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Growing in Mindfulness

Is there a method for cultivating mindfulness? Yes, there are many methods. The one I have chosen is gratefulness. Gratefulness can be practiced, cultivated, learned. And as we grow in gratefulness, we grow in mindfulness. Before I open my eyes in the morning, I remind myself that I have eyes to see, while millions of my brothers and sisters are blind—most of them on account of conditions that could be improved if our human family would come to its senses and spend its resources reasonably, equitably. If I open my eyes with this thought, chances are that I will be more grateful for the gift of sight and more alert to the needs of those who lack that gift.

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life

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‘Bring Me Out of Prison’

Francis was a man born of wealth, a leader who dreamed of knighthood and who went to war on a high steed only to be brought low to the earth in defeat and imprisonment that marked him with what has been the fate of countless soldiers and prisoners of war throughout the centuries. Some say that mark was what today we call post-traumatic stress, an experience that affected Francis his whole life long until, singing “Bring me out of prison,” the words of Psalm 142, David’s prayer in a cave, he entered eternity on the high steed of evangelical poverty and intimate union with Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior.

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

Seven Teachings from Saint Francis

Draw Closer

Day after day we are met by the same silent awareness in the sunlight and the sudden wind—in the fragrance of jasmine and water trickling slowly over rock beds in small streams. Draw closer. Everything is robed in light, and dawn is the beckoning. Endless memories and projections pass as reality for many years, and then one day the light comes to steal our hearts.

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Night

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Hearing and Living the Truth

St. Bonaventure said of his holy father Francis that he was a true teacher because he learned the truth of God’s revelation, gave his whole heart to what was being taught by Christ, and did not forget what he’d been taught because he put what he learned into practice. So, in the end, Francis’ teachings are concretized and made visible in his choices and in his practices, which are the result of hearing and living the truth given him by Christ.

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

Seven Teachings from Saint Francis

Prayer: Singing God's Song

Our heart is a highly sensitive receiver; it can listen through all our senses. Whatever we hear, but also whatever we see, taste, touch, or smell, vibrates deep down with God’s song. To resonate with this song in gratefulness is what I call singing back. This attitude of prayer has given great joy to all my senses and to my heart.

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life

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