Written by Sister Jan Kilian, this blog will give an understanding of what it’s like to be Franciscan. Living out the spirit of Saint Francis, we see all God’s creation as brother and sister. We, Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, are committed to building relationships and community, ministering wherever there is greatest need, promoting justice and healing Mother Earth’s wounds. My writings will give a glimpse of the compassion, spirituality, interconnectedness and goodness of living Franciscan.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Spirit of God at work within you

by Sister Carmen Barsody

Above all things, desire to have the Spirit of God at work within you.

This was the theme of our jubilee celebration on June 21st. Srs. Mary Fabian Schneider and Corrine Millner celebrated their 75th Jubilees, and Sr. Nancy deMattos and I celebrated our 25th Jubilees. A celebration it was! A witness it was to the love and faith that binds us as Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, MN.

The week leading up to our celebration we as a Franciscan Community met together, some days with just Sisters and a day with Associates. It was a time of remembering and reflecting on our life; of telling stories of bold acts as individuals and a whole community that have brought us to this day and binds our hearts together. We prayed together with song and word as we challenged ourselves to live with openness, compassion and active commitment that incarnates the expansive mind of God inspired with the spirits of Francis and Clare. Creativity, difficult conversations, laughter and love wove its way through every moment. For me it was pure gift to move from this time together into the celebration of our life commitments.

During the homily at our Jubilee Mass Sister Paula Pohlmann asked each of us to articulate what the "Spirit of God at work within us" looks like in our lives. I share with you my response...

Most important, most directing in my life is whether my heart is alive, and whether I feel that aliveness deep in the belly. This is my ultimate authority. Leaving college to go to Venezuela as a Franciscan Lay Volunteer was not about discerning a religious vocation, it was about seeking a heart pulse that was rooted in love and meaning, and for me, Love is God! To extend that love, which was and still is rooted in my family, into the Franciscan Community, has allowed me to root it in the world. It is the foundation of my passion to help others become more fully alive, without discrimination, for the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Love does not discriminate. I know it is the Spirit at work because deep down beyond all struggle, endless work and times of anxiety, I can feel a full and flowing river of Joy.

In this Jubilee year, together with my Sister Jubilarians and whole Franciscan Community of Sisters and Associates, I renew my commitment to live desiring one thing alone, the Spirit of God at work within us. So be it!


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