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The Christ Mystery was the blueprint of reality from the very start John Francis saw all of creation, including all humans, as part of the one family of God.

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Each individual existence—person, plant, stone, amoeba—is absolutely precious. We should multiply words, explanations, and actions only when necessary, he tells us. The Franciscan perspective is that we can have a direct effect and univocal understanding of God by reflecting and understanding our experience of ourselves as human beings. And who am I?

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Some have said it is the perfect prayer because it is both humble and honest. Duns Scotus called this the univocity of being. Andreas Ebert and Patricia C.

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Brockman The Crossroad Publishing Company: , 6; and. For the past eight hundred years other men and women, inspired by the simple genius and freshness of Francis and Clare, have been developing and popularizing the original Franciscan revelation. It is not easy to put into a capsule the spirit and gifts of Franciscan thinking. Its hallmarks are simplicity, reverence, fraternity, ecumenism, ecology, interdependence, and dialogue. Francis believed that God was nonviolent, the God of Peace.

Francis saw it from the viewpoint of the poor, especially from the place of the poor, naked, suffering Christ. He had deep devotion to the God who is revealed as nonviolent and poor in the stable of Bethlehem, as abandoned on the cross, and as food in the Eucharist. It is said that Francis created the first live Nativity scene. Franciscans emphasize Incarnation perhaps even more than redemption. In other words, Christmas is more important than Easter. Francis said that for God to be born a human being, born in a stable among the poor, shows that we already have redemption.

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Brockman The Crossroad Publishing Company: , I hope to show what Francis of Assisi clearly changed and did differently and what flowed from his unique wholeness. We will see that Francis was at once very traditional and entirely new in the ways of holiness—a paradox.

He stood barefoot on the earth and yet touched the heavens. He was grounded in the Church and yet instinctively moved toward the cosmos. He lived happily inside the visible and yet both suffered and rejoiced in what others thought was invisible. Francis was at home in two worlds at the same time, and thus he revealed it was all one world. Like all saints, he delighted in both his Absolute Littleness and his Absolute Connection in the very same moment.

Of course, they totally depend on one another. They were both so very eager to love, and they somehow knew that dying to the old and unneeded was an essential part of living this love at any depth.

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Most of us do not seem to know that—and resist all change. This is quite a rare pattern in the history of formal religion, which is too often a love affair with small and comfortable traditions. Bonaventure: Breviloquium, trans. Dominic V.

Francis of Assisi — was a master of making room for the new and letting go of that which was tired or empty. His first biographer described Francis as always hopeful, always new, always beginning again.

Hope in a Dry and Thirsty Land

In these two weeks of Daily Meditations, I want to share with you one of the most attractive, appealing, and accessible of all frames and doorways to the divine. Our outer world and its inner significance must come together for there to be any wholeness—and holiness.

The result is deep joy and a resounding sense of coherent beauty. What was personified in the body of Jesus was a manifestation of this one universal truth: Matter is, and has always been, the hiding place for Spirit, forever offering itself to be discovered anew. Francis and his female companion, Clare — , carried this mystery to its full and lovely conclusion. Or, more rightly, they were fully carried by the mystery. The way of Francis of Assisi cannot be contained inside of formal Franciscanism simply because it is nothing more than the Gospel itself—in very distilled and honest form.

He drew external things within himself, and they would lift his spirit to even higher things. Thanks to Fr.

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Right now, we have an opening for a Chief Operating Officer and several other high-level opportunities to join our growing team. With gratitude, Michael Poffenberger Executive Director. The Center for Action and Contemplation is honored to support our core faculty by amplifying their voices through the Living School, online courses, events, and publications.

We believe the Christian contemplative tradition can transform hearts and minds. We are committed to making this wisdom available to as many people as possible. Visit their virtual homes and browse their writings, recordings, and other resources. Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, and James Finley gave us so much to think about—Trinity, the cosmic Christ, restorative justice, and more. Students moved into brave space within their small groups and gatherings for LGBTQ folks and people of color. We bow in gratitude to those who shared vulnerably during a moving Centering the Margins ritual.

Through deep listening, Theater of the Oppressed exercises, chanting, contemplative practices, and an exuberant dance party, we opened our hearts, minds, and bodies. Would you like to join the Living School community? Applications for the — cohort are available for purchase until September 15; completed applications are due September Thanks to all who are listening! These conversations between Richard, Paul, and Brie are wonderful introductions to an alternative orthodoxy and practical spirituality. Over students are with us in Albuquerque today for the annual Living School symposium.

The symposium is one of four in-person gatherings during the two-year program. This week our students will deepen their understanding and experience of the Christian mystical tradition through teachings by the faculty, meditation, movement, dialogue, and reflection. For students, this is their final event. We bless and send them into the world to continue integrating action and contemplation. The Living School is currently accepting applications for the cohort.

Applications are available for purchase through September Completed applications are due September 30, Begin your own discernment process or share the invitation with someone who may be ready to take this further journey. Season two of our podcast Another Name for Every Thing is here! Awaken to a different kind of presence and perception that is rooted in authentic being. Connect with other seekers and expand your contemplative practice. Registration closes August 9. Financial assistance is no longer available.

There are still a few spaces available.

Journey through the seven mansions of St. Along the way, practices of prayer, reflection, humility, and self-knowledge turn spiritual insights into experiential and embodied wisdom. Registration closes September 11 or when the course fills. Applications for financial assistance are due September 4. No application needed! Some of Fr. Their unconditional love has often kept him connected to Life and God. We are happy to share that Richard recently adopted another dog! Richard shares how Opie came into his life. Ever since Venus died, Judy had been looking for a good match.

This time it seemed right for so many reasons. The shelter could only hold the two-year-old Jack Russell Terrier for an hour, so even before the interview was done airing, Elias and I left to meet him.