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All Good Things
March 3, 2024

Speak the Truth in Love

I first heard this phrase from my Novice Director, Susan, many years ago. At that time she challenged me to deal with a particularly difficult situation with a Sister that I lived with in community. Anyone who’s ever lived in community knows what a miracle it is! What I didn’t realize all those years ago, when Susan helped me to learn to “speak the truth in love,” is what a wonderful gift this concept would be all through my life.

This past Christmas I was in California visiting one of the Franciscan Missions. I was praying in the front pew when two young boys, brothers around 5 and 6 years old wandered to the front of the church. Being typical curious boys, they were investigating the sanctuary and beautiful Nativity displayed near the altar. Suddenly, chanting could be heard. The oldest brother looked at me with widened eyes of amazement. I pointed to my ear and asked, “Did you hear that?” He nodded yes, as his eyes got even bigger. Without hesitation, he swung around and pointed to Jesus on the huge crucifix above the altar and asked, “Was that him?” I smiled and said, “No, no that wasn’t Him.”

In my moment of hesitation, I actually wanted to be able to respond, “Yes” to this young man. Yes, He will speak to your heart, as He spoke to Francis so very many years ago. In fact, He will speak to you all the days of your life, if only you’ll listen.

Jesus continually “spoke the truth in love” to the disciples even when it wasn’t easy.

Mark 9:35

Jesus sat down, called the twelve disciples, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must place himself last of all and be the servant of all.”

Luke 22:34

“I tell you, Peter,” Jesus said, “the rooster will not crow tonight until you have said three times that you do not know me.”

Matthew 16: 20–22

“Then Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. From that time on Jesus began to say plainly to his disciples, ‘I must go to Jerusalem and suffer much from the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. I will be put to death, but three days later I will be raised to life.’ Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, ‘God forbid it, Lord!’ he said. ‘That must never happen to you!’”

May we each silence our hearts during this Lenten season and open ourselves to what God is revealing to us in our day to day lives; and may God grace us with the courage to “speak the truth in love” throughout our lives.

Linda Dees
Franciscan Sisters of Allegany
Associate Co-Director

Jesus Speaking

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