Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September General Council Meeting !!!!!!!!!

The first meeting after the summer vacations here in Italy. Most of the friars of Europe and America take their vacations from July to August. These are months when the schools, colleges and other institutions take their vacations. In the general curia too friars take their well deserved vacations during these moths. The General council met in June and after that most of us were out for animation. Some of us enjoyed our vacations and some will do during the coming year..

We began our council meeting yesterday with a long agenda. Prayers always do help to discuss and deliberate well in order to take decisions. General vicar led all of us to pray. The General minister welcomed all and then gave some information regarding the council meeting and certain issues and topics which we need to deal urgently.

The council read and accepted the minutes of the last council meeting with some clarification. As usual there were many points which are canonical and constitutional which we dealt immediately. Certain permission were granted to some province to nominate certain lay friar as guardians.  

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Happy Feast of the Holy Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi

We celebrate the feast of the Stigmata and we have all seen paintings of Francis receiving the sacred marks. Much has been written about this and what actually happened. Francis wanted nothing more than to conform his life to that of Christ and the stigmata has been used to support how he was successful in doing this.the internal conforming of his life to Christ. Those days in prayer in the caves on Mt. La Verna and elsewhere allowed him to be transformed internally.

 Mt. La Verna is an impressive and beautiful place to visit. 
 This is the spot where he received the Holy Stigmata

 Every day at La Verna at 3 p.m., the friars and visitors gather in the main chapel of the friary at La Verna and process through the corridors to the Chapel of the Stigmata. There they have a brief prayer service at the spot where St. Francis received the marks of Christ. It is a moving experience to be present for this time of prayer.

 St. Francis took significant periods of time for prayer throughout his life. This continues to be a challenge to those who do very well with being active, but do not give as much time for prayer. Yet, when we see what prayer did for St. Francis, it is a call for us to examine how we nourish ourselves to have the mind and attitude of Christ. The Eucharist, scripture and prayer are our sources of nourishment for our active lives. There were many challenges that St. Francis faced throughout his life and he turned to the Lord to inspire him to do what he needed to do. We face many challenges too. We have the same opportunities available that St. Francis did to be nourished and to conform our thoughts, our ways and our attitude to Jesus.