Apr 20, 2021
Join Franciscan Sister Gloria Haider as she reflects on her journey from ‘human doing’ to more fully living as a ‘human being’ during the pandemic. She sees beauty, is inspired by diverse prayer practices, and accompanies those who are in need as she listens for the Spirit’s guidance. Come and see with her eyes, encountering Beauty wherever she finds beauty, seeing the Divine Artist wherever she finds art.
Sr. Gloria notes that “Looking at beauty, seeing God as a divine artist, helps me to live each day in gratefulness and abundance and happiness. My time in community has helped me look at different areas of justice and peace, ...at the value and dignity of everything around me and within me; they have a positive, optimistic vision of a human person. Living in community is not always easy as we all know; it is a wonderful time to look at our own selves and those that we are living with, and try to be people who are willing to listen and to change. How blessed I am, to be living at this time in community, able to share my joys and my sorrows with other people, it's a great blessing.”
“During Covid...I was discerning and thought maybe I should go back to Minnesota, but the Spirit kept saying, ‘Oh no, stay, stay where you're at. You need to wait. You need to learn how to just be and wait.’ This was very important for me during this time. It helped me to remember that I'm not just a doer, but I'm a human being. That I need to at times just wait and see what the next step is. I'm grateful that I followed the Holy Spirit's guidance.”
Thomas Merton: For a look at the influence of Saint Francis in Merton’s life, see: https://www.amazon.com/Franciscan-Heart-Thomas-Merton-Inspiration/dp/1594714223.
Franciscan Communities Sr. Gloria referred to: Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls (www.fslf.org) and
Sisters of St. Francis, located in Rochester (https://rochesterfranciscan.org/).
The mystic poetry of St. Francis of Assisi: Gloria notes the Canticle of Brother Sun as an example; here is an introductory blog with the text: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/franciscan-spirit-blog/st-francis-and-his-canticle.
Sr. Gloria’s favorite quote from our Rule of Life: “Let the sisters and brothers always be mindful that they should desire one thing alone, namely, the Spirit of God at work within them.”
-TOR Rule 32; see also Saint Francis’ Later Rule 10:8 and Saint Clare’s Rule 10:7
John Duns Scotus and the unique ‘thisness’ of every person and everything; he coined the Latin term: haecceitas. Here are a two sample links: https://cac.org/irreplaceable-thisness-2018-03-18/, and https://www.ssfamericas.org/post/a-hagiography-of-blessed-john-duns-scotus.
Beauty in the Franciscan Tradition:
In the Introduction to her book, Rejoicing in the Works of the Lord: Beauty in the Franciscan Tradition, Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ says that a central Franciscan insight is "that all life can be best understood according to a via pulchritudinis, a journey or way of beauty. Franciscans see all of life: creation, the human person, human action, divine life and love through the prisms of harmony and beauty." (p. 3) Reference to the book: https://www.franciscanpublications.com/products/rejoicing-in-the-works-of-the-lord-beauty-in-the-franciscan-traditioin?variant=7282429061.
Quote from *The Franciscan Moral Vision: Responding to God's Love, ed. by Thomas A. Nairn, OFM. Franciscan Institute Publications, 2013. See Chapter 3 "Moral Goodness and Beauty," by Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ:
"Proper proportion is another aspect of beauty: here everything fits in its place, there is not too much of one thing. The relationship of balance is pleasing to the eye and ear. Harmonic chords and tonal passages also express this idea of proportion. Because of the important role of desire in the spiritual journey, Bonaventure notes, contemplation (the activity of the highest form of wisdom) has both cognitive and affective dimensions. We are to be those 'lovers of divine wisdom and inflamed with a desire for it' wishing to give ourselves 'to glorifying, admiring, and even savoring God.' The saint adds the aspect of luminosity as central to our experience of beauty. Luminosity suggests that beauty can enter our lives as a type of theophony: a divine revelation." (p. 95-96)
*This text will be re-published; a current link: https://www.amazon.com/Franciscan-Moral-Vision-Response-Gods/dp/1576592081/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=.
Favorite Prayer forms:
Berry named Three Principles of the Universe – three primordial patterns of differentiation/diversity; subjectivity/interiority; communion/community/interconnectedness (http://www.sistersofthegoodshepherdcontemplatives.com/sites/default/files/MTM%20-%203%20Principles%20of%20the%20Universe.pdf).
Seeing God as Divine Artist, in Beauty:
In art he [Francis] praises the Artist; whatever he discovers in creatures he guides to the Creator. He rejoices in all the works of the Lord’s hands, and through their delightful display he gazes on their life-giving reason and cause. In beautiful things he discerns Beauty Itself. -2 Celano 165
Rio Grande Valley Connections: