Sunday, February 6, 2011

Native Americans & Franciscans

From my Franciscan sister, Vicki. Thank you for providing this comparison that I never thought of before. It is apt.

If only Franciscans realized with more clarity how alike they are to Native Americans!
Both respect and reverence nature and the God Who created it. Both seek in their daily lives personal direction from the One Who lays down the good, red road for each life. Both attempt to live simply, waste not, share generously with those less fortunate and wonder at the power and misuse, of treasure. Both were given "Ten Rules" for life. Commandments, which if followed, maintains harmony among all peoples. Both esteem community, children, spouses and family life. Even children participate routinely in dances, rituals, prayers. Both care for the aged and infirm and honor their many years of life.

Both love legends, stories and mysteries. Both have them. Both know that in all legends there contains a kernal of truth. Mysteries, signs, visions and dreams were for the guidance and well-being of both the person who received them and those he loves. To deny the supernatural, is to deny the mysteries of God.

Neither Franciscan or native (ideally) fear death. Both know without doubt that death is not the end of a person's journey in life, only upon earth.
Vicki mentioned the Native American 10 Commandaments. I'm not sure what tribe or nation this originates from, or how authentic it is, but it is beautiful nonetheless:

1. Remain close to the Great Spirit
2. Show great respect for you fellow beings
3. Give assistance and kindness whenever needed
4. Be truthful and honest in all things.
5. Do what you know to be right
6. Look after the well being of mind and body
7. Treat the earith and all that dwell thereon with respect
8. Take full responsibility for your actions
9. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good
10. Work together for the benefit of all mankind

Sounds familiar.

Daily Mass Readings
Isaiah 58:7-10
Psalm 112:4-9
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Matthew 5:13-16

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