Monday 11 February 2008

Member Care and Beauty

Beauty in Life
Beautiful experiences refresh us. A kind word, a lovely sunrise, a sincere smile, an exquisite piece of music, a gentle touch of encouragement, a fragrant honey-suckle flower, a look of understanding, a sip of exotic juice, an act of kindness. Beautiful things like these are as profound as they are simple.

Not too long ago we were walking through Ards Friary, one of our favourite places on the planet. This Franciscan community is located on the wildly gorgeous Donegal coastline in northwestern Ireland. We were overwhelmed by the beauty of nature. It is easy to understand why this lovely peninsula was chosen by the Franciscans to locate their friary. Here is a photo of the area surrounding the friary. We wish you could also experience the crisp air of late Spring, the intermingling fragrances of sea salt and flower blossoms, and the majestic sounds of the distant waves as they gracefully curled onto meticuloulsy white strands.
The Franciscan Order began in 1209. It has been known for its commitment to help the poor, and for the lifestyle of simplicity and at times even austerity of its members. Not surprisingly, many of their monasteries are located in places of outstanding natural beauty. Experiencing the beauty of God though creation, helps strengthen people like the Franciscans to continue their commitments to helping the needy and to a sacrificial lifestyle.
Reflection and Discussion
** What are some of your favourite places on earth?
**What are some aspects of nature in particular that renew you?
**How could sending groups incorporate “sustainable, multi-sensorial experiences of nature" into their member care approaches?
**Would you like to do anything today to connect with beauty in creation?


John Umland said...

where are the pictures bro? you are such a tease.
God is good

Member Care Associates said...

and it is a fantastic place to run barefooted