Thoughts from your Regional Formation Director – November 2016

Following the Gift of God’s Mercy

As we come to the close of the “Year of Mercy” on November 20th, you and I can look back and recollect, how did I cultivate mercy in my daily life? In our family? And how about in our fraternities?

Undoubtly there are many issues within the Church being revisited as a result of the “Year of Mercy.” We know that mercy is not something we should live just for one year. It is to be forefront as compassion in our lives, so we may be the mercy of God to all we meet.

I’d like to share a few excerpts taken from the text, The Life of Saint Francis” written by St. Bonaventure (1217-1274) taken from the very Prologue to the biography. Bonaventure writes that one of the Divine perfections that is clearly reflected in St. Francis was Divine Mercy. (pg.105)

In these latter days the grace of God our Savior has appeared in his servant Francis and to all who are truly humble and a lover of holy poverty. In him they can venerate God’s superabundant mercy and be taught by his example to live in conformity with Christ, and to thirst after blessed hope with unfailing desire. In (Chap.11) section 6. Another time a woman devoted to God had an abusive husband who hindered her in the service of Christ. She besought the holy man to pray for her, that God of His clemency would soften the heart of her husband. “Go in peace” said the man of God, for in a short time you will receive consolation from thy husband, and he added: “Tell him from God and from me that now is the time of Mercy. It shall be a time of justice. And so returning home the woman gave the message to her husband and suddenly the Holy Spirit fell upon him, and in a mild voice he uttered “Lady let us serve the Lord and save our souls.

In a biography entitled: Francis of Assisi The man who found perfect joy, Michael de la Bedoyere writes that when Francis lay dying he asked his brothers to sing with him “The Canticle of the Sun” which he composed in praise of his Creator. It was Brother Elias who protested and asked Francis “Should you not keep recollected and silent” pg.302 Francis replied “O let me rejoice in Him for all my sufferings and by grace feel so close to the Lord, that in the knowledge of His mercy, I can sing again.

Resource: The Message of Saint Francis and Divine Mercy by the Marians of the Immaculate Conception

Resource: Introduction to Compassion Living In the Spirit of St. Francis    Ilia Delio O.S.F.

The transformation into love in Francis life making whole of the scattered fragments of life was compassion. Francis is an art of healing broken hearts by collecting the tears of the forgotten, frightened and the lonely in his hands holding the wounded as his kin. He entered the world of the stranger and made him his brother. He learned to love what was weak, fragile and to care for what the world discarded.

The Life of St. Francis by Bonaventure,  for your research Chapters 9,26,&45 (on mercy)

In closing, let us ask ourselves this question “How have we shown mercy in our lives”?

May God who is rich in mercy, give us the grace of a merciful heart. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!!

Rose

1 comment to Thoughts from your Regional Formation Director – November 2016

  • Candy Bakasy

    Rose thank you for reminding us that mercy is not just for a year but a life time. I tried taking advantage of going thru the doors of mercy as often as I could. As a matter of fact I finished up last Saturday at the Shrine of St John Neumann with my 7 yr old grandchild. Also trying to always soften my heart toward others and not be judgmental.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving

    Candy Bakasy
    St Francis Inn Fraternity

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