From the Heart of Our Minister – July 2014

Dear Sisters and Brothers in St. Francis,

doorways_assisiPeace to each of your hearts as we begin in earnest our journey through Summer! I hope each of you is able to steal some time away for some rest and relaxation!

Scenario … picture this. You’re out on a leisurely summer’s day. It’s hot, so you decide to take yourself to a nice, air-conditioned book store to just browse! All of a sudden, you’re back to your car with bags full of books which you fully intend to read … someday. You don’t know exactly why you bought them, but something tells you there’s a reason which will one day be revealed. I have a friend who is very much like this, and her bookshelves show it. I’m afraid, much to my chagrin, I’ve picked up the habit too, although my shelves are paltry in comparison to hers. Fortunately for my wallet, the bookstore is no longer in the area (although on-line purchases are always available).

Anyway, this brings me to a book I wanted to share with you. It’s based on the writings of our brother, St. Francis de Sales who, any Oblate of St. Francis de Sales will tell you, wrote absolutely everything there was to write on Sprituality! This particular book however written by William A. Meninger, O.C.S.O., is an adaptation of The Introduction to the Devout Life, and is titled The Committed Life. As Fr. Meninger says in his introduction to the book, it is not a translation or a paraphrase of [the Saint’s} Introduction, but rather an attempt to re-express his teachings in a contemporary idiom.

The book is divided into 5 parts: On Being a Christian; Prayer and the Sacraments; Living Out Your Commitment; Dealing With Temptation; and How to Renew and Preserve Your Commitment to Christ. Each part is divided into mini-chapters which are not meant to be a quick read. If you recall my attempts to finish Caryll Houslander’s Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross, you’ll understand why, after beginning this book in May, I’m still on Part 1. But … reading and reflecting on the first 7 sections and comparing them with the admonitions of our Holy Father Francis, I am reminded of God’s call to me to to engage in spiritual aerobics.

So, maybe this is the reason I bought the book 10 or so years ago, and why the Spirit has brought it to my attention at this particular time … not only for my benefit, but possibly for yours as well?! Maybe it’s time to pick up one of those heart-changing books you bought on a whim and let the Spirit have His way with you this Summer!

Blessings, every good, and much love,

mattie ♥

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