Our Lady and St. Francis: Each a Resounding ‘Yes’ to God
Fr. Dan Horan OFM, invites us, on the Feast of the Stigmata —to look within, see how each of us does or does not bear the marks of Christ in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Perhaps we won't receive the marks of Christ in the form of five wounds, but we could certainly—and should certainly—make visible the presence of Christ in every other way. How are we called to make visible the presence of Christ to others?
he feast of the Stigmata is a reminder of the power of love, as seen in the opening prayer for the feast day Mass:
“Lord Jesus Christ, who reproduced in the flesh of the most blessed Francis, the sacred marks of your own sufferings, so that in a world grown cold our hearts might be filled with burning love of you, graciously enable us by his merits and prayers to bear the cross without faltering and to bring forth worthy fruits of penitence: You who are God, living and reigning with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.”
Pace e Bene +
Minister, San Luis Rey
Art: Cimabue - Madonna Enthroned with the Child, St Francis and Four Angels, 1278-80. Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi
Honoring St. Clare
Sister Claire André Gagliardi, OSC, tells us that ‘Clare was a cofounder of the Franciscan movement, where Clare supported Francis as he discerned God’s message for himself and his followers. Together with her sisters, she wrote the first Rule written for religious women by a woman.’ Not only do we have Clare’s Rule, we also have the benefit of her spiritual insights through correspondence: her letters to Agnes of Prague. This was social distancing not due to disease, but due to geography.
In the days before cell phones, email, or Zoom, Clare and Agnes communicated via hand written letters personally carried back and forth between Bohemia and Assisi by Franciscan Friars as they made their dangerous travels on foot across Europe. Clare shared her insights about the spiritual life with Agnes in these letters. The letters span a time period of 19 years. The first letter first letter is very formal, Clare, as Abbess and leader of her own religious community, is addressing a Princess, the eldest daughter of a King. Clare shares her fascination in Jesus in this letter. The Second letter dwells on Poverty and Contemplation, Clare asks Agnes to gaze upon Christ, contemplate Christ. Clare encourages us to look prayerfully, to think deeply, and through contemplation, to become Christ-like: to see our reflection in Christ, and Christ’s reflection in us. In the third letter, Clare bolsters Agnes up in meeting the challenges in living a Franciscan life. The fourth and final letter is written near Clare’s death; the letter is full of peace and joy and is considered by many as ‘one of the most beautiful pieces of spiritual literature.’ I invite you to spend time with Clare’s letters; they are posted on our website here.
May God Bless you and Keep You and in this extended time of Coronavirus and separation from so many that we love, please God, we’ll meet again before too long.
Secular Franciscan Order
Old Mission San Luis Rey
4050 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92057
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