Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Holy Father, Saint Francis

Devotion to and love for St Francis of Assisi has endured for more than 800 years, and for good reason. Not only did Francis turn the 13 century upside down by kissing lepers and forcing his contemporaries to treat the chronically ill as people worthy of dignity, his life and lifestyle continue to inspire contemporary Christians to live simply, respect all creation and identify with the poor and sinners.

In a letter to a Minister Provincial that is typical of his passion and indicative of why so many love him, Francis writes: 
If you love the Lord and myself, His servant and yours, ...there (should) be no friar in the world, who  has sinned, as much as one could sin, that, after he has seen your eyes, never leaves without your mercy, if he seeks mercy. And if he would not seek mercy, you are to ask him, if he wants mercy. And if afterwards he would have sinned a thousand times before your eyes, love him more than me.
What a lesson for us living in a violent and wildly competitive world. Forgiveness is essential to any authentic reconciliation, and if we can believe the gospel, we must offer it to others not seven times but seventy seven time.(Mt 18:22) Only when we work in faith beyond what seems reasonable can we hope to bring peace to the world.

Today, forgive anyone who has hurt you.

What most impresses you about St Francis and Franciscans?

1 comment:

Please be discreet in your comments. I will monitor the comments, and only exclude those that are patently offensive.