Today we celebrate the feast of St. Francis. As his spiritual daughters, we were all drawn for different reasons to follow his example in this way of life. Over the summer, I took an informal poll of what ONE word sisters would use to describe Francis. I received answers such as: joy, humility, simplicity, poverty, love, human, and even crazy. The word that comes to mind immediately when I recall all that I have learned about Francis through his writings and other sources is PASSION. The word passion carries with it a sense of totality, burning love and intensity that I think embodies St. Francis. St. Francis was a man who knew who he was and what he was about. He threw himself whole-heartedly into every task with reckless abandon. He did all things inflamed with a supernatural love of God. His deep love for God moved him to give all to Christ crucified, even if he looked a little crazy at times. He was a man who lived and loved the passion of Christ in such an intense manner that he received the wounds of Christ and experienced in himself the intense love with which our Savior loved us unto death. While many reduce Francis to the animal lover, I have come to know him as much more. As much as he did care for bunnies, birds and wolves (because he recognized their common fatherhood in God), his true love was Jesus Christ: in the Crib, on the Cross, and in the Holy Eucharist. That was his passion. Being Franciscan and following the way of this man who died 784 years ago is all about living this same passion: loving intensely and giving all for God who is my all.
- Sister M. Karolyn, FSGM