: when we get put up on the cross for all to mock, that is the time we ought to have the courage to hang there with them and call out to Jesus, “Remember us, when you come into your kingdom.”

~ Matt Janeczko, New Sandals: “Of Kings and Jesus”

2017-02-20T20:02:12+00:00 December 12th, 2013|Charity, suffering|1 Comment

Until such time as God delivers us

What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to live with them until such time as God delivers us from them…we must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them or endure them unwillingly.

~ A.W. Tozer via Franciscan Friars of the Atonement

2013-09-19T11:15:00+00:00 September 19th, 2013|Peace, suffering|1 Comment

Suffering doesn’t preclude joy

And I actually don’t believe there IS “more.” There are different variations–a parent with children, a monk, an artist, a workman or workwoman; any of the innumerable vocations of the follower of Christ–but there is nothing deeper on this earth, no higher calling, than descending into the suffering heart of humanity: ours and everyone else’s. Suffering doesn’t preclude joy; it precludes any kind of facile “prosperity Gospel.”

Christ said “Blessed are the poor in spirit” because the poor in spirit have tapped into the mother lode of goodness, beauty, compassion, truth, and as I always say, humor…

via  SHIRT OF FLAME: THE LEPER IN ME (comments section)

2017-02-20T20:15:37+00:00 August 6th, 2013|suffering|1 Comment

You cannot escape it

The cross, therefore, is always ready; it awaits you everywhere. No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go you take yourself with you and shall always find yourself. Turn where you will — above, below, without, or within — you will find a cross in everything, and everywhere you must have patience if you would have peace within and merit an eternal crown.

~ Thomas a Kempis via OH……….. FRANCESCO

2017-02-20T20:15:42+00:00 July 16th, 2013|suffering|5 Comments