Today is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. –St. Francis of Assisi.
Francis loved everyone and everything. He has been called “alter Christus” or other Christ and with good reason. Today I reflect on what it means to be a Franciscan and upon the legacy of our seraphic father Francis. Francis often is credited with the St. Francis Prayer and though it is one of my favorites the following prayer is very Franciscan and is one that animates my life.
“May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain to joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.