The Sunrise of the Soul

Prayer slows down the frenzied pace of life.

Prayer prompts us to reach out in compassion
to the suffering and weak,
and helps us embrace all of humanity.

Prayer is the sunrise of the soul.

Excuses

Oh how easily we compromise our sin,
make excuses for it,
become comfortable with it.
And when we do so,
we compound and deepen our sin.

Prayer is the only weapon we need.

Hidden and Visible

Every day I experience God
both as distant and near,
both hidden and visible.
Each day presents me with opportunities
to grow in awareness of God’s presence.
The door to God opens every day.
Each day I must enter the door.
And wait.
The cumulative effect of entering and waiting
allows God to enter
and animate God’s presence within me.

Wings

The hunger for God is insatiable.
The more the soul glimpses of God,
the greater the hunger for God.

To be in love is to be attentive to the object of your love.
Which is why contemplation is vital if you love God.

Contemplation and compassion
are the wings of Christian life.

The Christian life is composed
of four essential elements:
prayer, community, service and study.

Glittering Radiance

The harsh and frightening realities
of sickness, hunger, suffering and death
cover the earth, plaguing all its inhabitants,
each of whom is crying out
for the eager embrace of God’s love.
But we do not have to wait.
God’s loving arms are
always open and welcoming.
All we need to do
is to turn toward God
and accept the divine hug
that awaits each of us.

In the glittering radiance of God’s light
chaos and darkness
takes flight.

Blessed Are the Poor

Jesus was poor because he chose to be poor.
He divested himself of the richness of his divinity
in order to be in solidarity with the poverty of our humanity.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor.”
We say, “Hide the poor,”
because they make us uncomfortable.

The way we treat the poor and the weak
reflects our essential and guiding view of life;
but, more important, it is the way Christ evaluates our lives.

Whenever I use the possessive words “my” and “mine,”
I am separating myself from others and from God.
All that I am belongs to God.

As long as my attention
is turned away from God and toward myself,
true human development ceases.

The meek are the only ones strong enough
to break down the walls of fear
that separates people.
Fear is at the core of all human conflict.

Beach Book

Later this year, Tau Publishing of Phoenix, Arizona will be publishing two new books of mine. One will feature my Haitian Advent Journal from last December. The other will a book I’ve been working on for years…it is titled THE CANVAS OF MY SOUL: A Filmmaker’s Journey with Saint Francis and Thomas Merton to the Peripheries of Poverty and Prayer.

Last summer Tau Publishing released a revised and updated version of my book The Sun & Moon Over Assisi. They released this new edition of the book in both hardcover and paperback. Writing that book changed the course of my life and led me to create my own ministry of serving the poor through the power of film. The book was published in 2000 and was named the best spirituality hardcover book of the year by the Catholic Press Association. A paperback version was published in 2008. But both the original hardcover and paperback have been out of print for many years. I am thrilled the book has been resurrected…and improved. The mission of Tau Publishing is to promote Franciscan Spirituality and Franciscan authors. They need to sell books in order to continue publishing books. I strongly urge you to visit the following link, and check out The Sun & Moon Over Assisi.

http://taupublishing.org/giftShopProducts.aspx?cat=209

And also take a moment to see other wonderful books published by Tau Publishing, including the recently released spiritual autobiography of Murray Bodo, OFM, who is, in my opinion, the best living Franciscan writer today. Any book by Fr. Murray is worth reading. Speaking about The Sun & Moon Over Assisi, Fr. Murray said, “Straub presents…a Francis and Clare who ring true on every page,” adding that the book takes the reader on “a profoundly human pilgrimage.”

Peace and blessings,

Gerry Straub


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