I’m a bit slow to post something today because I find myself running around taking care of a number of details that relate to my impending departure for a month-long retreat along with all the other Franciscan friars in the United States and Canada who are preparing to profess Solemn Vows this summer in our respective provinces. In addition to packing and making various arrangements on this end, I have several editorial deadlines, essays to finish and article manuscripts that I need to send to this or that place before I drop off the usual radar for some contemplative time. That said, I took a moment to read through some of the hundreds of reader comments that people posted on the New York Times website in response to my fellow St. Bonaventure University alum and NYT staff writer Dan Barry’s story about my recently deceased Franciscan brothers, the twins so many have been discussing.
I offer here a selection of the many, many comments that have touched me. In an age when internet newspapers and blogs elicited all sorts of treacherous and often-times anonymous comments, seldom building up others but tearing people down, it was incredibly edifying to see such sympathy, kindness, spirituality and joy online. Julian and Adrian have indeed continued to minister in a gentle way to those who continue to be touched by their lives. There are many more comments, but here is a selection.
No crystal cathedral, no self-named university, no crusade, no book tour, no public book burning, no sex scandal, no prayer breakfast with notable politicians, no TV show, no hate mongering at soldiers’ funerals.
Humility, kindness, joy.
Looks like SOME members of the clergy got Jesus’ message.
– it was always the ‘Brothers’ and not the Priests
who had the best advice.
God Bless those twins and all who humbly serve.
Thank you, Mr. Dan Barry, for sharing this story with your readers. I feel the world is a better place because of those two good souls. May God bless them.
“You cannot do great things. You can only do small things with great love”.
Simple profound. This tale appears straight to be out of Chaucer’s Canterbury tales.