Eager to love; Chapter five, “Contemplation: A Different Way of Knowing”
Quote from page 61-62
I believe the very foundation of what we mean by holiness or, in this case, mysticism, is that [Francis and Clare] knew and loved from a different source; they knew by participation in a Larger Knowing that many of us call God. Or, as Paul says, “They knew as fully as they were known” ( 1 Corinthians 13:12)
This kind of shared knowing, which is nothing but full consciousness is what many of us mean by contemplation. True contemplatives surrender some of their own ego boundaries and identity so that God can see through them, with them, and in them – with a larger pair of eyes. It is quite simply a higher level of seeing, and, if you do not like the religious language, you can just call it consciousness, or deep consciousness. But you still have to let go of your small, egoic self to get there (John 12:24). “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
- What could you let go of and how could you let go in order for you to experience a closer union with God?
Continue reading “Notes on Chapter 5: Learning More about St Francis and Creation”
Eager to love; Chapter four, “Home Base: Nature and the Road”
Quote from page 47
Creation itself – not ritual or spaces constructed by human hands – was Francis’s primary cathedral, which then drove him back into the needs of the city, very similar to Jesus’s own movement between desert solitude and small-town healing ministry. The Gospel transforms us by putting us in touch with that which is much more constant and satisfying, literally the “ground of our being,” and has much more “reality” to it, rather than theological concepts or the mere ritualization of reality. Daily cosmic events in the sky and or the earth are the Reality above our heads and beneath our feet every minute of our lives: a continuous sacrament.
- How might the cathedral of God’s Creation be an environment in which you can be transformed by the Gospel?
Continue reading “Notes on Chapter 4: Learning More about St Francis and Creation”
Lectio divina is an ancient form of Christian contemplative prayer that focuses on the “holy reading” of Scripture as a means of moving deeper into the presence and love of God. Lectio divina with Creation follows the same prayer pattern but uses God’s Creation instead of God’s Word to experience the love of God.
Continue reading “Lectio Divina with Creation”
Eager to love; Chapter THREE, “Living on the Edge of the Inside: Simplicity and Justice”
Quote from page 33-34
Francis and Clare were not so much prophets by what they said as in the radical, system-critiquing way that they lived their lives. They found both their inner and outer freedom by structurally living on the edge of the inside of both church and society. …
Francis and Clare’s agenda for justice was the most foundational and undercutting of all others: a very simple lifestyle outside the system of production and consumption (the real meaning of the vow of poverty), plus a conscious identification with the marginalized of society (the communion of saints pushed to its outer edge). In this position you do not “do acts of peace and justice as much as your life is itself peace and justice. You take your small and sufficient place in the great and grand scheme of God. By “living on the edge of the inside” I mean building on the Tradition (“from the inside”) but doing it from a new and creative stance where you cannot be coopted for purposes of security, possession, or the illusions of power (“on the edge”).
- How does Francis and Clare’s life of simplicity and justice connect with your lifestyle?
Continue reading “Notes on Chapter 3: Learning More about St Francis and Creation”
The Green Team continues its Season of Creation challenge to each member of Saint James’: take the time each day to go outdoors and photograph an insect or a flower.
Most of all, enjoy the daily “hunt” for your photograph subject. Later, you might consider framing your photographs or having them made into note cards. Post your favorites on the church bulletin board in the hall.
Eager to love; Chapter Two, “A Happy Run Downward: The Inner Authority of Those Who Have Suffered”
Quote from page 20
I believe both Francis and Clare had this kind of inner authority, and it is still part of their essential message for the world. They lost and let go of all fear of suffering, all need for power, prestige, and possession, and all need for their small self to be important, and they came out the other side knowing something essential – who they really were in God and thus who they really were.
- How does letting go of power, prestige, and possessions enable you to know who you really are “in Christ”?
Continue reading “Notes on Chapter 2: Learning More about St Francis and Creation”