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, February 17, 2011

Deep Bonds Help Navigate

Change is both exciting and terrifying. I experienced both feelings during our delegate assembly meetings in Little Falls last week. Our Franciscan Community forsees a future marked by fewer members and fewer material resources. We've been preparing for these changes; this meeting helps us continue to prepare for them. We understand being small and poor is not a bad outlook for Franciscans following Christ. The trust in the assembly room was tangible even though we don't have all the answers.

One resource I became more deeply aware of as I looked over the gathered congregation in our chapel is just how powerful is the gift of our relationship with each other: these women are as truly sister to me as are my own blood family members. We are siblings in the best sense of the word. Our history is filled with shared experiences of life, death and finding the way through previous large changes. I know we can count on our relationship with each other to help us faithfully navigate the changes yet to come.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Journey Into God

I was privileged to spend a week of solitude in retreat the end of January. An annual (at least) spiritual retreat is one of the perks of being a Franciscan Sister. For my guide and nourishment for prayer this year, I took notes and a book from a previous retreat I had made with Josepf Raischl and Andre Cirino, both of whom are Franciscan. Their book, The Journey into God, is based on St. Bonaventure's work, The Journey of the Human Person into God. Joseph and Andre provide reflections and exercises which are very helpful in unpacking the depth of wisdom Bonaventure shares.

The Journey takes the one desiring God from the signs of Goodness and Beauty in creation, through those mirrors of God found in our own memory, intellect and desires, and beyond through what we might know of Grace, Truth, Being in contemplation. I am grateful for the time to be with God in this way.