This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Friday of the Twenty-Sixth Week In Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)
Jesus said to them, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. …Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
I usually don’t write about saints one can easily read about. But today’s saint is different. Today we are celebrating the life of St. Francis of Assisi. He is without doubt the most well-known and beloved saint in the world. He is admired and respected by both Christians and non-Christians. Even in the 21st century, his words and life continue to inspire all types of people: environmentalists, pacifists, animal lovers, the poor, the outcasts, the powerful and the non-believers. Why? Because his words and life continue to be an appropriate antidote to today’s hyper materialism and consumerism, selfish and utilitarian tendencies, warmongering and politicking mentalities.
In honor of his namesake, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the little town of Assisi. He blessed children. He blessed animals. He blessed world leaders. He blessed representatives of the world’s religions. He blessed everyone. This is what St. Francis would have done. This is what our beloved Pope is doing. And by blessing everyone, he is truly reaching out to everyone.
Humility is power. By far there is more power from the pinky of a saint than from the fist of a dictator. There is more wisdom from the mouth of a saint than from the mouth of a brain surgeon. There is more goodness and joy from the lives of the saints than from the lives of the rich and famous. St. Francis knew this. He even accepted it. Actually, he embraced it. He sold his fortune, gave it to the poor and received voilà! He received one hundred times more.
He came to realize what most parents come to realize (albeit a little late): The more you have, the worse you get.
It’s safe to say that prior to his conversion, Francis was the typical well-educated aristocratic spoiled brat. He thought he knew it all. He thought he had it all. He thought he was all. But deep down, he considered his origin to be that of mere matter; his dignity to be that of a mere animal; and his ultimate destiny to be that of mere death.
That was it. And he lived by it. And he would have died comfortably and obscurely in it, if he had not rejected it.
St. Francis rejected all forms of violence, all forms of scare tactics and all forms of manipulation to embrace God the Almighty.
You are great. You are the Most High, you are almighty. You, holy Father, are King of heaven and earth. You are love, you are wisdom. You are humility, you are endurance. You are rest, you are peace. You are joy and gladness, you are justice and moderation. You are all our riches, and you suffice for us. You are beauty. You are gentleness. You are our protector, you are our guardian and defender. You are courage. You are our haven and our hope. You are our faith, our great consolation. You are our eternal life, great and wonderful Lord, God almighty, merciful Savior.
What are the servants of God but his singers whose duty it is to lift up the hearts of men and women and move them to spiritual joy?
Have you lifted anyone’s heart today?
St. Francis, pray for us! And let’s keep the Holy Father in our prayers. (71)
Incoming search terms:
- pray for pinky
- saints protector of animals
- st francis of assissi animal blessing