Every year our Secular Franciscan fraternity has several traditional events.
First, we have our Extraction of Saints during the Christmas season. Each person is given the name of a patron saint for the year, a Franciscan quote to meditate on, another Fraternity member’s name to keep in special prayer, and a virtue to work on developing throughout the year.
Later in the year we hold our Day of Recollection. This will be the fourth time our Fraternity has hosted this event. Our speaker is the National Spiritual Director of the Secular Franciscan Order–how do we get such a famous Franciscan, you ask? Here’s our secret: his mom’s a member of our fraternity! (Too bad Ellen can’t come, but her son graduated from high school last night, so I’ll let her take a pass this year. Next year, I hope to see her there!) The topic this year is “Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures.”
As usual I will be running the Franciscan Kitchen for this event. It’s only right. This year the virtue I am to work on is “hospitality.”
I feel like I am scraping the bottom of the hospitality barrel at the moment. But last night after I came in, I read at Summa Mammas that there is grace in just doing the work. I’ll repeat the quote here:
The obedience of faith requires that we do our work. We must go on day after day, simply and humbly, not waiting for chills and thrills. Grace, not revelation, is our daily bread. Grace is enough. Receiving that, in the portion given according to the lovingkindness of our God, we must act responsibly in the situation in which He puts us, as the disciples had to do when left behind at Christ’s ascension. No doubt they felt bewildered and abandoned and would like to have risen with Him through the clouds. When the angels suddenly stood beside them and asked why they were gazing into the sky, they “came down to earth,” as it were, went back to Jerusalem to the lodging where they belonged and carried on with their prayers.
So, after I am fortified with more coffee and a good breakfast, I will take myself and my freshly-ironed Generalissimama apron with the St. Benedict medal (wasn’t his motto “Ora et labora”–prayer and work) and my extra Sharpies, and I will do my very best to be an instrument of grace and hospitality in the Franciscan Kitchen today.