The Word of Life

We continue our discussion of the twelve points of the spirituality of communion as found in Called to be community: a guide to living a spirituality of communion, a publication of Living City of the Focolare Movement. The third of the twelve points is “the word of life.” The word of life is the word of God. We encounter the word of life in the pages of Sacred Scripture. It’s a word to be prayed, studied, and most of all lived. St. James says, “Be doers of the word and not only hearers only, deluding yourselves” (Jas 1:22). Christian life is one of constantly trying to put the word of life into practice. When we live the word of life, we show love for our neighbor, and that helps us grow in the spirituality of communion.

Lately, my beard has been the talk of the town with people asking me what made me decide to grow a beard. Well, it was the word of life that inspired me to grow a beard. In the Gospel reading for Year A of the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (it occurred on March 2 this year), Jesus says, “Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them” (Mt 6:28-29). Well, I confess that in my vanity, I’ve been anxious about my looks. So, I’m learning to let go and let God. You could say I’m striving for natural beauty. Even if my appearance looks rough, I hope my soul has become more pleasing to God for trusting in his word or at least trying to. Moreover, the time I once spent shaving, I now dedicate toward serving you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, more. My reasoning may not be the best, but at least you can see how I’m trying to live the word of life.

Name a time in your life when you lived the word of life. How did you feel? Share your experience with others.

Brother Ian

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Weakened and Impoverished

We Dominican friars, and all the Dominican family around the world, are constantly praying for all Iraqi refugees but are heartbroken about the sufferings of the ones we call “our family” in Iraq. I’m sharing a few paragraphs from the latest information we received from our Iraqi Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena, on August 30. I ask for your prayers to discern God’s will in what could be a concrete action on their behalf. Their last email is entitled:

Weakened and Impoverished

Thanks to the Church of Iraq in Kurdistan, who opened their halls and centres to provide shelters. Yet, the number of refugees was so large that the Kurdish government had…to open their schools to provide additional shelter for refugees.

We hear a lot about world governments and organizations sending financial aid to Iraq, but the refugee gets the least…People lost almost everything; they cannot even afford to buy milk or formula for their children. What saddens us most is that, only one month ago, these people were the most educated in the country and among those most likely to build a life for themselves and their family, and now they do not have enough money in their pockets to survive the day. Yet, amidst losing everything, accepting their lost dignity, is the most difficult loss they may experience. Some have found shelter in tents, others in schools, still others in church halls and gardens. They wait to be fed, or given food to cook; elderly are not being taken care of properly; children are living in unhealthy conditions; families have lost their privacy; women are exposed in these places; men have no jobs in a culture where a man is expected to support his families. Refusing to live without dignity, more and more people think of immigrating.

Our Lady of the Rosary, be their refuge and strength,

fr. Juan, O.P.

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