Dynamics of Fraternity Life

Today I returned an evaluation form regarding a diocesan ministry called 'Morning Coffee with God'. It is a small prayer group program that I had participated in, at my local parish. I personally found it very fruitful. A question was asked regarding potential future topics. After drawing a blank for quite some time I realized that it was not so much the topic that intrigued me; but rather the spiritual dynamics of the group...each member's relationship with God...their needs, frustrations, joys, etc.. As we discussed whatever matter was at hand I could see that all these dynamics were forming us.

In a thank you note to the facilitator, I shared this insight and added my opinion that this was a real need in the Church; namely to nurture small church groups...helping members to discover and foster their relationship with God. In doing so the participants bring themselves better prepared to Liturgy. They love God more deeply and love each other better.

Is this one of the roles of Fraternity life? I think so. The members through personal interaction and guided formation are discovering and fostering their unique vocation via Franciscan spirituality. When we share with each other....we help to form each other...and in doing so we build up something within ourselves that is greater than ourselves.

The life in Fraternity...especially the gathering of the members...is a privileged place...in which knowingly or unknowingly...all of the members give and take and act and love and bring about what our Lord called ...'The Kingdom of God'. Of course whether or not such formation is authentic and pleasing to God is determined by its 'fruitfulness'. This is the test. Over time can I see and acknowledge the growth in my relationship with God and my neighbor?

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