Thursday, April 10, 2014

Appearances are not the end or St. Francis of Assisi

And this is why Francis loved the poor so much. It was in embracing the poor that he embraced Jesus. It was in serving the poor that he served Jesus. It was in loving the poor that he loved Jesus. All because Jesus first embraced, served and loved him. 

At the heart of Francis is the heart of Jesus. There’s nothing cute about that. 
This is a quote directly from a very insightful blog entry by Father Damian J. Ference.

The blog starts out talking about how everyone knows St. Francis- he is recognizable, he is a "comfortable" saint.  He loved animals.  This is true.

However, it is just one dimension of St. Francis.  I have read several biographies of this great Saint of our Church.

If you would like to know more about St. Francis in particular send me a message and I can recommend a book or check out the blog entry above, it is wonderful!

I wanted to reflect today on outward appearances- they can be deceiving.

Statues of St. Francis show him in general, holding a bird in his hand, sometimes with a bird feeder on his head.  As you can see from the photo above I own a statue of St. Francis- it belonged to my grandmother, who had a great devotion to St. Francis and knew his story.  That statue is a cement garden statute but has never been kept in the garden.

Our respect for St. Francis is too great. He is holy.  He is a Saint.  He is not in the statue, no.  But, he is somewhere better- he is in heaven! With God! And, because he is a great Saint those of us here on earth can pray for his intercession (we can ask for him to pray for us) as we would with a friend here on earth.

And because St. Francis is a great Saint, we hope that he is close to God in heaven, we hope that he hears our requests for intercession.  We hope that as we pray to God ourselves, and light candles, and say the rosary, St. Francis will also pray for us.

But, St. Francis is a Saint- he is in heaven, with God.  So he can more easily speak to God, because of his physical location.  It is always better to have more prayers in my opinion.  Prayers are so powerful.

In the end, what do we have?  Prayer, friends, God and family.

Also, I would like to say this- because I forget all the time 1. Love God  2. Love yourself  3. Love your neighbor as yourself

It is a very simple formula but actually very difficult to accomplish.  So I pray.  And I ask Saints to pray for me.  And I find Saints all the time that I personally admire and I ask them to pray also.

So if there is something about St. Francis that you like- the birds- the animals- whatever :)

Ask him to pray for you- he is a Saint.

For me this is the St. Francis I know- here he is, but there is no statue of this St. Francis only paintings.  This  St. Francis is embracing Jesus, loving our crucified Savior.   That is why I love and ask St. Francis to pray for me- because I would also like to embrace the crucified One.

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