From the Heart of our Minister - January, 2015

Dear Sisters and Brothers in St. Francis,

PEACE to each of your hearts!

The end of an old year and the beginning of a new one finds me rummaging.  Trying to clear out the clutter to begin … at least in spirit … to be organized.  This, of course, is not a resolution; I gave up on those a long time ago.  It is, however, an attempt, however feeble, to get my house in order which, after this past year, is no small feat!

Resolutions, as admirable and well-intentioned as they may be, have a tendency to be very selfish things.  I resolve to begin to exercise.  I resolve to lose weight.  I resolve to get organized.  The resolutions can be endless but, possibly because they involve changes of habit, are short-lived.

Considering such good intentions from a Gospel perspective though, causes me to wonder whether I’ve abandoned such a practice prematurely.  Placing resolutions in the heart of God with my neighbor in mind might just help me make the changes I need to make.  For example, the resolutions to exercise and lose weight are not only beneficial to my own health, but will keep me fit to be of service to others, so it’s no longer about me.  Through our Secular Franciscan vocation, which calls us to move from Gospel to life and life to Gospel, we each have the unique opportunity to bring LIFE to the circumstances of life not only for ourselves, but for those whom the good Lord entrusts to us either through family, work or other circumstance.  So, maybe resolutions, coupled with prayer to bolster our good intent, can be useful after all.

Two Thousand Fourteen has been a year of many challenges for each of us.  Several of us have lost, whether through tragedy or by the natural flow of life, ones who are dear to us.  Some of us have experienced unspeakable sorrow; some unfathomable joys.  Whatever blessings have entered our lives this past year, we know for sure and certain we have not enjoyed nor endured them alone.

Getting back to rummaging … I found a prayer I’d like to share with you.  It’s in the handwriting of our beloved sister, Sue North, OFS, pictured below.  I don’t know if Sue copied it from another source or if, in the midst of her own suffering, composed it herself.  Regardless, I am confident she wouldn’t mind having it shared with her sisters and brothers in Fraternity.  May its intent, whatever the source, renew our spirits and reset our focus as we begin together the challenges of a new year.

 My God and My All!

Creator, Redeemer, Giver of Life!

Re-Create us in your loving forgiveness.  Break into our complacency and bring each of us, your children, to a new beginning, a fresh start.

 Let us know again, in humility, that You are God and we are your creatures, the privileged and undeserving objects of your love and compassion.

 Give us again new eyes of faith so that we can take in the wonder of your creation and “see” your sweet presence there – even in the scowling face that looks back at us from the mirror each morning.

 Gently turn our faces to you, and let us know again how monumental is your gift of our redemption.

 Let the sweet psalm of joy and thanksgiving rise from new hearts.

 Source of all Love, overflow in our hearts.  Re-awaken in us a steadfast desire to please you and a constant conscience to guide us on our way to you.

 Look on us and leave in us peace and courage and your humble wisdom that we may serve others with joy and be pleasing to you all our days. 

Sue North, OFS 2/2/52 - 2/18/09 Member Living Word Fraternity Regional Secretary 2007-2009

Sue North, OFS
2/2/52 – 2/18/09
Living Word Fraternity
Regional Secretary



Blessings, every good, and much love,

mattie ♥♥

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