February 2007

A letter for the ill, the aged, the shut-in, and the handicapable

Published by the National Family Commission

Secular Franciscan Order USA 


It has been a few months since we have been able to issue a Living by Faith newsletter due to numerous computer problems which interfered with our email addresses. It is great to be sharing with you all once again. However, these past few months have been productive in terms of our learning patience and using our circumstances to grow in the Lord. When reflecting on these themes of patience and growing in the Lord we thought that it would provide food for thought in terms of our living by faith newsletter this month.

Many times, especially as we age, we become aware of how little we can actually control in our lives. We realize that the challenge is not to control our lives, but rather, to be open to how God wishes to use our lives to serve others. Some of us are dealing with physical and/or emotional issues and situations that appear on the surface to be hindering our lives. However, it could be these very issues and situations which are leading us to trust God more and can be used to draw us to be more compassionate towards others in their challenges.

It may be useful to reflect on the following questions:

  • What are some issues/situations that I am currently dealing with and how are they leading me closer to God?
  • Have I become a complainer to God about these issues/situations or have I been able to give thanks to God for these issues/situations?
  • How have these issues/situations allowed me to grow in my faith?

By relinquishing control over these issues or situations the Lord can use us as he desires, rather than, having us resist his will and direction in our lives. During the past few months we both (Ken and Kim) have encountered numerous situations where we could not control the situations we have found ourselves in, but had to just allow things to evolve and be open to an unknown outcome. By learning to be more open and trusting, we found ourselves to being less stressed and able to respond to others in a more positive manner in these situations. It reminded us of that scripture verse that “God’s ways are not always our ways”. In being more trusting we can become more open to the movement of the Spirit towards others. Those thoughts about writing a letter or making a phone call to someone that we have been postponing, praying more for others needs rather than focusing on our needs in prayer, and being more positive in our comments to others rather than complaining about our situation become ways that the Spirit reveals himself to us and moves us to action in spite of our personal issues and situations.

As we trust more and respond to others needs we then grow into the new life of the Spirit that leads us into the Kingdom. As we continue with “ordinary time” of the liturgical season we experience in the ordinary circumstances of our lives, the extraordinary power of God. Let us this day thank God for the circumstances we find ourselves in rather than feeling that these circumstances are burdens to be endured.

Until next time, may God give you peace,

Ken and Kim, SFO

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