Minute Meditations

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Who Are You, Lord, and Who Am I?

For St. Francis, the search for himself began and ended by asking the only one whose opinion mattered: Jesus. Rather than filling his head with the opinions of the world, getting bogged down by his own self-doubt, letting his successes fill up his ego, he went to God in prayer and asked the two most essential questions anyone could ask: “Who are you, Lord, and who am I?” So simple and pure, and yet so powerful. In these words and the response that follows is everything that could ever matter. How we come to answer them will define everything.

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

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We Each Have Our Own Path

God loves us so much that, not only did he make us a creation unto ourselves, but in doing so, he gifted us with a particular way to return that love that is fit for no other person. In simply being our true selves, doing nothing more than becoming the unique person that God created us to be, we give glory to God and follow our own particular path of holiness. That’s it! We are not to imitate the lives of the saints or do what others define for us; our path to holiness is not made by scrupulously following the path of a holy person who has gone before us. What is asked of me may not be asked of you. What you are capable of may not be what I am capable of. Each and every one of us has been created differently, for God’s own glory, and we each have our own path to follow.


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

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Follow Without Reservation

If we want to be disciples of Jesus Christ, following him in complete freedom and without any reservation, the first and most important thing that we must let go of is ourselves. We must identify all that lives within us that does not bear life, that does not reflect the joy of the kingdom, that does not live up to the person Christ created us to be, and we must die to ourselves. Let go of your delusions of grandeur, self-loathing, and false selves, and follow Christ as the person he created you to be.

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

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Disciple Is Not a Part-Time Job

Being a disciple of Christ is not a part-time job. It is not something we do distracted, with half our effort, simply to get it done. It’s not simply about joining a church or accepting Jesus as our “Lord and Savior,” nor is it enough to profess with our lips what we believe. Being his disciple means transforming every aspect of our lives so that nothing, not even the smallest part of who we are, is out of touch with the mission of Christ. It’s about giving every ounce of our being to the God who created us, taking up whatever we are called to do, whenever we are called to do it, without hesitation. We cannot do that if we are busy holding onto something else, saving something to the side “in case this doesn’t work out.” God wants everything from us, and so we’re either fully in, or we’re not in at all. Let go of what holds you back, and live completely in the freedom of being a disciple of Christ.

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

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What Must I Do?

Some of us may need to let go of money to follow Jesus, but for others, grandiose views of self, unfair expectations, and trivial worries do far more damage to a life of discipleship than anything else. Some of us need to let go of possessions, but others have too strong a grip on safety nets, past traumas, or petty grudges to be free enough to follow Jesus. Truly, nothing is too small or too insignificant. Anything that prevents us from following Jesus with our whole heart, anything that holds us back, is a stumbling block to Christian discipleship as deadly as sin. If we refuse to let go of whatever it is, we run the risk of ending up just like the rich young man: sad and far from Jesus.

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

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The Underlying Mystery Is Always Present

If we are to come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity, then we will come to that belief by developing the capacity for a simple, clear, and uncluttered presence. Those who can be present with head, heart, and body at the same time will always encounter The Presence, whether they call it God or not. For the most part, those skills are learned by letting life come at us on its own terms, and not resisting the wonderful underlying Mystery that is everywhere, all the time, and offered to us too.

—from the book Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps by Richard Rohr, OFM

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Healing Past Hurts

To keep our bodies less defended, to live in our body right now, to be present to others in a cellular way, is also the work of healing of past hurts and the many memories that seem to store themselves in the body. The body seems to never stop offering its messages; but fortunately, the body never lies, even though the mind will deceive you constantly. Zen practitioners tend to be well-trained in seeing this. It is very telling that Jesus usually physically touched people when he healed them; he knew where the memory and hurt was lodged, and it was in the body itself.

—from the book Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps by Richard Rohr, OFM

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God Speaks in Many Languages

Exclusion in the name of God is the very worst of religious sins. God speaks in many tongues and to every color and age of people. It is not ours to decide where God’s favor lies. But it is ours to see as a spiritual task the obligation to come to our own opinions. We are not to buy thought cheaply. We are not to attach ourselves to someone else’s decisions like pilot fish and simply go with the crowd. We are meant to be thinking Christians.

—from the book In God's Holy Light: Wisdom from the Desert Monastics by Sister Joan Chittister

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