Archive for June 25th, 2016

My spiritual director, a Franciscan Friar of over 64 years, ( starting with membership in the Third Order), lies dying at the age of 93. Born Wendell Walton Jr., Br. Dunstan is the epitome of the Franciscan charism: a man who saw Christ in all people and in the natural world. A master gardener who genuinely loved plants and animals alike, ” Dunny” was often overheard speaking to his flowers and wild animals. A striking and memorable scene was his perfect repose seated in the garden outside Little Portion Friary as a chipmunk walked up his leg and came to peaceful rest on his shoulder: a true brother of all God’s creatures. 

This simple man with so genuine a spirit was the ” real deal” and those privileged to know and love him need no convincing that they walked with a living Saint. How does one repay the great debt of fellowship and learning from an elder soul such as this? There is only one way: to honor his gift to me by offering myself to Christ as he did; to walk in the way of love and authenticity and to embrace the freedom of living with open Heart, Mind and Will. 

Brother Dunstan would often break out in spontaneous song much as Francis himself was said to do. On one occasion, he sang praises to Christ with his own lyrics to the tune of ” Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” This humble man brought perspective to issues by his centered presence alone and his prayerful way of life and a smile and attention that clearly recognized Christ everywhere. 

Of the lessons I’ve learned from Dunny none are greater than this: Every moment and every breath is a great Amen and every action is prayer. 

I pray if it be the Will of God, that he recovers against all medical odds and has more time with us. His has been a good and extraordinary life. 

Rest my Brother, be at peace, dear Father. In God’s time, we will surely sit together again and talk over the greatness of small and simple things. 

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