Saturday, November 29, 2014


Maleficient.  The perfect example of both good and evil existing together as one.  The good and evil manifest themselves in the context of the physical (land of humans) and spiritual (land of the Moors) not being united.  The disconnect between the physical and spiritual worlds comes about because true love is not fulfilled.  But when true love reigns - when Maleficient kisses Aurora on the head - the curse is lifted, and the two worlds can unite.

When we allow God's agape love to rule our lives, we can unite the spiritual and the physical, and live as one with the universe. It takes a lot of courage, though. As we saw when Stefan left Maleficient, failure to love and/or have that love returned can turn hearts cold. Yet if we are open to the spirit, we can allow God's grace and mercy to warm our hearts.

If we find and name our inner Maleficient, we can identify what we should seek to warm our hearts.  Having a one-track mind for a very long time, keeping blinders on to other parts of life, can form dark spots in our line of vision. But once we realize we aren't getting the whole picture, we can begin to let light shine on the dark spots.

Shutting myself off from the culture and media that was prevalent in my life growing up, while allowing for new experiences, also created dark spots in my view and interpretation of the world.  The way I was introduced to the Franciscans was only a partial introduction to the Franciscan family. Much was left in the blind spots. My ideas about how to learn about culture only provided a segment of the various ways to understand tradition. And my education and experience working in nutrition, public health, and social justice is only one component of JPIC work. We can never get the whole picture at the same time, but we must always seek to illuminate the blind spots.

If we continually integrate and synthesize our growing awareness of and understanding of St. Francis, culture, and public health / JPIC work in with our outer and our inner reality, we can grow in faith and spirituality, awake the Sleeping Beauty inside each of us, and live in paradise... or in heaven on earth.

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