Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi
A helpful yet challenging point for reflection and examen in my life has been this: if the Catholic faith were proven false, how much would I change the way I live my life? In other words, to what extent do I actually live based on the faith I profess?
St. Francis’s life provides an example of someone whose faith was undoubtably the source of his lifestyle. When I was in college I ran across Nikos Kazantzakis’ book on St. Francis. Whatever one thinks of his approach to other religious topics, this book made a deep impression on me. Until then, I had only thought of St. Francis as a lover of animals. I knew nothing about the extremes of his poverty, the thirst he had for sharing the lowly lot of his Lord, or the stigmata he received while in ecstatic prayer. What is undeniably clear is that nothing about St. Francis makes any sense unless the Catholic faith is true in its entirety. It is this that makes the lives of saints an absolutely necessary component of the Church’s mission to the world. They – and we in our own way – illustrate the truth of the Gospel with examples. Let us ask ourselves, and God, how we can better live up to this calling.