for the Journey
as food is required for human life, so companions are required for our spiritual
journey. Indeed, the word, companions,
comes from two Latin words: com, meaning
"with" and panis, meaning,
"bread". Companions nourish our heart, mind, body and spirit.
They are also the people with whom we can celebrate the sharing of the
the most touching stories in the Bible are about companionship: the Last Supper,
the wedding feast at Cana, the sharing of the loaves and the fishes, and Jesus
breaking bread with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Each incident of
companionship with Jesus revealed more about his mercy, love, wisdom, suffering
and hope. When Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Olives, he craved the
companionship of the Apostles. They let him down. But God sent the Holy Spirit
to inflame the hearts of the Apostles, and they became faithful companions to
Jesus and to one another.
history, other faithful companions have followed Jesus and the Apostles. Saint
Francis was one of these. He called companions to himself and together they took
the journey from conversion, through suffering, to resurrection. Just as they
were inspired by the Holy Spirit to journey with Francis, may we find new
companions with whom to journey and who will go on gathering others to walk the
spiritual journey on which Francis continues to lead us.
Rule tells us that our Franciscan life is lived in fraternity with sisters and
brothers who have also made the commitment to journey through life living the
Gospel of Jesus. Our General Constitutions remind us too that the promotion of
vocations to the Order is a duty of every brother and sister. Therefore, each
one of us is responsible for gathering new companions for the journey.
us act. The hour is late but our journey is one of extraordinary promise.
from Praying with Francis of Assisi,
Joseph M. Stoutzenberger and John D. Bohrer.
Winona, MN: Saint Mary's Press, 1989