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Live in the Mystery of God's Love

Did you ever have one of those days where the whole idea of God was just too much to think about? As if trying to “get a handle” on God was like trying to kiss the moon? If the mystics are right (and usually they are because they see things much differently than we do) then you were probably closer that day to God than any other day in your life. How is this possible, you ask? How can God be close to you (or you to God) when God seems so far away or not at all? Even better, how can God be close to you when you are totally confused? This is my answer to you: God is a mystery of humble love.

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Walking in the Divine Footprints

Francis went about the world following the footprints of Christ, not so he could look like Christ, but because they were the footprints of divine humility. He discovered that God descends in love to meet us where we are and he found God in the most unexpected forms: the disfigured flesh of a leper, the complaints of a brother, the radiance of the sun, in short, the cloister of the universe. The wisdom of Francis makes us realize that God loves us in our incomplete humanity even though we are always running away trying to rid ourselves of defects, wounds and brokenness.

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Called to Bend Low in Love

Francis of Assisi wanted to be a “brother minor” so that he could humbly bend down in solidarity with all living creatures of the earth. We, too, are called to bend low in love, to find the humble love of God in the simple ordinary and oftentimes broken hearts of the world. To do so, however, we must be free to bend low in love. In Christ, God has set us free. It is up to us as Christians to live in the freedom of God’s humble love. Only by living in the freedom of love can we help transform the world into the fullness of Christ. It is possible.

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Every Breath of Life Is the Breath of God

To live in God’s humble love is to live in attentiveness, openness and relationship: attentiveness to the presence of God in the details of the fragile human person, openness to the ways God is both hidden and revealed in creation, and relationship to the God incarnated in our neighbors, family and community members. In each of these areas we are called to love in a spirit of compassion, forgiveness, tenderness and care.

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Christ Cannot Be Limited

Through his life in Christ, Francis came to see that Christ cannot be limited to a single human person; rather, Christ encompasses the whole creation. Nowhere is this more evident than in his Canticle of the Creatures. By entering into the heart of Christ, Francis found Christ at the heart of the world. The life of Francis indicates to us that to be a Christian is to find Christ in every person and living creature, and to be in union with Christ is to experience God’s goodness throughout creation, not just in a church.

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God Rejoices in Diversity

I live in the area of Washington, D.C., which is a kaleidoscope of various cultures, languages and ethnicities. Is everyone Catholic? No. Is everyone Christian? No. So what does a humble God of love do in such a diverse world? Rejoice! Because God’s creation is a wonderful celebration of diversity. Our God is not a boring God! But somehow our Catholic doctrine still creates walls of separation, paths of exclusivity, “in” and “out” groups.

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