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Franciscan Values Week 6: November 18-24

The thought for this week is Mindfulness. Author James Baraz said, “Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”

Mindfulness is not thinking, interpreting, or evaluating; it is an awareness of perception. It is a purposeful, nonjudgmental state of mind which does not anticipate the future or reflect back on the past. Any activity can be done with mindfulness – talking on the telephone, cleaning your home, driving, working, and exercising. Being mindful, you are fully present to this moment – which is the only moment you have – being focused on what you are doing, knowing why you are doing it.

Although this blessed man was not educated in scholarly disciplines, still he learned from God wisdom from above and, enlightened by the splendors of eternal light, he understood the Scripture deeply. His genius, pure and unstained, penetrated hidden mysteries. Where the knowledge of teachers is outside, the passion of the lover entered. He sometimes read the Sacred books, and whatever he once put into his mind, he wrote indelibly in his heart … He affirmed that it was easy to move from self-knowledge to knowledge of God for someone who searches Scripture intently with humility and not with presumption. He often untangled the ambiguities of questions. Unskilled in words, he spoke splendidly with understanding and power.

[The Remembrance of the Desire of the Soul, Thomas of Celano, Ch. LXVIII]

Psalm Fragment:

“The Lord has been mindful of us;

He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel;

He will bless the house of Aaron.” ~ Psalm 115:12

Reflection Question:

Are you mindful in each of the daily tasks you undertake? Or, are you distracted and allow your mind to wander?

Action for this Week:

Practice being mindful in every activity you undertake. Avoid multi-tasking and focus on mindfully attending to one activity at a time. Notice how you are feeling as you are being mindful. Journal your experience.

Prayer for the Week:

Lord Jesus, give me Your peace.

Give me confidence in the depths of danger.

Give me hope when I am surrounded by fear. Still my worries, calm the anxieties pressing in on me from the world I live in.

Lord Jesus, give me Your presence.

Reassure me that You are with me

when I seem alone. Ease my doubting.

Lord Jesus, give me Your peace.

Guide my searching for peace, so that I may not seek it where it is not to be found, but

I may seek it in You.

Lord Jesus, live in me and give me Your peace.


Carolyn D. Townes, OFS

with edits and additions by

Judith A. Terrameo, OSF

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