Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of CanadaFranciscains du Canada

Ordo Fratrum Minorum

Pilgrimage: A Lesser Brother Praising God

Pilgrimage: A Lesser Brother Praising God

 

I’ve been home from my pilgrimage for just over a month now. There has been a lot going on in this month (moving, travel, planning, ministry) and in this fullness, I have been reflecting on the pilgrimage that was and the pilgrimage of life which is now unfolding. The graces of the pilgrimage in Assisi continue to speak to my heart and cause me to ponder St. Francis and his challenge to live the pattern of the gospel – to embrace the life of Christ in my daily living. The graces of the pilgrimage have allowed for me to ponder relationships and how they change and grow and invite us into the depths of who we are. I have also been pondering what it means to be a lesser brother – a friar.

Today I was reminded of the pilgrimage that is now unfolding. My Solemn Vows are now 12 days away! Final preparations are taking shape and details are being worked out. In this excitement I pause each day to pray with the words of the vows I will profess for life. They challenge to embrace the pattern of the gospel and to embrace the way of being a lesser brother. I ponder again with St. Francis and St. Clare and their vision for living the pattern of the gospel. I ponder the gift of being a lesser brother. I’m excited for the pilgrimage that is unfolding now and look ahead with hope – Christ my all.

Before I profess my Solemn Vows I share with you a final reflection from my pilgrimage to Assisi. These thoughts came just over the midway point of the pilgrimage and they seem to capture not only the pilgrimage which was but also the one that now continues and will unfold with my Solemn Vows.

Praise be God
in all that God is,
in all which God made,
in all where God dwells.

Praise be God
every where then,
in every heart,
in all of creation,
in silent prayer,
in communities gathered.

Praise be God
these words on my lips,
these words on my heart,
these words on my mind.

Praise be God
in all that was,
in all that is,
in all that is to come,
in all, with all, for all:
Praise be God!

Lesser Brother
Little Brother
Friar Minor

Brother Francis,
these simple descriptions are my prayer and desire.
I too desire to live the gospel as a little brother
filled with joy and hope,
rooted in and radiating Christ
and his love into the world.

Help me not to be overcome
with busyness, with circumstances,
with position or with power.

I strive to be humble, kind,
open, generous and free
to always proclaim with my life
the good news – the pattern of the gospel.

St. Francis… pray for me.