Be comfortable in God's presence. Enjoy being with Him and spend much time with Him. Keep Him in your thoughts no matter what else you are doing. Yes, you can
think of God while doing something else, even if that something else demands your total concentration. There are work times, family times and leisure times. When we're on the job, whether this job is
in an office or in a factory or at home, how many times do you think "God, I wish I knew the answer," or, "God help me?"
Family times are often times for reflection about God. If married with children you may often think or wonder of His creation which allowed you to have children. Think of the great miracle of having children in the first place and what a joy this has brought into your life. Yes, I know, kids are often noisy or unruly, and some kids gives rise to all sorts of pressures, but you know you love your children, deep down, because you see them as a gift of God. And they are.
If you don't have children there is your spouse and we hope that you see in him or her a reflection of God's love. If this is not the case pray that God will help you find middle ground. Begin with yourself: What have I contributed to this relationship, and, have I been Christ-like in this union?
For each one of us, married or not, there is a very special possibility of a union, a special relationship with God. It is, for most, a contemplative relationship, and Franciscans who know about solitude and meditation may pray to God for that gift, if they wish to deepen in their Faith and Franciscan spirituality.
It may take many years of prayerful living in a peaceful way, loving one's sisters and brothers as we love God and ourselves, seeking some solitude from unnecessary noise (television), the living in God's presence, before the realization comes home that there is a contemplative dimension to our life.
Why would we want to live that way? In today's society, that seems a very radical way of life. Perhaps so... but we need to start thinking about the time to come. Do we want to get into Heaven to be with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and Mary, St. Francis, and all the other angels and saints? If so, adopting a solid Inner Life of the Soul, another name for that relationship with God we're hoping to have, would be appropriate.
St. Francis of Assisi had a very special relationship to Jesus. Even though from rich and well educated parents, his desire for life of poverty provided the ideal setting for this solitude that can often lead to an inner life of the soul. Solitude is many things to many people. It is a silence of mind and spirit so that you may hear His voice.
As we get older, we gravitate toward a quieter existence. I don't know about you, but I desire peace and quiet. Away from fast talking, incessant commercials, just noise in general. The "Peace" we know awaits us in God's love is so near and yet so far.
Fred Schaeffer, ofs
June 27, 2015
Secular Franciscan Order
Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis
Divine Mercy Fraternity
Vero Beach, FL
Officers as of 1/10/2016
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
Helen Caldarone, OFS
Mary "Jean" McGovern, OFS
Jack Reddy, OFS
Donna Haro, OFS
Joanne Giordano, OFS
Fred Schaeffer, OFS