This morning I found these in my inbox:
These are CFRs, as in “the Community of the Franciscans of the Renewal.” They’re an order founded by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, among others. They work with the poor, but also they are the poor. I always think that if St. Francis were starting today, this is what it would look like. I don’t think I’ve seen a picture of CFRs where at least one of them wasn’t grinning, which is the way it should be.
It reminded me of my own time spent among religious brothers and sisters. I spent three months in Peru back in ’08, not doing much besides sweeping, cooking, praying, and studying Spanish. Three hours of Adoration a day! It was as close to Heaven as I’ve been.
After I returned to the US, I was still coasting on that tremendous infusion, still living like a saint, or anyway trying to, which comes to the same thing. It took a while to wear off, but wear off it did.
Why did it wear off? That’s easy to answer. I stopped spending three hours in prayer every day, stopped going to daily Mass, and stopped living among people who saw themselves as walking, every moment, in the presence of God. I stopped seeing every human encounter as an encounter with the living God, and as an opportunity to bring more of His love into the world.
It’s hard to live like that!1 My tendency is always to fall asleep, to disappear into the routine, to put on the autopilot. Over and over I’m infused with grace, over and over it leaches out again. I’m like a sieve, or maybe a tire with a slow leak.
All day, since seeing those pictures, I’ve been hearing this phrase: Where is your treasure?2 He’s knocking. He wants me back.