Lacking hope, we don’t really believe God can make us happy, and so we construct our happiness out of covetousness and lust. We don’t wait to find the fullness of our existence in God, and so we shape an artificial identity grounded in pride. Or else—the most common condition among people of good will—we would like to love and be generous in loving and giving ourselves, but we are held back by fears, hesitations, and worries. Lack of trust in what God’s grace can do in our lives, and what we can do with his help, leads to a shrinkage of the heart, a lessening of charity. But, as St. Thérèse of Lisieux said, trust leads to love.
At this point, Cangelosi [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][in Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment] makes an astounding statement, “The Brothers and Sisters of Penance are asked to offer, constantly and in all the circumstances of life, the supreme proof of their fidelity to God.” There is no place where the Secular Franciscan is excused from living out the Rule. There is no circumstance where the Secular Franciscan cannot find a way to preach the Gospel by word and deed.
Christ was never much concerned with the successful: the successful don’t need him. He was concerned with the poor in spirit, the clueless, the broken, the ones who can’t fit in no matter how hard we try. No one knew better than Christ that deep in the human heart is the tremulous, desperate hope that we have not been forgotten. When we have been stripped down to nothing, deep in our souls is the urge to head toward the innocent man who was nailed to the Cross because maybe he, at least, can understand.
That is why we tell everyone: “Come and see!” In every human situation, marked by frailty, sin and death, the Good News is no mere matter of words, but a testimony to unconditional and faithful love: it is about leaving ourselves behind and encountering others, being close to those crushed by life’s troubles, sharing with the needy, standing at the side of the sick, elderly and the outcast… “Come and see!”: Love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness.
With this joyful certainty in our hearts, today we turn to you, risen Lord!
Pope Francis, Easter ‘Urbi et Orbi’ Message
The assurance of faithfulness to Franciscan living grows out of one’s life with God, not merely out of an external conformity to practices and prescriptions. Accordingly, the new (Secular Franciscan) rule demands much and promises great things. For this reason our hopes are high that those who live this way of life will truly “renew the face of the earth” and usher in a new era of holiness and Franciscan impact.
~ Benet A. Fonck, OFM, Called to Proclaim Christ
Extend your mercy towards others, so that there can be no one in need whom you meet without helping. For what hope is there for us if God should withdraw His Mercy from us?
~ Saint Vincent de Paul, via OH……….. FRANCESCO
He was penniless, he was parentless, he was to all appearance without a trade or a plan or a hope in the world; and as he went under the frosty trees, he burst suddenly into song.
~G.K. Chesterton, Saint Francis of Assisi