Nov 3, 2020
From the margins as a misguided youth to serving faith communities as a pastoral leader, our guest Steve Peterson shares his story of amazing grace. His journey of conversion brought him to freedom in Christ, to humble loving which overcomes fear with love, and to celebrate the joy of being human.
Selected excerpts from the interview:
“I looked for allies or exemplars in the faith. That's where I discovered a little more deeply and got inspiration and encouragement from this mentor, Saint Francis, from 800 years ago....Everybody loves St. Francis and, and he is definitely a part of the church; he's even called a Saint. So, if a lot of what I'm feeling and experiencing is in line with who Saint Francis was, why that's somewhere I can take comfort and be encouraged and guided from.”
“All of life is sacramental. As a pastor, I not only see the people in the church that I serve and the administrating of the sacraments with a big S...but also that God is present and speaking to us, conveying God's presence through all kinds of means and in all kinds of places in our, in our daily life and as we look at the world around us. I think that's a very Franciscan way of looking at the world.”
“Whenever I've been in a position of leadership,...one of my very top priorities has been to do whatever I can to foster a sense of community and to be a part of a community that is engaged in this ministry, on this following Jesus together. Discerning God's Spirit of where we are being called together, when the Spirit is really not blocked so much and is given free rein, also where the sense of joy that I think is intrinsic to being human.”
“When we're connected to God and connected to each other and connected to a purpose that God gives us together, that is really life-giving, that's where the real joy is. Even if it involves hard things, there's a joy there....Something wonderful is happening that is much larger than the sum of what each of us brought to it, that the Spirit somehow is birthing something that's new and greater than the sum of our parts. And that is just a joy to be a part of that.”
“When there's an openness to God's Spirit and some humility, that we can discover what our voice is, what our instrument is for being vehicles of God's presence in the world. You know, Francis' saying ... at the end of his life, “I've done what it's been mine to do, may God give you the guidance to do what is yours to do.” Hopefully even this COVID time can deepen our sense of, just openness and being empty enough to being guided by God's Spirit in terms of what is ours to do in this time and in this place that we find ourselves.”
“Francis, I see as, as not only being humble and giving of himself and living simply and sacrificing for others, but I see him also as extremely confident in his stance as God's beloved child, who's called to do what he does. And so there's a real strength there.... I see humility as both of those things: having strength in the gifts that God has given you, and also, being humble enough to understand your vulnerability and that you are just one of God's creatures among that, and not over and above.”
“Less is more. Space in life is good. We don't have to fill every hour of every day with all kinds of action and striving. When we stop and look and listen and create some space and are open to God's Spirit, God will indeed move in our lives and open our ears and eyes and hearts to new possibilities.”
--2 Corinthians 12:10: I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
--Peace Prayer: attributed to Saint Francis, this familiar text is on our Franciscan Sisters website in Spanish and English https://www.fslf.org/CommonFranciscanPrayers/#PeacePrayer.
--Saint Bonaventure’s Major Legend of St Francis 14:3...“I have done what is mine; may Christ teach you yours.” (These are words of Saint Francis to his brothers on his deathbed).