DONATE NOW!

Minute Meditations

RSS

Disciples Have Passion

We can walk with Jesus, whose mission will be accomplished whether we like it or not, or we can grasp at our fleeting comforts, getting in his way. It doesn’t seem like much of a choice to me. If we want to follow after Jesus, we need to let go of our apathy and laziness, the comfort that comes from being disconnected from others, and begin to truly care. Discipleship is about a life of passion, about giving our lives completely over to the mission that Christ is calling us to. Either we’re fully in, or we’re not in at all.

—from the book Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship by Casey Cole, OFM

Read now

God Is the Source of All Good

While we are quite familiar with being disappointed by the worst we see in the world, we cannot deny the extraordinary heroism of which humanity is also capable. All around us, ordinary people are performing acts of sacrifice, giving up their own lives so that others may live. It is nearly impossible to look into the world and not see love overflowing at every turn. Science cannot explain it; logic doesn’t understand it. And yet, love emanates more powerfully than any substance we can measure. Truth transcends any instrument or equation. In moments of pessimism, when we find ourselves impatient with the world, do not grow hopeless, but trust in the unexplainable love lived by so many. Trust the goodness you see. Be still, and know that God is the source of all that is Good, Beautiful, and True, and that all love exists because God wills it.

—from the book Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship by Casey Cole, OFM

Read now

Do We Believe God Is in Control?

As disciples of Christ, those wishing to follow after him, we are left with a critical question: Do we actually believe that God is truly driving history, that God is completely in control of the coming of the kingdom and all that is good? If so, and since we clearly don’t have the vision ourselves, then it might be time for us to let go of our impatience and needless worries. Being a disciple of Christ does not mean that we get to make the decisions or have power over our situations; it means that we trust that God does and are completely content to let go of all that brings us anxiety.

—from the book Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship by Casey Cole, OFM

Read now

Francis Is Our Model for Peace

Saint Francis began a new evangelization in his own time, not by trying to be social reformer. He simply loved Christ and lived the Gospel, and he and his brothers became thereby catalysts for social change. They became “Holy Fools” who turned the world upside down by simply living the truth of the Gospel of Christ. Like Francis and his brothers, we all can learn to love again, even in the midst of division and war. And the map Francis gave us for learning to love is the Gospel and his own life of following in the footsteps of Christ. This map has been summed up beautifully in his Peace Prayer, a prayer he did not write but certainly is the way he prayed and lived and taught by example. It is a prayer that outlines everything that made Francis the peacemaker that he was and the model for peace that he is for us today. It is a prayer that shows us how to find the truth again, if we’ve lost it, or to continue living in the truth we’ve already found and are trying to live.

—from Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis by Murray Bodo, OFM

 

Read now

Finding Our Inner Peace

There will always be false prophets and deceivers, “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” Jesus called them. But this does not mean that we are to go about criticizing and correcting; that only separates further. It is only necessary to be true to oneself; and if it is called for, to speak our own understanding of what the truth is without denigrating others. Peace is achieved more effectively by trying to bring out the best, not pointing out the worst, in others. And we bring out the best in others by being ourselves peaceful. Our own peaceful presence will do more than trying to persuade others that we are right and they are wrong. Peacefulness is its own persuasion. That is the best option, it seems to me, for those committed to living the Gospel. The Franciscan response to sin and division is to forgive myself and my neighbor, thereby becoming peaceful in my own center, and then to reach out to others and “work mercy” with them, even with those whom I find it difficult to love, who repel me in any way. We work together toward the good, or we perish as individuals, as societies and as civilizations.

—from Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis by Murray Bodo, OFM

 

Read now

Called to Be People of Truth

Without the kind of internal conversion of heart that Francis came to in his own life, we can easily find our certainties elsewhere, even from those who have elevated their own opinions and prejudices to the level of truth. And without our own inner certainties we can easily start listening to these false truths of others, often listening to the loudest, most convincing speaker rather than listening to God in the silence in which God speaks to the depths of the soul. And then we begin to imitate others’ words and actions, as if they are our own hard-won truths and ways of living that we have come to after pondering prayerfully and carefully what is said and acted upon by others. So, if we are to learn from St. Francis today and live the words of Christ in the Gospel, we need first of all to ask what part we ourselves may be playing in disseminating lies without considering more carefully whether or not they are the truth they pretend to be, or being silent when we know lies are being proclaimed as the truth. And then, seeking God’s mercy and forgiveness, like St. Francis, we try to begin again, listening to the words of the Gospel to find the truth, praying over them, and living them out in our daily lives, all the while asking God to help us to be people of the truth who try always to speak the truth.

—from Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis by Murray Bodo, OFM

 

Read now

God Will Show Us the Way

A preference for light and beauty is one of the reasons St. Francis is attractive to us and why he was so successfully a peacemaker in his own time. It is why today his town of Assisi has been the site of peace conferences and prayer meetings to promote peace. St. Francis is seen as the gentle saint who shows us that the way to peace and justice is the way Christ has shown us in the Gospels, namely, the way of the love of God, which is THE way; and its companion is the way of love of our neighbor as ourselves. This basic Gospel truth is the message of the Gospel St. Francis finally was able to hear in the Gospel he lived and preached. He learned that if we put those two commandments in precisely that order, we easily see how and when we sin in departing from the truth and in hurting our neighbor. All truth is from God, and God’s truth is that we are to love God, and loving God will show us how to love our neighbor. Living the Gospel must start with embracing this basic Gospel truth. Only then will we, too, begin to hear the voice of God.

—from Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis by Murray Bodo, OFM

 

Read now

Saying 'My Lord and My God'

On Easter night Jesus appears to his disciples, showing them the wounds in his hands and his side. He breathes the Holy Spirit on them and communicates the gift of peace, the fruit of Easter, but Thomas is not present. And his absence cannot be accidental: Jesus did not wait for his return to the Cenacle but appeared when Thomas had left, perhaps for some urgent task despite all the risks and dangers that entailed. Jesus appears as risen and alive to his disciples while Thomas is absent, perhaps to make Thomas experience the struggle of believing, of going from unbelief to faith, because that would be instructive for us too. The Fathers of the Church claim that Thomas’s unbelief is more useful for us than the faith of the other disciples. Let us listen to Jesus’s words to Thomas: “Do not doubt but believe.” It is a word that creates what it says. Jesus seems to be saying to Thomas, “Come forth out of your unbelief and come into faith.” This is the word we ask Jesus to speak over our lives, to rescue us from our unbelief. If we are still sinners, if we are often lacking and fail in our friendship with Jesus, it is because we are not yet sufficiently believers; something in our minds, our wills, or our affections is still unbelieving. Let us ask for this grace: “Rescue me, Lord, from my unbelief and bring me to faith.” May it be granted to us to unite ourselves to Thomas in asserting, “My Lord and my God!”

—from the book Encountering Jesus: A Holy Land Experience by Vincenzo Peroni

 

 

Read now

Walking with the Risen Jesus

Let us try to imagine the scene of the disciples who are walking with Jesus at their side for about seven miles. We can almost picture them in our minds: Initially focused on themselves with downcast faces, little by little they regain their strength, lift up their heads, return to an upright position, and breathe deeply again. Having reached the village of Emmaus, Jesus concretely checks to see if these two have understood and accepted all that he wanted to reveal to them during their journey. The disciples’ invitation shows that they accepted the extraordinary nature of their mysterious journey companion. Their invitation reveals the new feeling that is now in the hearts of these two. “It would be very good if you stayed with us. We have not yet understood who you are, but your presence is a source of consolation. Stay here with us.” They enter the place, and during the meal Jesus performs actions and repeats the very words of consecration for the Eucharist. He takes the bread and breaks it. The disciples—watching this take place and trained in listening to the word of God now being interpreted—are able to recognize him in the breaking of the bread. The Gospel reports that at the disciples’ invitation, Jesus “went in to stay with them.” As soon as they recognized him, however, “he vanished from their sight.” But why? Shouldn’t he have stayed with them? Because now he was still with them, because he had taught them to recognize him in the sacrament of his presence that he had left them: the body broken for them and the blood poured out for them.

—from the book Encountering Jesus: A Holy Land Experience by Vincenzo Peroni

 

 

Read now