Monday, October 04, 2010
That kind of holiness is attractive--we know this well from our experience of Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul. In the 13th century, without benefit of any form of media technology, stories of Francis spread across Europe durin g his (woefully brief) lifetime. Thousands left their homes and businesses to become friars with him; well-to-do women slipped away from their comfortable homes and familial expectations to live in extreme poverty as "Poor Ladies"; other men and women created a new form of consecrated life in order to take Francis' spiritual approach to life into the heart of the family. Even in his lifetime, he was probably the most famous person on earth.
And Francis, Catholic and Christian that he was, had a missionary heart. In an era of Crusades, he sought not to conquer, but to convert the "Turks," and, though failing in that quest, he created cross-cultural relationships that endure to this day in the form of the Franciscan presence and influence in the Holy Land! The man was 1,000 years ahead of his time! But that is because he was "the most Christ-like man since Christ."
His feast day calls to all of us, as if in the words of St. Paul: "Imitate me as I imitate Christ."
Does St. Francis have a special place in your life?
Posted by Sr Anne Flanagan at 4:05 AM