THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT IN SUPPORT OF OUR 2ND ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL ON SUNDAY, 9/8. It was a beautiful day to celebrate the cultures which make our community amazing!

Minute Meditations

Christianity Is a Complete Way of Life

Christianity isn’t an abstract philosophy. It’s a complete way of life. Consequently, profession of belief in Christianity isn’t simply an intellectual nod of the head, but a commitment to live in such a way as to express concretely one’s convictions in the everyday world. Such engagement demands a sense of direction, a sense of individual mission and purpose. This is supplied by the particular vocation each of us is given. When we discover our own unique calling, regardless of what it may be, we find the spiritual true north by which to plot our course.

—from the book Perfect Joy: 30 Days with Francis of Assisi  by Kerry Walters

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What If We Did What Francis Did?

In one way or another the Franciscan saints were all struck by the question that came to St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, whose dramatic conversion was prompted by his meditation on the saints: “What if I should do as St. Francis did?” Another translation of that question might be: What if I were to live as if the Gospel were true? As Carlo Carretto, a modern admirer, has observed: “At least once in our lives we have dreamed of becoming saints.… Stumbling under the weight of the contradictions of our lives, for a fleeting moment, we glimpsed the possibility of building within ourselves a place of simplicity and light.… This is when St. Francis entered our lives in some way.”

—from The Franciscan Saints by Robert Ellsberg

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Christ Cannot Be Limited

Through his life in Christ, Francis came to see that Christ cannot be limited to a single human person; rather, Christ encompasses the whole creation. Nowhere is this more evident than in his Canticle of the Creatures. By entering into the heart of Christ, Francis found Christ at the heart of the world. The life of Francis indicates to us that to be a Christian is to find Christ in every person and living creature, and to be in union with Christ is to experience God’s goodness throughout creation, not just in a church. Christ, the risen incarnate Word of God, encompasses the whole creation.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF

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God Rejoices in Diversity

I live in the area of Washington, D.C., which is a kaleidoscope of various cultures, languages and ethnicities. Is everyone Catholic? No. Is everyone Christian? No. So what does a humble God of love do in such a diverse world? Rejoice! Because God’s creation is a wonderful celebration of diversity. Our God is not a boring God! But somehow our Catholic doctrine still creates walls of separation, paths of exclusivity, “in” and “out” groups. By exploring the relationship of a humble God to a world of difference we come to a more broadly conceived notion of the meaning of Christ.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF

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God Bends Down to Lift Us Up

While the weight of the mystery rests on the part of the divine, it rests equally on the human nature that God has humbly bent down to lift up as his own. The figure of the stigmatized Francis reminds each of us of our Christian  vocation: to be another incarnation of the Word in all its mystery. Through the burning compassionate love of the Crucified, we are called to reenact the mystery of the Crucified in our own life. Until we enter into that mystery and express that mystery through compassionate “burning” love, for our neighbor and for creation, the world remains incomplete.

—from the book Crucified Love: Bonaventure's Mysticism of the Crucified Christ by Ilia Delio, OSF

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A Love Purified by the Love of God

In Francis’s life, it was the crucified Savior who spoke to him from the cross of San Damiano and whom he saw in lepers. And it was the crucified Savior he first fell in love with. The suffering Jesus moved him to tears, and in pity and compassion he wanted to join Jesus in his suffering to show how much he loved him. And so he did “foolish” things at times to show his love, to keep focused and faithful to the Christ who revealed  himself to a shopkeeper’s son who longed to be a knight and ended up choosing instead to be a happy beggar who sang songs of love and lived and preached the Gospel of the love of God who was made real for him in the words and life of God’s Son. The human condition being what it is, love in the end involves a choice to love the Love that created and redeemed us, even in the face of affliction, abandonment, and death. “And that, Brother Leo, is perfect joy, a love purified by the love of God.” That is the secret and perfect teaching of St. Francis of Assisi.

—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis

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The Supreme Love of God

Francis demonstrated a type of love that ascends to God and descends to neighbor, a love that expressed itself in the desire for martyrdom and strove for unity with neighbor and creation. Francis, therefore, is not only the model of relationship with God but he models the relationship of the human person to others, to community, and to the created world. The Stigmata signify that Francis attained the supreme love of God through his imitation of and conformity to Christ. Union with Christ Crucified, the center of all reality, enabled Francis to stand with Christ at the center of the world, united to humanity and creation in solidarity, in the spirit of compassionate love—“burning” for love of God and love of neighbor who has been created and redeemed by God. In light of the stigmatized Francis, we can say that the mysticism of the human person means that in the human person, united to Christ, the self-diffusing goodness of the Creator is clearly and perfectly manifested. 

—from the book Crucified Love: Bonaventure's Mysticism of the Crucified Christ by Ilia Delio, OSF

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