We are fools on Christ’s account, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clad and roughly treated, we wander about homeless and we toil, working with our own hands. When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we respond gently. We have become like the world’s rubbish, the scum of all, to this very moment.
I Cor. 4: 10-13
St. Francis of Assisi was probably mocked more than any other person in the Church. He did everything wrong, didn’t he? He could have continued a fine military career, or gone into a lucrative business. He could have dressed in the finest silks and spent his Saturday nights drinking the finest wine, then gone to Mass on Sundays and contributed to his parish’s coffers.
That would have been the sensible way to live his life. But you also have to admit—it sounds pretty joyless, doesn’t it?
By turning his back on the new urban scene of merchants and money, Francis discovered joy. He did what we often forget to do: he was present in every moment. He wasn’t thinking about what would happen tomorrow and he wasn’t regretting what happened yesterday. He was a man alive in God’s beautiful creation and he was breathing in… joy.
He walked through nature and noticed it: the birds, the moon, the trees. Everyone thought him a madman, but that doesn’t seem to have bothered him in the least. A fool “on Christ’s account,” he followed St. Paul’s admonitions: he endured, he blessed, he responded gently. He answered negativity out of his own deep reservoir of joy in Christ.
What do you have to be joyful about today? Can you share your feeling with others?
Jeannette de Beauvoir
“I joined My Sisters for a dollar for the first month and I not only found real answers to my questions, but the Sisters were funny, engaging, and actually really practical. AND the community is vibrant, and we help each other out. My Sisters is way more than I anticipated. I can hardly believe it. Totally practical, solid strategies for faith in the mess I call life—when I’m with my kids, at work, or in the in-between times…We are all seeking peace and joy and clarity … I have found a bit of that sparkle in My Sisters. I feel closer to God and I now I KNOW God is closer to me.” CJ
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