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Posts Tagged ‘St. Francis’


2 Corinthians 10: Strength through Weakness

Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 12, 2019

We frequently hear about  Paul’s boasting in the Lord. Today, if we look more closely, we will see that there is a finer, deeper meaning with these words.  Our physical bodies act according to the flesh.  These bodies house our spirits which are enormously powerful, capable of destroying fortresses

When we read this chapter we understand that we are sent to be God’s Word.  We are sent to be God’s Healing.  We are sent to be God’s Presence.  We are sent to be God to one another.  We are sent to teach, to proclaim, to witness . . . and when necessary, as St. Francis says, we use words.

Our lives, our actions speak more loudly than words.

Our words are formed by our thoughts.

Our thoughts are formed by our souls.

Our souls are formed by God.

When we become confused, all we need do is return to The Word.

Do not be afraid.  (Mt 10:31)

You are precious in my eyes.  (Is 43:4)

Rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly. (1 Pt 4:13) 

I, the Lord, am with you always, until the end of the world.  (Mt 28:20)

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him, do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. (Ps 37:7)  Be still and know that I am God. (Ps 46:10)

Return to your scabbard; cease and be still.  (Jer 47:6)

Quiet!  Be still!  Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?  (Ma 4:39; 40)

Sometimes the noise of the world drowns out The Word.  Paul urges us with the gentleness and clemency of Christ, to be humble, to be patient, to care for one another, take every thought captive in obedience to Christ . . . be confident in belonging to Christ . . . For it is not the one who recommends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord recommends.

With Christ as our shield and our armor, we need do nothing more than live our lives as the Lord recommends.


A re-post from April 27, 2012.

Image from: http://www.art.com/products/p12350813-sa-i1731395/medieval-sword-and-shield-montage.htm

Written on May 6, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

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John 12:24: The Mystery of Resurrectionempty tomb

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.

This is perhaps the most difficult of mysteries to comprehend. Richard Rohr, OFM posts this meditation on June 7, 2015. When we reflect upon it today, we begin to discover what it is we already have forever. We begin to understand this mystery that is reckless, real and eternal.

“Jesus himself exemplified and also taught us the path of descent, which Christians have often called ‘the way of the cross.’ The path downward is much more trustworthy than any path upward, which only tends to feed the ego. Like few other Christians, it was Francis of Assisi who profoundly understood that.

“Authentic spirituality is always on some level or in some way about letting go. Jesus said, ‘the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32). Once we see truly what is trapping us and keeping us from freedom we should see the need to let it go. But in a consumer society most of us have had no training in that direction. Rather, more is supposed to be better. True liberation is letting go of our false self, letting go of our cultural biases, and letting go of our fear of loss and death. Freedom is letting go of wanting more and better things, and it is letting go of our need to control and manipulate God and others. It is even letting go of our need to know and our need to be right–which we only discover with maturity. We become free as we let go of our three primary energy centers: our need for power and control, our need for safety and security, and our need for affection and esteem.” (Rohr)

When we allow the seed of our old selves to pass away and die we find that we are reborn into a newness of peace that blossoms amidst turmoil and anxiety. When we allow ourselves to let go to fall down the well of our former self, we discover that the dreadful bottom we fear hitting is the very narrow gate of life that we so earnestly seek. This is a mystery that we will want to explore. In and with Christ, it is a mystery that we experience daily.

Compare different versions of these verses and listen for the promise of this mystery of resurrection. 

For more from Richard Rohr, visit his site at: https://cac.org/richard-rohr/daily-meditations

Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Art of Letting Go: Living the Wisdom of Saint Francis (Sounds True), CD. This simple tri-part distinction has been affirmed by many psychologists in many different ways, and is also used by Fr. Thomas Keating in his understanding of the entrapment of the human person.

Richard Rohr, OFM, posted on June 7, 2015 at: https://cac.org/richard-rohr/daily-meditations

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Genesis 1:9-31: The Mystery of IncarnationNativity_450x259

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Richard Rohr, OFM in his June 5, 2015 tells us: “If incarnation is the big thing, then Christmas is bigger than Easter (which it actually is in most Western Christian countries). If God became a human being, then it’s good to be human and incarnation is already redemption. Francis and the Franciscans were the first to popularize Christmas. For the first 1,000 years of the church, there was greater celebration and emphasis on Easter. For Francis, if the Incarnation was true, then Easter took care of itself. Resurrection is simply incarnation coming to its logical conclusion: we are returning to our original union with God. If God is already in everything, then everything is unto glory! Much of the early church did not have trouble with what many would now call universal salvation (apocatastasis, as in Acts 3:21). We are all saved by infinite love and mercy anyway. ‘God alone is good’ (Mark 10:18), so there’s no point in distinguishing degrees of worthiness. Everything in creation merely participates in God’s infinite goodness, and our job is to trust and allow that as much as possible.

“As Matthew Fox said, we made a terrible mistake by starting with ‘original sin’ (a phrase not in the Bible); we absolutely must begin with original blessing. ‘God created it, and it was good’ is stated six times in a row in our Creation story (Genesis 1:9-31), ending with ‘indeed it was very good!’ But, up to the present time, most of Christianity concentrated on what went wrong with our original goodness . . .

“The Franciscan starting point is not sin; our starting point is Divine Incarnation itself. So our ending point is inevitable and predictable: resurrection. God will lead all things to their glorious conclusion, despite the crucifixions in between. Jesus is the standing icon of the entire spiritual journey from start to finish: divine conception, ordinary life, moments of enlightenment (such as his baptism, Peter’s confession, and Jesus’ transfiguration), works of love and healing, rejection, death, resurrection, and ascension. That is not just Jesus; it is true for all of us.”

Richard Rohr, OFM, Adapted from an unpublished talk and posted on June 5, 2015 at: https://cac.org/richard-rohr/daily-meditations

Christ is present in all of creation. Christ is present in each of us. This is the mystery of incarnation. We know that God creates the universe and the microverse out of great love and deep compassion. We know that Christ comes to walk among us as salvation and redemption. We know that the Spirit abides with us to console and heal. This we know and yet it is mystery when we wonder . . . how is it that God loves us this deeply and this well? And how is it that we fail to trust this great love?

To read a commentary about the mystery of the incarnation, click on the image above or visit: http://www.catholica.com.au/ianstake/023_it_print.php 

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