Ongoing Formation Talk — June 2008

by Kate Kleinert, Fraternity Minister

The words are brutal; the attitude – ugly. Accusations are made, Stories, true – half true or completely untrue are repeated and repeated and repeated.

It must be a Presidential election year! What a great time to be Franciscan!!

This is not a political talk. I am not here to foist my political views on anyone. I don’t care who you are voting for – that’s your right and privilege. What I do care about is how easy it is to get caught up with the crowd. And that’s not Franciscan. Don’t we naturally tend to swim upstream? …against the tide of what everyone else is doing?

You are all familiar with those bracelets that became popular a few years back. The ones with WWJD on them…What Would Jesus do? They remind us in all kinds of situations to think about what Jesus would do in any given situation.

I would like to wear a bracelet with WWFD on it….What Would Francis Do?? He is forging the path for us; showing us the best way to get closer to Jesus. I am sure Francis would not be on the internet forwarding message after message with a subject line like: Have you heard the latest about Jane McCain? Biblical proof that Barack Obama is the anti Christ. Or the ever popular one….We are about to put a Muslim in the White House.

There are far, far too many people who believe every word that crosses their screen. It’s no different than all the people who believe every word that is written in the Star or the National Enquirer. If it’s in print, it must be gospel!

We really need to be vigilant in what we do…and how we do it. There are just as many beautiful religious e-mails that come around – beautiful prayers, inspiring thoughts. And at the end, it reads……make a wish and pass this on to all the people in your address book. Make a wish?? That’s not how I approach my God. Can you see St. Francis proclaiming one of his passionate canticles and then turning to the Brothers and saying…Make a wish and go tell everyone you know.

Making a wish has nothing to do with who we are. Taking part in slander is very wrong. Even passing on true information can be wrong if we have no business passing it on. Lies and even hurtful truths take on a life of their own. My heart aches for the parents of the 13-year-old girl who committed suicide because of what her classmates had posted on the web about her.

I am not saying Franciscans shouldn’t forward any messages on the Internet. But before you do, stop and think WWFD…What would Francis do?

Our reading from Morning Prayer on Friday, Week I comes form Ephesians, 4:29 – 32: Never let evil talk pass your lips; say only the good things men need to hear, things that will really help them. Do nothing that will sadden the Holy Spirit with whom you were sealed against the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, all passion and anger, harsh words, slander and malice of every kind. In place of these, be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ.

In this election year, wouldn’t it be better…more Franciscan …to pray for the right outcome? Ask God to guide us in getting the person in office that He wants to be there.

It’s going to be a long, hot summer and that has nothing to do with the weather! Wouldn’t it be nicer to stand back, hold onto our Franciscan serenity, and stay out of the sensationalism?

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.