In recent years I have struggled to understand what the “Franciscan Journey” really means. It has been since my immediate involvement at St. Anthony’s in the last four years that I am slowly becoming aware of what this might be for me; it’s not the same for everyone. Currently I am journeying with a small group in considering the Affiliation to the FSPAs, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.
Our small group is discussing the book Building with Living Stones, Comprehensive Course on the Franciscan Mission Charism. Part of the introduction shares the idea that the longer you look at Jesus the better you get to know him and serve him. Like St. Francis, who as a prisoner of war began looking at the person of Jesus and through prayer and study became the St. Francis of Assisi that we read about today.
I have a long way to go to understand what the Franciscan way of life is for me. Following in the footsteps of Francis is hard, so is being a Christian in our world today.
But I have truly come to realize that I just need to start small, through prayer, service and study I can change my attitude and better understand a Franciscan way of life. Not sure if the realization is age or experience but I will never get there if I don’t start.
As I reflect on prayer, especially the Franciscan Morning and Evening Praise, they bring to life for me a more heartfelt approach to prayer, not just reading a bunch of words. This prayer style has been an inspiration for me.
Service is the desire and action to offer one’s gifts, talents and time for the benefit of the others and for the common good. There are many times in providing service one feels comfortable but how many of us challenge ourselves to serve by stepping out of the box, out of our comfort zone? That’s my challenge for 2017.
Study can take on many different appearances. I am not talking about an academic study but a time to read, reflect and discuss what the Franciscan values can mean in my life, taking time in looking at the person of Jesus.
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” — St. Francis