Meditations

A Poem by Br. Richard Hendrick OFM

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Lockdown

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.

So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

March 13th 2020
Brother Richard Hendrick, ofm

A Franciscan Prayer as We Face Coronavirus

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Dear Father, Almighty Healer and Physician, we bring our fears, anxiety and petitions to you during this outbreak of coronavirus. Please restore our inner peace so that we can be a shining light to those stuck in the darkness.

And let us pray for:

+ All those who have the virus and fear the outcome, may they find their peace in you.

+ All the medical staff who cannot work from home but need to be in the ‘trenches’ taking care of the sick, may they have the stamina and good health to continue to serve.

+ For all the working parents who are suddenly faced with their childrens’ schools being closed. Help them to find a solution that does not impact their earnings too greatly.

+ For all those who are worried, please grant them the peace to get through this time.

+ For all those working extra hours to provide more test kits, masks and sanitizer, shower them with the ability to keep up their difficult schedule.

+ And for all the rest of us, please help us make good decisions about where we go and when to stay home, what supplies we buy and how much/many, and most especially keep us calm and filled with Your grace so that we are able to reach out to others in need.

We ask these things through the Sacred Heart of Your Son, Jesus.
May we be open to Your Ministering to us so that we are equipped to minister to others.

Amen.

A Study Guide for Laudato Si

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A study guide for Laudato Si has been added to this website. To see it, go HERE. To read the letter from Tibor Kauser OFS about this study guide, click HERE.

There is also a video series for Laudato Si by Fr. Dan Horan OFM on this site. To see it, go HERE.

“Who Am I — A Franciscan Heart”

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Click HERE to see a presentation by David Seitz OFS, our Regional Minister, entitled “Who Am I — A Franciscan Heart.” It has been converted into PDF so it should open on any computer platform.

12 Weeks of Franciscan Peace

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Carolyn Townes OFS, National JPIC Animator, has written a series of meditations for use between the Transitus of St. Francis (October 3rd) and Christmas (December 25). The title of the series is The Twelve Weeks of Franciscan Peace. Click HERE to download a copy.

CIOFS: Pentecost Message

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Click HERE to read the Pentecost Message from Tibor Kauser OFS, Our General Minister.