It is easy for Christians to criticise Christmas with its consumerism and sentimentality for example. But as a Franciscan, I resist giving oxygen to the negativity of the Christmas critics.
St Francis was positive. The San Damiano crucifix told him to repair the church, not point out its ruins and its faults. So, I have compiled a list of the 10 Things St Francis would approve in our culture’s celebration of our Lord’s Nativity.
1. Christmas cribs and other Nativity displays which show the birth of Jesus in poverty.
2. People filling churches and flocking to Carols by Candlelight to be touched in some way by the story of Christmas.
3. Christmas lunches put on for the homeless and the poor.
4. Politicians taking real action to help the homeless.
5. The financial system reflecting on the fall of Wall Street, and looking for ways to lift the poor in developing nations out of poverty.
6. Families are gathering in joy.
7. Donors to Christmas Bowl, Christian Blind Mission, and countless other charities.
8. Artists, singers, writers of carols and poems communicating the Gospel story.
9. Peacemakers in Palestine/Israel… and everywhere else.
10. Muslims, Hindus and others, who love Christmas as well as Christians do.
Honouring the ways in which lives have been touched through experiences of making and using Anglican Rosaries
After 5 years of facilitating workshops on making and using Anglican Rosaries (Anglican Prayer Beads) I decided it was time to stop talking about developing an online resource for people interested in making and using Anglican Rosaries and do it.
During prayer bead workshops time is given to allow participants to begin using the Anglican Rosary format to get intouch with their own pray-er, the spirit that prays within us all. Out of this comes some very rich expressions of connection and response to God through prayer in the form of prayers for use with the Anglican Rosary. I am always appreciative and profoundly impressed by the level of energy people put into this segment of the workshops.
I also hear numerous stories of the ways in which people’s lives have been touched by participating in a workshop or in their sharing of their experiences with others, often making and sharing Rosaries with friends, partners and even strangers. These rich stories give expression to the ways in which people’s lives have been enriched through offering others a tangible way to help people get intouch with or deepen their relationship with God.
The Anglican Rosary Blog has been conceived as a means of honouring the ways in which lives have been touched through experiences of making and using Anglican Rosaries. It is a collection of stories, examples of prayers, background material on prayer beads, and resources for making and using Anglican prayer beads. As a blog, it is designed to be interactive so if you have an interest in the making and use of Rosaries or Prayer Beads in the Anglican church please visit the Anglican Rosary Blog or email Br Nathan-James ssf.
A blog is short for web log (or journal, diary etc). A blog is a means of sharing your thoughts, opinions, feelings, reflections etc on topics of interest. They range from travel blogs to more profound and philosophical discussions. Authors can post material and visitors can add comments, opening up a series of discussions on the topic of question.
A list of related blogs on a person’s blog is often referred to as a blog roll. On the right hand menu you will find a blog roll, or series of links, to blogs authored by members of the Third Order, First Order and SSF Companions. Why not check them out and participate in topics which interest you. If you find a topic (post) which interests you simply click on the comments link at the top of the post and add your two cents worth.
An extension of this method of content management has been used on this web site to allow visitors to not only view information on the Third Order, but to participate in discussions on St Francis, St Clare, Franciscan Spirituality and religious life. Feel free to explore this site and participate in discussions.