Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: September 30, 2019


Well, it is official! Church helps make society better! And, a recent Harvard University’s School of Public Health study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, shows that taking your children to church doesn’t just benefit them, it also has positive benefits for the community at large, as almost 30 percent of kids raised in church were more likely to do volunteer work! Children who went to church were also 33 percent less likely to use drugs in their twenties, were less likely to have sex at an earlier age, and less likely to have a sexually transmitted infection. In addition, people who prayed and meditated daily either at church or on their own reported greater life satisfaction, were better able to process emotions, and were more forgiving.

St. Francis would frequently pray alone during the night, seeking out quiet places. Sometimes the remote caves located in the hills above Assisi were a favorite place for Francis and to this day are frequented by pilgrims seeking the Franciscan way of prayer.

Today, Friars around the globe practice many forms of contemplative and meditative prayer, with Lectio Divina, the prayerful reading of the Word of God, holding a special place in our Franciscan tradition. The Virgin Mary features prominently in Franciscan prayer as well, as do traditional devotions, such as the Stations of the Cross and Eucharistic Adoration, like we offer at Saint Miriam every week. And, our Mary-on-the-Go, offers every family a way to pray and bring the family together in a very Catholic-Christian way to help heal wounds – familial and global.

In our world today children are exposed to all sorts of violence, temptations, distractions, false hope, depression, and terror. We, as their guardians, teachers, pastors and godparents are their only means of true learning in a world that doesn’t honor faith much anymore. We are their first teachers and it is incumbent upon us to lead the way to a better emotional and satisfying life. It is not things that will make them happy in the end, it is God and faith and family. Is that not worth skipping a sporting event or practice on Sundays?

St. Francis once admonished us, “Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.”  How will you teach the faith to a child this week? How will you show them that extra-curricular activities are wholesome and fun to do, but church and God are far more important?

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