Who is called? 

One goes into solitude not to escape the world or people but rather to find the world deep within. One goes into the solitary prayer place to be or become more than a friend.

Many are called, few are chosen. Love is an act of the will and such a ministry demands an act of love. Love then is a choice. We see that many are called.

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St. Bonaventure, a true spiritual disciple of Francis, was also a Bishop/Cardinal in the Latin rite and the General of the Franciscan Order. He was also a Doctor of the Church and thus a great theologian. In one of his works, he stated something interesting and appropriate to Loci Ministries.

"When the world moves toward its consummation, the Church will find in its midst solitaries and small communities who consciously or unconsciously live out their lives in a way very similar to Francis."

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Perhaps the time has come -- if we read the signs of our times -- that the church will once again find itself as an underground church.

Perhaps when the apparent Center of "Church" disappears then the body of Christ (in His little ones) will find a ministry most ancient and yet so new.

Francis considered himself the Herald of the great King Jesus the Lord, very much like a new John the Baptist. Could it be that the Loci Ministries aligned with and within the ECC+USA become models of this ancient and yet so new way of ministering?

Let us "Prepare the Way of the Lord" in the hearts of all the anawim -- the little ones.

The Ill:

There are many who suffer chronic or terminal illness. If it is true that the Christ appropriated to himself all guilt, sin, suffering and even death… and though he did not sin but became sin for our salvation…

Then the suffering we bear is not our own but His. Hence we become co-suffers in His martyrdom and thus make up in our bodies that which is lacking in Christ. We share in the salvific grace of Jesus.

Such sufferers as these are called.

The Lonely:

Many find themselves in isolation. There are the homebound, those in nursing homes and those who have chosen to be alone. The contemplative solitary is called to transform loneliness and isolation into solitude.

The lonely such as these are called.

 

The Solitaries:

There are hidden in the world many that remain nameless and are hidden. In their solitude they have chosen to suffer the difficult good of the martyrdom of contemplation. Some of these are connected with in a religious community of sorts. But there are others who are not associated to communities except in Spirit and Truth.

These solitaries are called.