Franciscans Ponder: What is a Contemplative Gaze

Paul Keggington

March 05, 2012

When we follow St. Clare’s prayer style, we “gaze upon Christ, consider Christ and contemplate Christ.” With that approach in mind, and honoring the pastoral letter of Green Bay Diocese’s Bishop David Ricken, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity gathered March 2 at St. Francis Convent and March 3 at Holy Family Convent to reflect upon Franciscan Life and the Eucharist. Motivated by the call to be “fully engaged” in the Eucharistic Liturgy, Sisters assembled to listen, to be inspired and to put into active service the rich theology of the Eucharist.

Facilitator Sister Anne Marie Lom, OSF, led the “gazers” through each movement of the Eucharist: Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Closing Rites. Participants  pondered not only the rubrics and rituals of the Eucharist but more so the movements of the heart in each ritual. There followed a session on the Eucharist writings of Saints Francis and Clare.  Personal applications for apostolic community life were shared. Fr. Paul Turner’s book, At the Supper of the Lamb, the new website by the Diocese of Green Bay regarding the pastoral letter  and the Eucharistic writings and prayers of Saints Francis and Clare were probed for inspirations.

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Comments from the Sisters

  • “This was so helpful because the Eucharist is so close to my heart”
  • “Because of daily Mass, I want to deeply reflect on each rite”
  • “I see more clearly how the Eucharist impels me to serve more consciously”
  • “When I am at Eucharist, I will be paying closer attention to rituals I pondered”

Invitation: Consider our May Franciscan Vocation Discernment Retreat. St. Clare will be a special focus of the weekend. Click here to learn more.

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