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Are you restless or hungry for more in your life? Are you seeking wisdom or looking for inspiration? The Gospel gave guidance to Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi as they followed in the footprints of Jesus some 800 years ago. The witness of their lives and values continue to inspire those of us on a spiritual journey today. Join Sister Michelle L’Allier and her guest, ordinarily on the first and third Tuesday of each month, for a time of shared reflection and conversation.

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Apr 20, 2022

Join Stephanie Luna as she generously shares her journey of transformation through generational trauma to freedom, joy and a life of service.

 

From Luna’s interview:

“I am third generation Mexican American. My grandparents are the ones who immigrated to the United States. My parents assimilated to the American culture really fast. They were born and raised in Los Angeles where I also was born and raised. So there was a lot of having to learn the American culture, don't talk Spanish because we would get, or they would get made fun of.”

 

“My only coping that I felt was necessary was to just get up and leave. So I had the opportunity to go to college—I'm the first one in my family to go to college, which is a huge deal in my family. It's big. It was a lot of... a lot of pressure to myself, but I wasn't really understanding where the pressure was coming from. And I just felt like I had to get away. … I only knew Southern California and I said, I want to go away, but not too far. So that's when I ended up in the Bay Area.”

 

“There are moments where I sit back and I just think, wow, I did that not only for me, but I did that for my family. There was an ethnic studies class that I took while in college; we talked about generational wealth and generational trauma. And just how in this generational trauma, we're constantly passing on that trauma from person to person, generation to generation. And the same can be said for wealth.”

 

“We were at our campus ministry center and [the campus minister] noticed that I was trying to pull away. She was asking me what was going on, what was causing me so much turmoil. And so I shared with her …. And her response was you need to tell that to the community. I did not understand that. I was like, what are you talking about? You're crazy. I don't need to share this sadness with anyone. And so she shared with me that if I were to tell the community, it would give them the opportunity to accompany me in my sadness. Now I am a 19-year-old college student, not understanding any of the words that she's saying, but I heard in that moment that I need to share.”

 

“So I share with them and they welcome me back to the community. Talk about the prodigal son story. I left the community, and I came back and I felt a belonging. I felt wanted, needed. And in that sharing, I didn't know it until years later, but other people started sharing their traumas and their losses. From my vulnerability, I was able to help others see their vulnerability. So there was this mutual sharing of that.”

 

“I watched the movie Brother Son, Sister Moon about St. Francis of Assisi, in the scene where St. Francis takes his clothes off and he's in the middle of the Piazza. He's telling his father, these are not mine, these are just earthly possessions. It was the moment where he gave up his name. He gave up his father's name and he said, this is not my name. This is not who I am. I am going to go live a life to go in search of who I am. And I just remember sitting back and I'm like crying my eyes out. And I'm just like, okay, God, I hear you. That's when I ended up choosing the Franciscan Community Volunteers, because of that moment of giving yourself, giving of yourself, so that you can reconnect with yourself, with your source, that I felt drawn to. ... Just the irony of giving yourself away to reconnect with yourself, your true self. …. So, I'm trying my best to live my life, to reflect that love that God has for me and for others.”

 

For a full transcript, please include episode number and email: fslfpodcast@fslf.org.

 

References:

Catholic Club - CSU East Bay Catholic Club: https://allsaintshayward.org/csu-east-bay-catholic-club-campus-ministry is a collaboration of Cal State East Bay with All Saints Catholic Church Campus Ministry in Hayward, CA.

 

Eunice Park, Campus Minister: see Episode 16 interview entitled “Gratuitous Love: transforming anxiety to freedom”: https://engagingfranciscanwisdom.org/gratuitous-love-transforming-anxiety-to-freedom-episode-16

 

Prodigal Son story, Luke 15:11-32: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/luke/15 is also known as the Parable of the Lost Son.

 

Catholic Volunteer Network: a resource for finding short and long-term volunteer opportunities, see https://catholicvolunteernetwork.org/ . Franciscan Community Volunteers, sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, MN, closed during Covid. Here is a reference: https://www.fslf.org/pages/franciscan-community-volunteers

 

“Brother Sun, Sister Moon”: 1972 movie directed by Rafael Zeffirelli; for further information, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brother_Sun,_Sister_Moon . This movie touches the heart of Francis’ journey of conversion, turning to God and to neighbor, over the course of his life, albeit in a somewhat romanticized, not entirely historically accurate way.

 

Saint Francis renounces his earthly father, name and possessions: see St Bonaventure’s Major Legend 2:4 - https://www.franciscantradition.org/francis-of-assisi-early-documents/the-founder/the-legends-and-sermons-about-saint-francis-by-bonaventure-of-bagnoregio/the-major-legend-of-saint-francis/the-life-of-blessed-francis/1627-fa-ed-2-page-538

 

Maryknoll, a mission movement: https://www.maryknoll.org/ . Luna is part of the Young Adult Empowerment team https://www.maryknoll.us/home/young-adult-empowerment-community/yae-team-biographies

 

Saint Francis meets the leper: see https://www.franciscanmedia.org/franciscan-spirit-blog/st-francis-meets-the-leper . See also the earliest biography of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano (1C 17) https://www.franciscantradition.org/francis-of-assisi-early-documents/the-saint/the-life-of-saint-francis-by-thomas-of-celano/636-fa-ed-1-page-195

 

Haecceitas: a Franciscan term coined by John Duns Scotus re: the unique value, dignity, ‘thisness’, of every person and everything; two references: https://cac.org/irreplaceable-thisness-2018-03-18/ , and https://www.ssfamericas.org/post/a-hagiography-of-blessed-john-duns-scotus  

 

Richard Rohr, true and false self: two of many references to this key spiritual concept: https://cac.org/letting-go-of-the-false-self-2022-03-02/ and https://cac.org/trusting-our-essential-self-2022-02-27/