Minute Meditations

We Must Meet Christ to Follow Him

Christ has told us in his own words that he alone must be the rock foundation on which we build our lives. This can only happen if we have actually encountered him, as did the people that followed him in the Gospels. Once we have decided to leave everything to follow Christ, it becomes readily apparent that we need help in doing so. Thus, if we want to follow him, we must seek out and grab hold of those things that nourish and sustain us in doing so.

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple

Prayer Everywhere

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Assisi Is a Living Prayer

Assisi is a living prayer. Its narrow streets stream with pilgrims year after year, their hearts filled with hope that maybe here in this place their prayers will be answered. They ask St. Francis and St. Clare to intercede for them, to help them know what it is they are looking for. They cross the threshold of the Basilica of St. Clare and kneel before the San Damiano crucifix that gave St. Francis the direction for his life: “Go and repair my house which, as you see, is falling into ruin.” They pray before the same crucifix the prayer of St. Francis:

Most High, Glorious God,

enlighten the darkness of my heart,

and give me correct faith

sure hope and perfect charity,

with understanding and knowledge, Lord,

so that I may fulfill your holy and true command.

Amen.

—from Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality

Enter Assisi

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Become a Pilgrim

Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino is an ideal way of pilgrimage. Like the ancient pilgrimage routes—the path of Jesus through Galilee to Jerusalem, the way of the early martyrs in Rome, and the Camino of Santiago de Compostela—it challenges the traveler to make a transforming journey, an internal journey that parallels the external trip. In traveling this road, pilgrims encounter holy places, communities of faith, occasions for meditative prayer, and prospects for inner healing—opportunities to align their lives more closely with the Gospel in order to become missionary disciples of Jesus.

–from Saint Junipero Serra's Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California  Missions

Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

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Moving Within Our Hearts

The Lord moves within our hearts, conforming them to the Sacred Heart of his Son and building a beautiful reciprocity between the giving of ourselves and the giving of himself. Jesus said we will always know what to say concerning him, and that comes from our hearts resting in his. The infusion of knowledge happens so gradually, so subtly, that we are almost completely unaware. We only know that we must spend time with him, that we must listen attentively to the Scriptures, and that we must participate in the life of the community he has formed into his body. We must, because we know that if we do not, we will die.

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple

Prayer Everywhere

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God Reveals Himself in All Creation

Surely the Spirit of God was working within the indigenous people of California before the Gospel was proclaimed to them. God was revealing himself through the beauty and splendor of creation: “Ever since the creation of the world, his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made” (Romans 1:20). For this reason, people everywhere are attracted to the Gospel, God’s saving plan for the world, when they hear it proclaimed. God has created a template within the human spirit for the seeds of the Gospel to grow.

–from Saint Junipero Serra's Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California  Missions

Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

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Where Earth and Heaven Meet

So preoccupied had I been with Assisi that I couldn’t see beyond it to the goal of everything, that other threshold, that border where earth and heaven meet. The mountain is the symbol of that apogee in the soul where we meet God. This is not to denigrate or dismiss what is below, but to lift it up and give thanks to God for all that God has made; to bless it and praise God and see that everything is good because it comes from God and ultimately leads us beyond itself to the God who made it and redeems it. What is below makes the mountain. It does not rest on air, on spirit, but on matter, which is the mountain’s way to the heights of union with God. The mountain affirms incarnation, the entering of God into all that God has made.

—from Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality

Enter Assisi

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Prayer Bridges the Chasm

Prayer is almost as much a mystery as God. Prayer always seems to be more than the words we use to describe it or the ways in which we understand it. Prayer is as old as the human family, stretching all the way back to the fall of Adam and Eve. Prior to disobeying God, our first parents lived in friendship with him. The intimacy they shared precluded the need for prayer. Their sin, however, produced a chasm between themselves and God. Because God created them to share his life, the desire for him not only remained, it also intensified. St. Augustine describes this as a restlessness within the human heart that can only be satisfied by resting in God. We can say, therefore, with a fair degree of certainty that prayer is the action that enables communication between that which is human and that which is divine.

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple

Prayer Everywhere

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