Peace be with you!

My name is Nader Ata. I am a Conventual Franciscan Friar of the Our Lady of Angels Province, USA. I am a transitional deacon preparing for Priesthood Ordination in the fall.

Seeking to live with Franciscan Joy each and every day!

*All of photos on this blog were taken by me unless noted otherwise. Please ask permission before using them. Thank You!*

*Also I am not the greatest speller or writer in the world, so please let me know if something is misspelled. Thank you!"


Monday, October 18, 2010

Semana Franciscana 1 of 5

Well I am one day late, but that is better than one month late :).  Anyway the Feast of St. Francis is a big deal here at Colegio St. Francis.  They have a whole week's worth of events and activities as you can tell from my previous post.  This post will focus on Semana Franciscana as a whole and my thoughts about the theme. The theme for Semana Franciscana 2010 was Construyendo Puentes de Fraternidad or in English Franciscan Week 2010: Building Fraternal Bridges. Below is the logo used for the week.

Before Semana Franciscana, I never really thought about bridges too much. I like looking at them and I have crossed many of them in my lifetime. Well bridges are actually a pretty cool object to reflect upon.  A bridge connect two distinct locations that prior to the bridge being constructed, did not have a physical connection.  Also a bridge cannot be built by one person alone, so you need to work together for the bridge to be built and for it to last. Building a bridge opens up so many more avenues to communication for the once separate locations.  Now here I am talking just about physical bridges as the ones pictured below in a mural that was located at the entrance of the Primary school.
But what about Fraternal Bridges!  These are bridges that cross more than just land, but genders, races, religions, sexuality, nationalities, languages, social classes, and hearts.  We are called to build fraternal bridges. Which means that we build the bridge even when it is difficult, even when it will cost us, even when it will cause pain, and even when the person, place, or thing on the other side does not want us to build the bridge. This bridges we can do alone or maintain them alone, they must be constructed as a community, even if the only other member of that community is God. I say this because I have helped to build fraternal bridges when no one else wanted to and the only builder with me was God.

Building Fraternal Bridges out of love, respect, honer, faith, and hope is a tremendous task.  I think that St. Francis helps to show us that. Based on the example of Jesus in the Gospels, St. Francis build fraternal bridges and laid the foundations for other bridges throughout his life.  He built bridges between the rich and the poor, the healthy and the unhealthy (lepers), humanity and the rest of creation, contemplation and activity, Christians and Muslims, the people of God and the Pope, and humans with their God.

I am no expert on building fraternal bridges, but I am willing to try to build them anyway one day at a time with God as my guide.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

:) T. Ile