With Franciscan Eyes

Holding on to Hope

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“The New Year is a painting not yet painted; a path not yet stepped on; a wing not yet taken off!
Things haven’t happened as yet! Remember that you are blessed with the ability to reshape your life!”

―Mehmet Murat Ildan

This is a powerful quote comparing the New Year to a painting, a path, and a wing. As I reflected on this, it brought to mind what will happen under the guidance of the Holy Spirit during the Chapter. Hopefully, our painting will be a masterpiece, our path will become known, and our wings will allow us to fly into our future! God is good and as scary as the unknown future and reshaping our life can be, God is with us throughout our painting, path finding and taking off, all in God’s name.

Every New Year begins with the hope that it will be better than the year before and as the year goes on that hope seems to wax and wane like the moon. It does not have to happen that way. We need to remember God is with and within us This gives us the grace to let go of our concerns and let God be in charge. Our entire world needs to choose this path to put an end to war, hunger, poverty, hatred, etc. It needs to be mindful of God’s love and care for us. In 1965 there was a song that was not only appropriate back then, but for the present and future!  Remember “What the World Needs Now”? The song begins: “What the world needs now is love, sweet love… It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.” Other words in the song address the Lord saying we don’t need any more mountains, or rivers, etc. but what we need is LOVE. May we be God’s instruments of love in our wounded world!


An Advent Prayer When Waiting Takes Too Long

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Gracious God, there's so much waiting in my life. I wait in lines. I wait for a better job. I wait for others. I wait for financial security. I wait for a doctor's report. I wait for love. I wait for pain to abate, and I even wait for death. Sometimes the waiting erodes my joy and fills me with dread. Help me find waiting to be the friend that invites me into the spaciousness of stillness. Give me the grace to refrain from rushing ahead in order to bring waiting to an end. Instead, let me find joy in the waiting itself. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.

in Advent

God is Our Hope

As we enter the blessed season of Advent, this quote seems appropriate. I always think of Advent as a quiet season. It is a time of reflection and stillness. In a season that can be crazy, we need to go to our inner sanctuary and be still. Of course, we can go there anytime or any season. What do we do during our stillness? We listen to our loving God to hear His voice. The first week of Advent focuses on the virtue of HOPE. One of the things everyone hopes for is peace throughout the world and here in our own country. It is heartbreaking to see all the mass shootings, the impoverished people, especially the homeless suffering from cold and hunger, as well as those who are disabled, sick, lonely, or elderly with unmet needs. These are just some issues in our own country as well as in the world. Sometimes life may seem hopeless, but it is not. God is our hope.

God sent His Son to be with us no matter how rough life may be. He is our light when all seems dark. This is when we need to go to our sanctuary to converse with God. We need to let go of things that interfere with our stillness. If it is not good for your soul, then let it go! God sent Jesus to be our light and we are to spread this light to others. When you see the Christmas lights, reflect on the strands of light. If one of them burns out, the whole strand is affected. If they are all lit, they shine and light everything around them. Think about how you are a light to whomever needs it in their life. Remember to spend time in stillness and your sanctuary so your light shines even more brightly. Let us light up the world and send HOPE to others so that our strands do not burn out!