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Sharing the Greatness of John the Baptist


These are very deep and searching questions.


"Who are you?"  We cannot undo who we are, we cannot pretend that we are not great, we cannot pretend that we are not called to the fulfilling of that greatness, to serve the ongoing creation of God in one another.  We cannot deny that we have been redeemed, and at what a price.  "You have been purchased," Scripture says, "at a price" (1 Cor 7:23). We cannot undo the fact that we are loved by God, and we cannot "shrug off" the responsibility of being loved, of being wanted, of being ambitioned by God to be holy . . .

Now we work at the second question, so that we can truly say with Saint John: "I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, 'Make straight the way of the Lord.'"  I am saying to the whole world: make straight the way of peace by each one being a peacemaker.  The way you make it a generous world is by the little acts of generosity, and perhaps most especially by the little hidden victories over selfishness. 

The way that one clears up wildernesses in the Church herself, in some of her members, is by being lowly of heart and lively in faith and obedient.  What my Mother the Church tells me, this I do, without question.  Where she leads me, there I go.  This is my ambition, to be that voice, the voice, which, in our weakness, will sometimes get off-key, sometimes drop in pitch, but which knows its theme, which knows its motif.  Each day may we more truly be to the world little voices of peace, of gentleness, of sweetness, of unity.



Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C. "Sharing the Greatness of John the Baptist." excerpt from Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting (San Francisco, Ca: Ignatius Press, 2010).

Reprinted with permission from Ignatius Press.

The Author

Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C. (1921-2006) was the abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery in Roswell, New Mexico. She was an accomplished author and writer of thirteen books, seven plays, and numerous poems. Among her books are: Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting, But I Have Called You Friends: Reflections on the Art of Christian Friendship, A Right to Be Merry, Anima Christi, and Forth and Abroad.  During her life she helped found four new Poor Clare monasteries, including one in Holland, and led the restoration of two others.  She was a strong voice for authentic religious life during the turmoil of the years following Vatican II.  In addition to serving as abbess of a convent and of the federation of Colletine Poor Clare monasteries in the U.S.

Copyright © 2010 Ignatius Press
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