Must exemplify his love

As Franciscans, it is not so important what we offer, but rather the willingness to offer whatever opportunity to serve that God chooses to give us. We are all given a particular station in life which best enables us to fulfill God’s will. It is within this context of our individual circumstances that we are asked to faithfully execute our duties. The method by which we are to serve is given to us quite simply in the gospel. If We are to progress “from Gospel to Life,” we must heed these Words: “Love one another as I have loved you,” (Jn 13:14) Everything we do in the Church, our homes, the market place, the fields and in our communities must exemplify his love.

No one ever had to fear Francis

The humility that naturally accompanies such a state of living helped to create a nonthreatening space for dialogue. If one is not interested in winning, being correct, or ranking above another, then one is not a threat. The sultan had nothing to fear from Francis. The way Francis lived his life demonstrated his willingness to be subordinate to every other person for God’s sake. Francis recognized himself as a sinner and therefore knew of his own need for continued conversion, garnering a great deal of patience for those whom he encountered. While considering what was so nonthreatening about Francis, Franciscan theologian Kenneth Himes said, “It was the fact that no one ever had to fear Francis. Francis never sought to dominate, manipulate, or coerce anyone. No person ever looked into the eyes of Francis and saw a lust for power or control.”

To be subordinate to every other person for God’s sake

The humility that naturally accompanies such a state of living helped to create a non-threatening space for dialogue. If one is not interested in winning, being correct or ranking above another, then he or she is not a threat. The Sultan had nothing to fear of Francis. The way Francis lived his life demonstrated his willingness to be subordinate to every other person for God’s sake. Francis recognized himself as a sinner and therefore knew of his own need for continued conversion, garnering a great deal of patience for those he encountered. While considering what was so non-threatening about Francis, Franciscan theologian Kenneth Himes said, “It was the fact that no one ever had to fear Francis. Francis never sought to dominate, manipulate, or coerce anyone. No person ever looked into the eyes of Francis and saw a lust for power or control.”

~ Daniel P.Horan, OFM, “Those Going Among the Saracens and Other Nonbelievers”: Thomas Merton and Franciscan Interreligious Dialogue

Nurturing the moment…

A waiting person is a patient person. The word ‘patience’ means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere. The moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Waiting, then, is not passive. It involves nurturing the moment, as a mother nurtures the child that is growing in her womb.

~Henri Nouwen, Eternal Seasons, via Gerry Straub’s Blog