Thursday, 18 October 2012


Glimpses of the Franciscan Way
By Mark Davis and Francis Cotter, OFM,
with photos by Ged Barrow.

“This wonderful book touches the soul. These pages give a glimpse of
the divine beauty that so captivated the hearts of Francis and Clare.”
Sr Colette, Abbess, Poor Clare Monastery, Galway City.

“Sometimes the text is fine, sometimes the pictures are lovely,
but here they are both brilliant! Here you may use
your mind, your eyes, your heart, and your imagination
to be led into a better, bigger and so much needed world.”
Richard Rohr, OFM,
Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque.

Hardcover, 83 pagesSPECIAL OFFER in our Irish friaries, only €12.
 Available at Franciscan friaries in Ireland
and from
Assisi Bookshop,
Franciscan Friary,
Merchants’ Quay, Dublin 8.
 Phone: 01.6771128
Or contact
 Also available in VERITAS bookshops throughout Ireland.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Year of Faith

 The Year of Faith has begun.

As with Pope Benedict, John Paul II spoke often of the necessity of an ongoing journey of faith: “It is true that being a Christian means saying ‘yes’ to Jesus Christ, but let us remember that this ‘yes’ has two levels: It consists in surrendering to the Word of God and relying on it in the initial act of faith. But it also means, at a later stage, endeavouring to know better and better the profound meaning of the faith received.” 

He emphasised that this access to deeper faith is a right. “Every baptised person, precisely by reason of being baptised, has the right to receive from the Church instruction and education enabling him or her to enter on a truly Christian life." 

Few would doubt that this catechesis (Greek for teaching), this adult faith formation is a deperate need.

Thomas H. Groome, in his book Will There be Faith?, writes of a teaching dynamic that leads people from life to Faith to life. It is an approach to adult catechesis that goes far beyond merely passively receiving information. He speaks of a way that can inform, form, and transform. 

Inform – educate people to know, understand and embrace with personal conviction Christianity’s core beliefs and values. 

Form – deepen people’s sense of Catholic identity through active engagement in and experience of a Christian community of prayer and service.

Transform – open people to a life-long journey to conversion toward holiness and fullness of life for themselves and “for the life of the world” (John 6:51). 

It is a call to a faith that entails knowledge, relationship and commitment. Groome writes of the faith being embodied in a discipleship of “the head, the heart and the hands”.

In this time of grace may we be open to a deepening of the gift of faith, a faith that embraces all of life.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A Franciscan Blessing

I do not know the origin of this 'Franciscan' blessing but, as we celebrate the feast of St Francis, it is a good counterbalance to the cosy 'Francis of the birdbath' spirituality! 
At the heart of Francis' Gospel vision is delight in the Lord.
However Francis understood most clearly that if our joy in the Lord is to be authentic it must lead to compassion that flowers into action.
May this uncomfortable invocation open us to a more profound Gospel life.
May God bless you with discomfort,
At easy answers, half-truths,
And superficial relationships
So that you may live
Deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression,
And exploitation of people,
So that you may work for
Justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears,
To shed for those who suffer pain,
Rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand
To comfort them and
To turn their pain to joy
And may God bless you
With enough foolishness
To believe that you can
Make a difference in the world,
So that you can do
What others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness
To all our children and the poor.