From the Heart of the Minister - December 2016

The Franciscan Gift

May the Lord give you peace! Most of us grew up being taught to think of others first. We take care of everyone else and see to their needs before taking care of ourselves.  That really was our first brush with Franciscanism!  This time of year is especially filled with thinking of others.  What gift shall I buy for Johnny, don’t forget to bake those special cookies that Grandmom likes so much, make sure you write a note to your old neighbors before you send their card.  If we ever make time for ourselves it surely isn’t at this time of year!

Although it goes against the grain, this year we need to give ourselves a gift…..a Franciscan gift. Do something different at your prayer time.  That’s it, that’s the gift.  If you have a particular space where you say your prayers, change it up somehow;  place a nativity scene where you can see it.  Light a candle. Doing even the smallest thing differently will (hopefully) make you stop, take a breath, shake off the demands of the world for just 20 minutes and enter into the presence of God.  If you do the Office from your cell phone and text messages and/or phone calls intrude, go back to using your prayer book. Leave the phone outside your prayer space.

During our Advent journey, ‘place’ yourself in the manger while you are praying. Be part of the wonder and joy that took place there. Feel the love that Mary and Joseph have for each other. Surely God chose them to be His Son’s parents because they did have a great love for each other. And by Christmas morning, may you be so close to the new born King, that you can smell the hay on which He lays!

May the Lord bless each of us with a happy and holy holiday!

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