Monday, October 31, 2011

This Autumn Day

O sacred season of Autumn, be my teacher,

for I wish to learn the virtue of contentment.
As I gaze upon hour full-colored beauty,
I sense all about you
An at-homeness with your amber riches.

You are the season of retirement,
Of full barns and harvested fields.
The cycle of growth has ceased,
And the busy work of giving life
Is now completed.
I sense in you no regrets:
You’ve lived a full life.

I live in a society that is ever-restless,
Always eager for more mountains to climb,
Seeking happiness through more and more possessions.
As a child of my culture,
I am seldom truly at peace with what I have.
Teach me to take stock of what I have given and received;
May I know that it’s enough,
That my striving can cease
In the abundance of God’s grace.
May I know the contentment
That allows the totality of my energies
To come full flower.
May I know that like you I am rich beyond measure.

As you, O autumn, take pleasure in your great bounty,
Let me also take delight
In the abundance of the simple things in life
Which are the true source of joy.
With the golden glow of peaceful contentment
May I truly appreciate this autumn day.

~Edward Hays

Friday, October 28, 2011


“There are some questions that will never be satisfactorily answered this side of Heaven.”
 ~ Greg Clapper~

What are those questions for you? Is it hard to be patient and trusting when there are no answers? Famous writer Rainer Rilke approaches the subject like this, “…don’t search for the answers which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

Make an effort today to be patient in all that you do!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is It Morning?

It is morning,

really morning,
or is it just
another day?
A new beginning
or just a continuing yesterday?
How I wish for morning:
a light soft
and bleaching a night’s pain.
A new beginning,
a new day.
But I fear morning’s no longer with me.
Beginnings rarely seek me out-
I am too much with middles.

-Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

How do you view your day?  Are you an eternal planner always anticipating the next move? Or, perhaps you have that live in the moment attitude.  Which ever description fits you best.  The fact is, we all have an opportunity for a new beginning.  J.R.R. Tolkien tells us "All we have to decide is what to do with the time given to us." 
So, how did you start your day?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We Come Only Armed with Love

Brought to you by:

- This video was produced by Brother Rufino Zaragoza ofm and friends.

Spirit of Assisi - Armed With Love from JPIC/Vocation Animation on Vimeo.

Make Your Needs Known!

Make Your Needs Known to One Another

“Be confident in making your needs known to one another. For each of you, to the extent that God gives you the grace, should love and nourish one another as a mother loves and nourishes her child.”  ~St. Francis of Assisi~

It's hard for many of us to ask for help when we need it; we are often the caregivers of our entire family and the cliché about being the glue that holds everything together is not so far off in our crazy lives. If you are a parent or a caregiver, you understand this concept of nourishing love, the feeling of showering another with compassion, understanding and attendance to their need. On the other hand, you also understand the concept of another human being making their needs known to you, constantly in some situations. St. Francis calls us to be confident in sharing our needs with others too, reflect today on what your needs may be and make a mental list of the people in your life that you can make your needs known to.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Is it noisy?

Francis saw that the world’s noise has a way of deflecting people from the deeper realities of life. It keeps us preoccupied with the superficial at the expense of the meaningful. It deafens our souls and subdues our hearts. For Francis and other saints, monastics, and mystics down through the ages, the desire for solitude isn’t an effort to flee from the world; it’s an attempt to run toward God, to know God better, and to hear God’s voice amid the din.

Excerpt from The Lesson of St. Francis by John Michael Talbot

Do you find yourself running toward the noise? Or, away?  I find that when I am not noticing it I seem to be drawn to the noise, to the busyness of life.  It takes a conscious and concerted effort to turn away and find the solitude.  How does the process work for you? 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Present Moment

Our true home is in the present moment.

To live in the present moment is a miracle.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment,
to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.
Peace is all around us-
in the world and in nature-
and within us-
in our bodies and our spirits.
Once we learn to touch this peace,
we will be healed and transformed.
It is not a matter of faith;
it is a matter of practice.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Do you allow yourself to be in the present moment?  How is this time spent?  For some it is in the delight of silence and solitude.  For others it is having heightened awareness of what is happening "now."  How can we slow down from the hustle and bustle of life and be more in the present moment? 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Angels across the Chasm

Zion National Park

“When I was a youngster I wanted to go out running among the mountain peaks. And when, between two summits, a gap appeared, why not leap across the Chasm? Led by the angel’s hand, all my life long this is what happened, this, exactly.” ~Dom Helder Camara~

We all reach these ‘gaps’ in our lives where we are paralyzed by fear and anxiety because we cannot see a safe way to cross over the Chasm. All we see is a wide open canyon with no bridge or road to pass safely onto the other side. Today, can you trust that there is an angel waiting to lead you by the hand? Reflect on what that feels like to have a sense of security and companionship on your journey. Who are the angels in your life? Have you thought about the fact that YOU may be the angel guiding another across the Chasm of life?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Experience Solitude

It’s true: Solitude, silence, and stillness help us connect to God. But God doesn’t intend that we take such spiritual riches and keep them to ourselves or hoard them away. Instead, the genius of the Franciscan approach is its balance between quiet meditation and activity in the world. Intimacy with God becomes a prelude to intimacy with and service to others.

I have found that the discipline of solitude brings three important beliefs:
- You know yourself better.
- You know God better.
- You know your purpose better.

Excerpt from The Lesson of St. Francis by John Michael Talbot

If you are ever in seek of such solitude.  Consider attending the Franciscan Hermitage Experience.  It is a 4 day retreat spent is solitude in the spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.  A perfect opportunity to know God better, yourself, and your purpose better.  Click here for more info.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Persevere with St. Francis

"Happy will they be who will persevere in the things they have begun."
~St. Francis of Assisi~

 Reflect on what this quote means in your life today.  Are there relationships you have neglected?  Are there projects and crafts laying around your home unfinished?  Did you call the dentist back?  Is there yard work that needs to be done?  Are there prayers you've been meaning to say?

Please take the opportunity today,  take one step closer to happiness,  and complete a task that may be difficult for you.  Ask St. Francis to guide you in your effort!