Words are like jewels. They give something dull a brilliant appearance if placed in the right setting. If you’ve ever tried to explain something to another who has never seen or has no idea about what it is you want to describe, you realize how much you can struggle to find the very word or words that will create an accurate image in the imagination of that person. You can’t use just any word. It has to be the exact word. And you know deep inside you that when you discover it, its right. No other word will do. The word may sound quite ordinary and it may have many different meanings to a lot of other people. But for you, it fits! Why is that? Because words take on different meanings in different contexts. They fit a specific milieu. In fact, they can even be contradictory in different settings. So, what am I getting at? What is my point?
Those of us who belong to the Franciscan tradition find special meaning in words that, for many people, are quite common. Take for instance the word PEACE. You hear that word spoken a lot these days. Living in a climate of war, as we do at the present, it’s a word that awakens all kinds of feelings within us – hope, longing, conviction, to mention a few. But if I were to talk to a group of people, each one could come up with his or her explanation of its meaning for them. So, in the next couple of months I would like to open up and explore the meanings of words as they fit into the Franciscan tradition. Stay tuned!