Saturday, July 7, 2012

Last day of the Q (except for the goodbyes)

Today's sessions were oriented toward synthesizing a direction for the Secular Franciscan Order in the United States from the various talks and the sharing we had done throughout the week. Some of the most important aspects that participants identified are living what we profess all the time, being God's love in the world, peacemaking, rebuilding the church, and building bridges among people.

I experienced a lot of love this week and a lot of prayers. God's love has really been made tangible for me in the presence of my brothers and sisters. I am very glad that 44 of us from the Mother Cabrini Regional Fraternity participated in at least one day of the Q. I believe this will change us for the better!

About Day 3 of the Q...

I can't say much about yesterday (Friday) because I wasn't at the Q from 9 until 6 - I was helping someone seek needed medical attention. Besides the obvious fact that this was more important than anything I could have learned in talks or my small group, I have a very strong feeling that the time I have spent waiting in medical situations this week is part of what God wants me to learn this week. Certainly, after returning last night and finding that people have been praying for ME as we ran around doing what had to be done is humbling and moving.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Second full day of the Q

We had a third talk from Sr. Ilia this morning. One of the more challenging ideas she presented is that without  living in poverty==not possessing==completely dependent on God, we cannot receive the gift of God's love! Since I know that fully accepting this gift and living every minute of every day out of the knowledge of God's love for me is how I become the person I am called to be, this is a BIG challenge. Sister alluded to the possessions that are most difficult to give up - our opinions, our ideas about how things should be, our plans. Comparatively, we can have material things and still live "sine proprio" - without possessing in this sense.

Ed Shirley, OFS, spoke about theology and prayer from a different perspective this afternoon. (We've heard from two professors of theology so far - complementary messages in VERY different styles!) He compared the Trinity to a fountain - God the Father is the water welling up from somewhere unknown and hidden, the Son is the pool at the bottom of the fountain always being returned to the top, and the water flowing in between is the Spirit. I like this image!

Ed also pointed out that in the universal priesthood of believers, the work every one of us does is part of that priesthood, as we effect transformations in this world of ours.

Our Q fraternity has started getting into some really great discussions, related to but more than the questions for sharing we have in the program. Once again, I think the small groups/Q fraternities are one of the best parts of the Quinquennial - they are the place you form new relationships.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day at the Q

Today was almost certainly the day with the biggest attendance here, with a number of local folks taking advantage of the holiday to attend without missing work. Seraphic chaos was the order of the morning - with 600 people to get in place, it was inevitable. However, we recovered the time this afternoon and were able to enjoy our small group sharing.

Sr. Ilia's presentations were very good, though theology after lunch was certainly an uphill battle! The images that were most important to me were: (1) The command to "rebuild my church, falling into ruin" starts with the church of ourselves - we need healing and rebuilding; (2) the Incarnation is God's involved goodness - God is not somewhere far-off watching us make mistakes, but is close by to run to us whenever we turn to Him.

Once again, I am aware that my calling - our calling - is to know in my heart how much God loves me, and to allow that knowledge to drive everything I do and am.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Evening 1 of the 2012 Quinquennial Congress

Today roughly 600 Franciscans - mostly Secular Franciscans, but friars, sisters, and others as well - gathered in a hotel in Skokie, Illinois, for five days together. We hold these conferences every five years, and each one I've attended (this is my fourth) has been very different; this too promises to be a new experience. This first afternoon of arrival and evening with dinner and Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Rojas was most notable for me because of all the people who greeted me. Our National Ministers who have served for the past twenty-one years are all present. Our Minister and Vice Minister General are present. Many current and past regional ministers are here as well, along with most of our current national executive council, all four members of the Conference of National Spiritual Assistants, one of our general spiritual assistants, ...
However, beyond that, I've run into people I met at the Formation Workshop in Belleville last year, people I met at the weekend conference in Loretto, PA, last year, members of my own regional fraternity whom I've never met many people that it's rather overwhelming, but in a good way.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday, May 25

I spent what I expected to be a very stormy day working from home. The hostas are completely open now and still very lovely with their ridged leaves.

Now I'm caught up, for the first time in nearly two months!

Tuesday, May 24

Even with the backlight not working on the Canon, I can see the LCD well enough to do some composition. We had a good ride even with cool temperatures and a fairly strong wind (nothing compared with Sunday, though).