Monday, July 4, 2016

Fear not in joy and love (day 4)

Carolyn Townes
Overcoming fear and recognizing the love of God within us. Those two things can fuel something greater in the Franciscan vocation, suggests National JPIC Chair Carolyn Townes, OFS, a featured speaker on the final day of the Quinquennial Congress on Sunday, July 3.

She asked the “Q” attendees – now up to 620 – what Christ’s greatest comandment was.

“Love God and love your neighbor as yourself,” the audience echoed in several variations.

The Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Commission chair pointed to fear as being real, “but our God is bigger.”

“God has given us power – not ego, not pride, not false self… but the power of the Spirit of the One who is in you.”

She added: “God has not given you a spirit of mediocrity. Why do we play small when our God is so big?”

Carolyn suggested using “one attribute about yourself that you love.”

“Go do and be that with everyone you come in contact with. Do it with Franciscan joy. Times can get hard, and if you’re going through hell, keep going and you’ll come out on fire!”

She added: “Everywhere you go, be the Gospel, be the face of it, be the stoke. Stoke a fire in someone’s flame.”

Carolyn Townes
Carolyn Townes, OFS
She shouted: “Franciscan joy. How many of you got it? Franciscan peace. How many of you got it?” The audience roared its response to each question.

“Don’t forget it. Keep stoking the flame of the fire every moment.”

And do not settle for mediocrity, she noted. “We are above average. Be that. Be that… You have the power of prayer; you have the power of love.”