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Seeds of the Unknown

The seeds of the unknown are the most difficult to trust. Initially mysterious, we struggle against the unknown due to our strong human desire for certitude and security. If we are able to truly trust that God alone suffices, the journey of the unknown seed can be deep, exciting and real. We must trust, risk, and go the distance. The deep true part of ourselves knows us better than we know ourselves. Dare we trust the possibility that it is in what we dream of for others and ourselves that we discover seeds of the unknown and God’s dream in us attempting to be made visible?

—from Your Spiritual Garden: Tending to the Presence of God

Your Spiritual Garden

Stop the Cycle of Violence

To be an instrument of peace means being a peacekeeper who is willing to look beyond “me” and stop the plague of retaliation that creeps into the field of the soul. As Jesus says, “But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also” (Matthew 5:39). Following the Divine Master’s example on Calvary, we absorb the violence and pain inflicted upon us. We refuse to continue the vicious cycle of violence by striking back, retaliating or seeking revenge. In doing so, we move beyond “me” to “thee” as the internal pain we experience becomes a tributary of external peace for others.

—from Instruments of Christ: Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

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Sacraments Draw Us into the Life of God

Patterned after unambiguous, significant moments in the life of Christ and instituted by him, the sacraments are a great gift of the Church. They draw us into the life of God and open us to God’s loving care. From birth until death, we experience this loving care in concrete ways, through signs and symbols that really communicate that which they symbolize. Our personal faith and conviction do not impart power into the symbols used by the Church; Christ does. The efficacious nature of the sacraments is wholly a work of God, which the Church safeguards and celebrates. With or without our willingness to believe, God continues to offer himself to us because of his love and care.

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple

Prayer Everywhere

Prayer Is Energy for Action

Prayer is the energy of evangelical life because it transforms the desire for gospel life into the practice of gospel living. Clare’s template of prayer, gaze—consider—contemplate—imitate, is the template of evangelical life and the relationship with God that makes this life alive.

—from the book Franciscan Prayer

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Keepers of the Flame

In the Peace Prayer, we pray to sow light amid darkness. Indeed, our vocation is to become a contemporary keeper of the flame. We must fan the flame of faith that has illumined our paths since the day of our baptism. The Peace Prayer reminds us to brighten the lives of others with godly actions that manifest our familial bonds as children of the loving God who, in the words of Francis of Assisi, is reflected in Brother Sun.

—from Instruments of Christ: Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

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