Seeking Balance

Barb Spies, OFS, Director of Mission Services and Pastoral Care

No matter how often people tell us to slow down and take time to smell the roses, we keep speeding up and running past them. We fill every moment with action or stimulation of some sort, whether it’s TV, radio, or social media. None of these activities are inherently problematic, but when used to fill all our time, we are missing out on balance.

St. Francis sought balance in his life. He spent time in service to others and in quiet prayer on his own or with his Brothers. I love this statue outside of Assisi in one of the hermitages that Francis would go to for contemplation, conversation with God, and rejuvenation.

Blessed Angela Truskowska, Foundress of the Felician Sisters, also sought this balance that Francis modeled. She was not interested in becoming a nun in a cloister. She wanted to be out among the people, serving those most in need. Maria Winowska tells us in her biography of Blessed Angela, “Providence was manifesting more and more clearly in the coincidence of different circumstances that it was not the cloistered seclusion but the active-contemplative life which was to become the distinguishing mark of the religious structure in [the Felician] community.”

Helen Keller urged others to seek balance in their times with Scripture, that it should not only be a place to run for aid, but for wisdom at all times. She noted, “Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness.” Ideally, we can balance our prayer and our action, our reading Scripture for the joy of it and turning to the Word for help. We don’t need to fill each moment with stimulation. We can take a moment, like Francis at that hermitage, to just be with God.

As you rush through this week ahead, don’t forget to pause. Seek balance. Breathe deeply. Enjoy God’s beautiful creation.

Blessed Angela: “Means to perfection: the presence of God, conscientious performance of spiritual exercises, subduing the passions, and performing good deeds.”

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