My day began with Mass at Mt. Irenaeus. While there I met a young man whom I had previously met via the blogosphere. Another positive impact of blogging and reading bloggers in my life. Jonathan St. Andre is a priest and a Franciscan Friar of Third Order Regular. He’s going to be studying at the Franciscan Institute at nearby St. Bonaventure University this summer. Jonathan told me he was no longer blogging, but that he recognized my name and where I was from as we had our customary introductions prior to Mass at Mt. Irenaeus. I hope our paths will cross again this summer at the Mountain.
Today was also the day of our regular monthly meeting of the St. Irenaeus Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order at Mt. Irenaeus. Today we met with other Mountain ministries as partners in ministry. I really need a rest and a chance to sit quietly. Contemplative living has percolated through my life to the extent that I long for these restorative periods of silence. One of my secular brothers asked me what we were doing today and I told him what we were doing is “not doing.” Doing is such a part of contemporary culture and we do everything so mindlessly that “not doing” is counter cultural and very therapeutic. I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to solitude and mindful living. Mindfulness and contemplation can be cultivated but not learned. I thank God for the presence of the Friars at Holy Peace Friary who have shown me how to be holy by being wholly me. Being a Secular Franciscan is not about repetition of pious acts, but about living the Gospel and being called to a life of active contemplation and penance.