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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Days of Rest, Renewal and Writing.

Cover of my soon to be released book
   Every once in a while I use this blog to let folks know what's going on in my life as a friar. This is one of those times.  January and May are the two months of the year in which I spend most of my time at home in the friary.  This is, as the new translation of the Mass says, truly right and just.

  Last week our community was led in a wonderful retreat by Fr. Jack Rathschmidt, OFM, Cap., who gave us much to think about in living our Franciscan lives at this time.  On neat idea that he presented was the possibility of looking at distractions not as obstacles to prayer and spiritual growth, but as opportunities to open up more to God.  The weather here has been magnificent and I had plenty of chances to walk outdoors along beautiful Tampa Bay and meditate on Fr. Jack's inspiring thoughts.

   The month has also brought many friars from the north to visit us.  Some of them joined us for the retreat while others are taking advantage of the chance to escape the cold.  In any case it was a great chance to connect again with some friars that I don't get to see too often.  On the more mundane side of things I've had the chance to put some order in my room which gets easily cluttered as I come and go from various preaching commitments.

   Most of you know that my book, The Wandering Friar, will soon be released.  In fact you can pre-order it now through the wonderful website that Tate Publishing has prepared for me--The Wandering Friar--The Book. What you don't know, my now released secret, is that I have so enjoyed working on this book that I have started another tentatively titled Following Jesus in the Footsteps of Francis: Franciscan Spirituality for everyone. The title pretty much says what it's about. I learned a lot in writing the first book about what to do and not to do while writing a book and I hope to apply the lessons learned with this one..  Stay tuned for developments on that.

   I am finding that my writing and my prayer life overlap, that one feeds the other.  That is a good thing.  Speaking of writing I have now been on Twitter for about a year.  I had shied away from that site thinking it to be nonsensical and shallow. Indeed, for much of it is, but last year a friend challenged me to sign up for it and to write a message for every day of Lent.  I did it and it was well-received.  Since then I have written frequent, though not daily,messages. I stick strictly to faith related topics and followers, no sports, gossip, movies, etc., and it has worked out well.Also, everything on Twitter has to be 140 characters or less and that is a challenge, I do plan to do the forty days of Lent again this year.  If your interested you can check it out by going to Twitter.com and then searching for @FrJohnAnglinOFM


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