WITH DELIBERATE JOY
Following in St. Francis' Footsteps in the Twenty-First Century
*New Updates: April 16 - Blog, Art
The image below belongs to M.T. Cioppa, and may not be circulated without her permission. Please check with me first, and I will check with her. :)
Let's face it, folks. We Catholics aren't popular people. The hostility we face as individuals and as an Apostolic family is nothing short of astonishing. We're regularly called out as both perverts and facilitators of the same; we're declared enemies of all that is modern, rational, moral and scientifically and politically correct; we're criticized for our lack of social awareness, and we're religiously (hee!) marketed as The Enemy by a society that wouldn't recognize - and worse, wouldn't acknowledge - The Real Enemy if he booked an interview on Letterman and outed himself in front of all Creation.
It is, to say the least, discouraging.
And what do we Catholics do when we are discouraged?
Well, if I'm any kind of indicative specimen at all, we rant. We rave. We swear (even as we conscientiously attempt to keep the Lord's name, and His Mother's, out of it). We throw up our hands in disgust at the deliberate ignorance cultivated by men and women who have no idea what they stand for, much less what we stand for, much less what we should all aspire to be. Above all, and because in the end we just can't help ourselves... We clench our teeth and attempt, again and again and again, to educate.
And every now and again, when we've reached, once again, the end of the proverbial rosary, we just give it all over and laugh. Helplessly and hysterically, and if there are a few tears thrown in there too... Well. We all know how good those can be in terms of clearing the spiritual sinuses.
Then we pick ourselves up and start all over again.
And through it all, we pray.
This site is, in a very real way, my prayer. The stories and artwork that I post (or rather, will post; it's a bit of a work in progress) as well as the blog entries, are all products of, and a gift to, the One Who St. Francis of Assisi sought so fiercely and joyfully to emulate every moment of his life. 'The Little Saint' embraced his vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as gracefully as only a true saint could, and broke through the walls of a rigid and spiritually cloistered society to bring our Lord Christ's message to the masses - not through words, but through example.
I hope - no, I pray - that you will find something of St. Francis inside these pages, and through them, and him again, find yourself a bit further along the great and joyous Road.
In God's Almighty Name -
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.