Reflections on the Wisdom from St. Francis
by Fr. Bobby
"Lord, allow me to feel as much as possible in my body the pain which You went through for our sake, and feel as much as possible in my heart the love which led You to endure that passion." - Prayer of St. Francis on Mount La Verna
September 17 is the day on which Franciscans celebrate the Stigmata of St. Francis, the miracle by which he received in his body the marks of Christ's wounds on the cross. But as his prayer shows, Francis wanted to be 'marked' even more by the great love of Jesus Christ. Saint Francis told his brothers: "Consider in what great excellence the Lord God has placed you, for He created and formed you to the image of His Beloved Son according to the body and to His Likeness according to the spirit." God gave St. Francis the stigmata not for his sake, but as a gift to the whole church, to remind us all that we should give our lives, body and soul, into the hands of our loving and compassionate God, and let him transform us into the image of Christ. Few have been called to bear the physical marks of Christ's wounds; all are called to be transformed by His love. 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.