Francis of Assisi appears in gardens and front lawns around the world. Holding a dove in one hand and a bird bath in the other, he is a symbol of good will who enjoys a unique universal appeal. Indeed, people from all sorts of cultural and religious, or non-religious, traditions are attracted to his loving version of humanity. Yet, do we see that beneath the gentle and sentimental exterior, there is the spiritual man, painfully aware of his capacity to sin and unapologetically dependent upon the living God. Francis kept vigil, slept on the ground, fasted, prayed with Scripture, preached, reached out in service to the poor, and respected the authority of the Church. His ability to connect with people and capture the imagination was thus not just some kind of natural charisma, but a firm decision, a constant commitment, to make Christ the center of his life (so much so that he bore the very wounds of Christ in his hands and feet!). You and I would be agents of reconciliation and ambassadors of peace if we too allowed Christ, especially crucified, to be the point of reference for each and every one of our relationships (cf. Eph 2:13-22). We would attract others like Francis if we too imaged the invisible God (Col 1:15) with bold risk-taking and unhesitating generosity. May we become like Christ precisely by becoming like his Francis. Ave Crux, Spes Unica.
Published by Brother Phil and Ben
Phillip Smith and Benjamin Rossi established The Voice of Moreau blog on September 15, 2018. View all posts by Brother Phil and Ben