Thursday, February 10, 2011

Living simply

Living simply is key to living as a Franciscan. In that spirit, I offer the following from an unexpected source:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

- from Robert Fulghum's "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten"
There's nothing I can do to improve upon that so I won't even try. A blessed day to all!

Memorial of St. Scholastica
Daily Mass Readings
Genesis 2:18-25
Psalm 128:1-5
Mark 7:24-30

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Gift of the Rosary and Reconciliation

Today is one of the days I'm glad I remain a Roman Catholic.

There was no pressing urge. There was no horrid sin I suddenly felt needed to be unburdened from. There was none of the oft-mentioned, much-maligned "Catholic guilt". I simply felt off. I wasn't at ease, for no particular reason. I didn't feel at peace. I tried praying, and no answer (to my perception anyhow) was forthcoming. Instead of wallowing in the irritating confusion, I decided to plan my lunch around getting to church; see if anything could be brought to light there. I wasn't particularly focused nor hopeful. I simply had a free lunch hour.

I got to St. Brigid's after Daily Mass had completed. I figured I'd see if God had anything to reveal to me through praying the Rosary (the Rosary Society prays in church directly after Mass). I settled in and began following along withe the prayer. As we got to "...pray for us sinners" in the first Hail Mary, I looked toward the back of the church and noticed there were only a few people on line for Confession; there are usually many more on a nice day like today. I figured that this could be Someone nudging me along; I was moved to ready myself to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I continued to pray the Rosary as I waited, reflecting on any damaged areas in my relationship with my God. I was surprised to find there were more than I'd realized, more than I usually feel comfortable with. I was exactly where I was supposed to be, as is the case more often than not. My turn came as the last decade of the Rosary was completed.

Although I won't share the details of my Confession - that's between Christ and myself - I will say that it was precisely what the Doctor ordered! I returned to work refreshed, renewed, and wonderfully reconciled with my God.

Thank You, O God for Your mercy and for prayers joyfully answered! You heal me and You comfort me!

Act of Contrition ('Irish' version)
O my God, I am heartily sorry
for having offended Thee
and I detest my sins
above every other evil
because they displease Thee, my God,
Who, in Thy infinite wisdom,
art so deserving of all my love
and I firmly resolve
with the help of Thy grace
never more to offend Thee
and to amend my life.

Daily Mass Readings
Genesis 1:1-19
Psalm 104:1-2,5-6,10,12,24,35c
Mark 6:53-56

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