I am a massive fan of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFRs), and especially their podcast “Poco a Poco.” It’s always so good, and so relevant. I typically listen to a single episode 3-5 times over the course of a week, THAT’S how good and rich it is.

Last week’s episode in particular struck me so deeply. I highly recommend listening to the whole thing, but there’s a specific part at 28:40 that I re-wound over and over:

“In relationship with the Lord, I possess the truth of who I am, and [can then] give it away, to bless others in the fruitfulness of life in the spirit, fruitfulness of charisms and how God wants to use me. [But] if I don’t live in relationship, [my efforts become] labor, it’s work, it’s burdensome. That’s also fruitful – but what kind of fruit is that? [The fruit of that work is the] depression we see, the anxiety we see, the fear we see, the control we take. It’s fear and judgement. It looks differently.”

I’ve always been so drawn to the idea of bearing fruit that abides, that lasts. I pray daily for an increase of the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. But I’ve never considered the fact that depression, anxiety, worry, and fear are fruits, too. They’re the fruits of a life that is lived apart from God, without reliance and trust in His providence.

So this past week, I’ve paused at the end of each day and asked myself, “What is the fruit of today?” Is it anxiety, or peace? Is it joy, or fear? Is it hope, or restlessness? And whatever it is, why is that? Is it because I’m living, fully present and hopeful here and now? Or is it because I’m grasping, reaching, and fighting for something I don’t quite trust God to provide for me?

I invite you to try this exercise this week, and of course, to check out this podcast here.

In Christ,

Jane

What I’m loving right now:

Give Up Control for Lent

This YouTube video from the CFRs (apparently, this week’s newsletter is all CFRs, all the time!) is so so good. At their recommendation, I began praying the Angelus on Saturday (but at 8am, noon, and 6pm, because I’m a student and I’m not awake at 6am haha), and it’s already having a profound impact on my days. I’ll definitely be doing it throughout Lent!

Ep. 69 | Pursuing Creative Endeavors, cancer at 25, and walking with others through suffering with Clara Johsens

Today I have the incredible Clara Johsens on the show! We talk about the story behind her handmade jewelry business (truly the most beautiful earrings ever!) and how she pursues her creative passion on top of a full-time job. We also talk about the diagnosis she received about a year ago, and how to best support people as they walk through suffering and tough situations. It’s always a delight to chat with Clara and I’m so excited to share this conversation with you! Listen on Spotify, iTunes, or Anchor!

Ash Wednesday is tomorrow!!

Can you believe that Lent begins TOMORROW? I truly cannot. I’m excited (?!) to enter into the desert with Jesus and see what He has in store for me over these next 40 days. This year, I’m really leaning into making small, frequent commitments that bring God into my daily life (see: the Angelus above). Have you ever had a particularly fruitful Lent? I have to say my best Lent was probably the year I gave up being late… I realized how much I push the envelope on getting places on time, and also realized how late everyone else usually is! I often had 5-15 minutes to pray a rosary or reflect on the daily readings while I waited for other people, so it was a win-win! If you’re looking for something different to give up, I do recommend that one 🙂

Prayer Requests

  • For all the members of this community and their intentions!
  • For a community member struggling with insomnia, and for all those struggling to sleep
  • For a prayerful and faithful Lenten season

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Jane Kennedy

Jane Kennedy

Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.

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