Reflections on the Wisdom from St. Francis
by Fr. Bobby
"It seems to me if the Lord had shown as much mercy to the greatest criminal in the whole world as He has shown to me, that person would be more grateful than I am." (St. Francis to Br. Masseo)
We all know that St. Francis was a man of great humility. It is also good to remember the source of that humility: his encounter with the gracious gift of God's love. Francis knew himself well enough to realize that nothing he had done, or could do, would ever earn God's love and mercy, and that without that mercy he would be absolutely nothing. Francis also knew that the only response to God's freely given love was to be thankful, and respond with his own love. This is why he tried each day to express gratitude to God and treat others, especially those most in need, with compassion, courtesy, and understanding. As Jesus tells in today's parable (Mt. 20:1-16), God gives us not what we've earned, but what we need, and then asks us to do the same for others. This is what Francis did, as best he could, and God was pleased and gave him blessings and grace each day. May the Lord bless and keep you always!
Fr. Robert Barbato, OFM Cap, is the Vicar and Student Director at St. Conrad Friary–Capuchin House of Studies in Berkeley.
As Capuchin Franciscans we follow St. Francis of Assisi as brothers, living the Gospel in prayer, fraternity and ministry, witnessing simply to Jesus Christ and the Church as a joyful presence of hope and salvation to all, especially to those most in need.
PRAYER - Rooted in our Capuchin contemplative tradition and expressed in many forms
As followers of St. Francis, desiring to be conformed more perfectly to the crucified and risen Christ
- We affirm that our prayer is rooted in our Capuchin contemplative tradition and is expressed in many forms.
- We seek to witness both personally and communally to affective prayer.
- We seek to become a living prayer and joyful presence to draw others to Christ.
FRATERNITY - Rooted in mutual love, humble reverence and respect for one another and for all people
We Capuchins are friars minor, rooted in mutual love, humble reverence and respect for one another and for all people.
- Individually and communally, we commit ourselves to be in greater solidarity with the poor.
- We manifest a compassionate caring attitude toward one another as brothers.
- We affirm, animate, support and encourage the building of community.
MINORITY - Following the meek and humble Christ and sharing our joy as lesser brothers by walking with people of every social condition
As brothers of St. Francis, we faithfully follow the meek and humble Christ.
- We cultivate a disposition of humility and respect of the dignity of others.
- We share our joy as lesser brothers by walking with people of every social condition and by being instruments of reconciliation.
- We commit ourselves to the evaluation of our lifestyle, both individually and communally.