Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of CanadaFranciscains du Canada

Ordo Fratrum Minorum

Discovering the Other Poor

Given all that is stimulating in the universe these days, it can be hard to pick a one blog topic. One could compare this struggle with that of choosing a vocation. Having decided on (or at least parameters for) the ladder (me being a Franciscan) the single most pressing blog topic continues to allude this aspiring child of God. So, in the news….

On October 3rd and 4th we Franciscans celebrated our annual feast. A scaled down event from the 1000 plus guest affair at the Northlands Agricom last fall, 40 or so friends of the Edmonton Franciscan community gathered at the friary on Saturday evening. If Billy has not blogged about it, he should –his Vodka laced Oysters are earning he and the Franciscans a reputation. Justifiable only by faith in Jesus Christ, “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8), pleasure, pleasure, pleasurable is his cuisine.

From Hedonism to Narcissism, and speaking of food, I watched “Julie and Julia” last evening. Meryl Streep’s near perfect Julia Child impersonation tested my endurance, but the film must be credited for something –it inspires me to write. Like St. Francis was inspired to doff possessions, power, and status, I am presently inspired to write. For those who have not seen the movie, I will try not to ruin it for you by building it up as some sort of masterpiece; I will say that I identify with aspiring writer/cook Julie Powel. At thirty, the young wife (not mother) realises that she, an expert at nothing, still struggles to prove herself to the world. I am not an expert at anything, nor can I claim to be an authority on very much, and I too would like to save the world. What a coincidence!

Speaking of coincidences, I delved into one of our Minister General’s writings this week and gained a new insight on gospel poverty. In a letter to “young Friars”, our Jose, OFM addresses the question: “How to be poor today?” His answer: “give priority to human relations. Do not just give things to the poor…place the person at the centre and goods at the service of your relationships with others and with God.” Need I exegete? Rhetorical question, and the answer is no.

To those who know me, and even more so to those who do not know me, I can be flippant, narcissistic, and annoyingly opinionated. Beyond other lacking abilities, my tendency to self-disclose alone will save me from ever being named a bishop in the Catholic Church. Yet I, like Julie Powel, know that something good can come from my need to be needed. As I am now (filled with faith in Jesus Christ), I am justified. From people, may l learn to love lady poverty.