View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Contemplatives "breathe" for us all

Pope Benedict XVI recently visited the Oblate Sisters of Santa Francesca Romana. He told them, "Your community, together with the other communities of contemplative life, is called to be a sort of 'spiritual lung' of society, so that the performance, the activism of a city, is not devoid of spiritual 'respiration,' the reference to God and his plan of salvation."

A "spiritual lung" and "spiritual `respiration'" - what wonderful images.

Pope Benedict went on to talk about the balance contemplatives provide for the world.

The contemplatives, by their prayers, breathe for all of us. Their ministry of prayer is as vital as those of preaching and working in the world.

I am not a contemplative, though I relish opportunities take time out to "breath." For though I am in the world, I, too, am called to pray.
Just south of Rochester is a Trappist Monastery, Our Lady of the Genesse (the home of Monks Bread). My wife and I, and sometimes I alone, go there to sit in the quiet of the chapel to pray and listen.

Closer to home, right here in Gates is the St. Padre Pio Chapel. While not home to a contemplative order, it is a quiet place to go and pray.

I am blessed to have them so near.


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