Minute Meditations

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Run to Mary

Mary cares for our souls in a way that no human mother ever could—even the most wonderful, loving one! It is that burning charity that motivates her to work tirelessly for our salvation. She wants our salvation so desperately that she appeared many times over the centuries, sharing messages of hope and calling for prayer and conversion. Her desire that all should be saved is born of a mother’s deep and lasting love for her children.

—from the book Forgiving Mother: A Marian Novena of Peace and Healing by Marge Steinhage Fenelon

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Jesus Is Forever

We’re approaching the end of the Christmas season. Soon we will be back to the ordinary routines of our life. But if we have celebrated the feast of the incarnation well, our lives will be changed. We don’t know what the new year will hold for us, for our families, for the world. But we know that God will continue to be with us. As we look back at the significant events of the past year, both the joys and the sorrows, the highs and the lows, we can see how God has shaped us and strengthened us for what lies ahead. Perhaps we’re a bit relieved that Christmas is over for another year. But perhaps we discover that something has changed in us because of an encounter, a gift, a new insight into the meaning of the incarnation. We can keep a little bit of that with us through the coming year and let it bring light and peace to our everyday lives. Our journey with God doesn’t end with the Christmas season. Jesus is forever, not just for Christmas.

—from the book The Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections with Pope Francis

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All Creation Is Incarnational

In the Book of Life we discover that all of creation tells us something about God—his power, wisdom and goodness. Stars, leaves, ladybugs, trees, flowers and humans, all in some way, bespeak God. Humans, of course, reflect God in the most explicit way because we are made in the image of God and thus have a capacity of likeness to God. But if we consider that every living element of creation, from quarks and leptons to atoms and humans, express the Word of God, then we might say that Incarnation has been happening for a very long time, indeed, ever since God uttered the eternal “yes” to a finite lover. All of creation is incarnational. That is why when Jesus, the Word made flesh, came among us, there was a “perfect fit” because all along creation was prepared to receive the fullness of the Word into it.

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

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Disciples of the Prince of Peace

Pained by opportunities missed,
and the many violations of life,
still we give thanks.

With humility we acknowledge
our general failure to imagine
much more compassionate alternatives to life in these times.

And when at last we realize
we don’t know where to go,
we are ready to be led into brighter days.

Disciples of the Prince of Peace
live in tension between grief for all that’s lost and never can be, 
and gratitude for all that’s given; an overflow of possibility.

—from the book Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace by Joseph Grant

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The Freedom to Love

 

St. John the Evangelist tells us that the truth will set us free. But what does that mean? St. Francis found the truth that leads to freedom in the truths of the Gospel, and the freedom he found was the freedom to love. God’s truth imparts to us the freedom not only to grasp the truth that is being imparted but also the freedom from what previously had been preventing us from acting on that truth. The Gospel itself will show us not only how we are to discern the truth, but how the truth leads to the action we call love.

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

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The Greatest Love We Have Known

Think of someone you truly love or have loved. What is the power of that love that draws you to that person? Do you love that person because you have to or because you want to? Does the attraction of love with that person draw you beyond yourself in such a way that if you stopped loving that person, something real and tangible would die, perhaps the spiritual bond of love between you? If you have had an experience of love, then you have had some insight into the Trinity of love. In fact, by loving another person you have been—yes, believe it or not—caught up in the Trinity of love. The Trinity is not three men at a tea party. It is a mystery of relationships—giving, receiving and sharing love. When we say “God is love” we are saying that God is a mystery of persons-in-love. The mystery of God’s love is like ever-deepening love. Within that loving embrace of God, our lives are brought into being and sustained in being. As we have been loved into birth, so, too, we are called to mirror God’s love for others so as to birth God anew in creation. For that is how God, the tremendous lover of life, delights in his creation.

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

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Love Brings Us to Birth

If God is love and it is love that brings us to birth, then it is difficult to conceive of the Incarnation, the Word made flesh, in any other way but the way of love. Love is what brought this creation into being and love is what will bring creation to its fulfillment to celebrate and participate in the eternal love of the Trinity. How love completes that which is brought into being is the story of Jesus, is the story of us humans, and is the story of the whole evolutionary creation itself. Jesus, the Trinity of love, and the universe story belong together.

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

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God Is Most High and Most Humble

The idea of “bending over” or “bending down” reminds me of the days when I took care of my nephew when he was just a baby. I recall moments when I would see him lying in his oversized crib—a tiny creature with hands and feet waving in the air, totally helpless. I would bend down into the crib and lift him high up in the air and he would smile uncontrollably, as only an infant can. The humility of God is something like the baby in the crib. God is at once the small helpless infant who lies quietly in the crib of the universe, and also the strong one who can raise up a fragile human being and draw that person into the embrace of infinite love.

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

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Christmas Makes Life Merry

When some new possibility for your life stirs in you, something heretofore unknown and unfamiliar, Jesus is born. It is Christmas. When suddenly you realize that you can open your heart in love, when you have kept it closed for years out of fear, it is Christmas. When you consider how to spend your time, and you go to a hospital to visit the sick, Jesus is born and it is Christmas. Christmas is an archetypal event, deep within, and outside of history. Christmas is a mystery: It is not a puzzle to be figured out but a mysterious happening that transfigures life and gives it meaning. It makes life merry and worthy of our complete devotion.

—from the book The Soul of Christmas

 

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