Today the christian world commemorates and remembers the life of St. Francis from the town of Assisi in Italy (1180-1223). Our world is in need of peace, an inner peace, a peace within families, a peace between nations; simply put, we are in need of peace!
St. Francis, when he began following Jesus and the message of the Gospel, promoted peace; an inner peace, a peace between us and God, and a peace among nations. Francis chose to freely give of all he had to focus on action, on helping others to find their peace. As I often write, action is necessary for not only helping ourselves gain inner peace and contentment, but action is needed for us to work on changing the world. Francis did not give of everything and hide, he publicly ministered to all in need, especially those outcast by society.
“His poverty is a way of acting, of choosing, rather than a passive vicimhood that lets things happen to him. It is love and not, as is sometimes thought, self-hatred or the desire to punish himself … that impels him to embrace Lady Poverty. …(it) enables Francis to become poor, to see the world as God sees it.”
If we want peace we need to take action to make peace happen. We need to take time each day in meditation to seek within ourselves the passion to act in a way which will show others peace. In meditation we can slow ourselves to notice our feelings, our strengths, our weaknesses, the beauty of the created world around us, the sense of our higher power, our God. As we seek ourselves we are led outside of ourselves; yet if we continue to live in the busyness of our lives we will not truly come to realize that which is within.
“The radicalness of St. Francis is not in his poverty but in his response to the Gospel of Jesus. He lives it. And that is what is so astounding to the people of his time. They don’t think it can be done. Nor do we today. The life of St. Francis says that the Gospel is a way of life and not a series of platitudes to make us feel good on Sunday morning. Francis’ whole life is a proclamation that the love of neighbor can only be secured when the Gospel is lived sincerely, when the Word of God moves people to make decisions that radically change their lives.” – Murray Bodo, OFM
If we want peace, we need to take action to make it happen.
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