DONATE NOW!

Minute Meditations

RSS

Our Physical Surroundings Are Holy

We who tend to think of nature as nothing more than a usable commodity can learn a great deal from Francis’s relationship with the environment. He teaches us the liberating truth that our physical surroundings are holy because they aren’t purely physical. Instead, they’re permeated through and through with the Spirit and beauty of God. In a mysterious way that the mind can’t fathom but the heart knows full well, we don’t just dwell in God’s world. In dwelling in God’s world, we also abide in God himself.

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

Read now

Live in the Mystery of God's Love

Did you ever have one of those days where the whole idea of God was just too much to think about? As if trying to “get a handle” on God was like trying to kiss the moon? If the mystics are right (and usually they are because they see things much differently than we do) then you were probably closer that day to God than any other day in your life. How is this possible, you ask? How can God be close to you (or you to God) when God seems so far away or not at all? Even better, how can God be close to you when you are totally confused? This is my answer to you: God is a mystery of humble love. It is a mystery that you cannot reason or try to figure out. You must simply live in the mystery. This is my hope for you—that you may live in the mystery of God’s humble love.

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

Read now

Using Our Creativity for Others

A Christian celebration of humanity consists in lovingly midwifing our fellow humans into full being. One of our God-given endowments is creativity, the ability to cooperate with God in the inauguration of the kingdom. We’re called to use this creativity in nurturing our brothers and sisters as full members of that kingdom, and we do this by going out of our way to help them recognize and affirm themselves as images of God. In concrete terms, this means performing the acts of charity listed in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew: clothing the naked, tending the sick, visiting the imprisoned, giving food and drink to the hungry and thirsty. Celebrating the sheer existence of others often demands that we do the dirty work of easing the material burdens that inhibit them from arriving at a conscious appreciation of their own holiness.

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

Read now

The Baggage We Carry

When we go into the inner desert, we appreciate for the first time just how much unnecessary baggage we carry around. We see and gasp at the incredible artificiality of our old way of life, the flimsiness of our old values, the duplicity of our old self. The process is harrowing because it rips away everything by which we’ve defined ourselves. But this desert dying, this going under, is a necessary condition for the kind of “ineffable joy” and “wonderful light” that suffused Francis at the end of his time in the pit.

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

Read now

Embracing Poverty

An embrace of Lady Poverty means that we try to live freely by getting out from under the possessions that own us. This can range from adopting a Franciscan-like life of voluntary poverty to the more common effort to cut down on consumption of needless luxuries. The purpose in either case is to forgo what we don’t need in order to imitate better the holy poverty of Christ, to appreciate better our fellow humans, and to contribute to a more equitable distribution of resources. But genuine freedom—which, recall, is a necessary condition for the joy Francis craves—isn’t simply a matter of throwing off externalities that burden us. It entails a relinquishment of internal acquisitiveness. In addition to ridding ourselves of goods that weigh down our spirits, we must wean ourselves from our psychological desire for them. Doing the one without the other simply won’t suffice. We can steel ourselves to a life of material poverty yet still remain enslaved by our lusts, vanity, and jealousies.

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

Read now

Walking in the Divine Footprints

Francis went about the world following the footprints of Christ, not so he could look like Christ, but because they were the footprints of divine humility. He discovered that God descends in love to meet us where we are and he found God in the most unexpected forms: the disfigured flesh of a leper, the complaints of a brother, the radiance of the sun, in short, the cloister of the universe. The wisdom of Francis makes us realize that God loves us in our incomplete humanity even though we are always running away trying to rid ourselves of defects, wounds and brokenness. If we could only see that God is there in the cracks of our splintered human lives we would already be healed.

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

Read now

'My God and My All!'

Unless one truly believes in God, one is incapable of genuinely celebrating God. An observer once watched as Francis prayed throughout the length of an entire night. To his amazement, Francis spent the whole time simply repeating, over and over, “My God and my all! My God and my all!” This simple act, so undramatic, so seemingly modest, in fact was an incredibly intense celebration. Francis truly believed that God was all, and he realized that the only celebration worthy of God is wonder-filled and grateful acknowledgment of God’s allness. Pageantry and pomp and circumstance aren’t needed to celebrate the living God. All that’s required is the heartfelt conviction that nothing—absolutely nothing—is more real or important. When we reach this point (if  we reach this point) our belief in God is a simultaneous celebration of God. Which is exactly how things should be.

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

Read now

Called to Bend Low in Love

Francis of Assisi wanted to be a “brother minor” so that he could humbly bend down in solidarity with all living creatures of the earth. We, too, are called to bend low in love, to find the humble love of God in the simple ordinary and oftentimes broken hearts of the world. To do so, however, we must be free to bend low in love. In Christ, God has set us free. It is up to us as Christians to live in the freedom of God’s humble love. Only by living in the freedom of love can we help transform the world into the fullness of Christ. It is possible. Francis did it in his own way and in his own time. Now we, too, must do the same.

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

Read now

Every Breath of Life Is the Breath of God

To live in God’s humble love is to live in attentiveness, openness and relationship: attentiveness to the presence of God in the details of the fragile human person, openness to the ways God is both hidden and revealed in creation, and relationship to the God incarnated in our neighbors, family and community members. In each of these areas we are called to love in a spirit of compassion, forgiveness, tenderness and care. As God bends low to love us where we are, we must be open to welcome God in our lives, to embrace this God of humble love and to allow God to live in us in every way. Every breath of life must be the breath of God.

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

Read now