Thoughts for July from the Regional Formation Director

Greetings dear brothers and sisters!

Hope all of you are enjoying your summer and when necessary keeping cool as well.

This month I would like to speak about prayer and the spiritual journey.

We know that our Rule addresses prayer in our articles which are Article #4, Article #8. Article 4 We devote ourselves to careful reading of the gospel with openness going from gospel life and life to the gospel. We reflect on scripture and listen to God and see how he is speaking to us and incorporate the Gospel into our lives. Article 8 addresses the sacramental life of the Church which is the Eucharist and Liturgy of the Word and of course the Liturgy of the hours.

We must quiet ourselves in our reading of the scriptures. Our quiet place can be in our home but more enjoyable in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

For St. Francis he affirmed that a religious man ought to desire above every other gift the grace of prayer. He learned that the desired presence of the Holy Spirit was most enjoyed at a distance and going to a deserted church to pray nightly prayer which took him away from distractions. When he prayed he never drew attention to himself. He avoided any exterior signs of emotion.

For St. Clare the transforming power of prayer was a deepening of love that leads to a spiritual birth of Christ in one’s life. One becomes as in Clare’s words like Mary “who gave birth to a Son whom the heaven could not contain and yet carried Him in the enclosure in her holy womb.”

A quote from Saint Bonaventure whose Feast Day we celebrate July 15th, on prayer: “When we pray the voice of the heart must be heard more than the proceedings from the mouth.”

Article 8 states: We participate in the sacramental life of the Church, above all the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Word. When we meditate on the words and partake of the meal, the life of Our Lord becomes united with our own. We join in liturgical proposed by the Church which is the Liturgy of the hours. As Secular Franciscans we pray Morning and Evening Prayer, Morning Prayer gives praise to God for all creation and Evening prayer offers thanksgiving to God as the day draws to a close.

In honor of the celebration of Saint Bonaventure:

Let us pray: All powerful Father may we who celebrate the feast of Saint Bonaventure always benefit from his wisdom and follow the example of his love. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, forever and ever. Amen

Happy feast day to all and especially St. Bonaventure fraternity

The Lord give you peace!



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