LIVING BY FAITH - January 2007

A letter for the ill, the aged, the shut-in, and the handicapable
Published by the National Family Commission
Secular Franciscan Order, USA


This month we commemorate the 34th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. For us as Franciscans the call to choosing life is inherent in our call to respect all of Godís creation. While we can find some satisfaction in indications that some restrictions on abortion may be possible, the reality is that a comprehensive pro life agenda is far from being realized. This can cause discouragement maybe even for some a sense of despair regarding the developing culture of death.

We (Kim and Ken) were recently asked to do a meditation on Paulís Letter to the Romans for a pro-life prayer service and we would like to share some parts of that meditation in this letter. In Paulís letter he calls us to demonstrate three characteristics that we should exhibit during times of challenges. These characteristics are:

  • sacrificial suffering
  • living in hope
  • trust

In the challenges of aging and/or illness which limits our ability to move about it could be useful to reflect on some key passages of Roman 8.

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us (Romans 8:18).

  • Do I accept that pain, infirmity and other challenges are ways that God uses to give me the opportunity to choose life?
  • Do I offer up my pain as an intercessory prayer?
  • That I can offer up my current situation as an intercession for the success of the pro-life movement to promote a culture of life?

And not only that but we ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23).

  • Do I walk confidently into the future based upon my faith experience of Godís love for me?
  • Do I realize that Jesus is using my infirmities to bring Him glory? Suddenly our limitations become a way God uses my body to witness His love to others.

When then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against usÖ(Romans 8:31)

  • Paul is telling us that victory over my limitations and challenges has already been achieved. Am I willing to be patient for its fulfillment?
  • Do I act with the realization that, as Mother Teresa once said ďI am a pencil in the hand of GodĒ?

A prayer for us this year might be from Sirach 36:18-19:

Give peace Lord to those who wait for you, listen to the prayers of your servants and guide us in the way of justice


May your New Year be blessed!

Ken and Kim

Previous issue (August 2006)