The Sisters and Associates of St. Francis, Oldenburg, celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4th. This is a time of great celebration, but also one of reflection on our mission as peace-makers with all people and all creation. The following is a letter from our Congregational Minister, S. Christ Franzer, with words of peace and challenge to all. She begins the letter with “Peace and all good!”
Pax et bonum!
Thomas of Celano writes of this saint whose feast we celebrate today: “Francis went around the cities and villages, proclaiming the kingdom of God and preaching peace. . .” At that time, it surely seemed a new light had been sent from heaven to earth driving away the darkness that had so nearly covered the whole region that hardly anyone knew where to turn. He gleamed like a shining star in the darkness of night and like the morning spread over the darkness.”
Recently I was re-reading a letter from the International Franciscan Conference. While they spoke of the year 2018, it seems that letter is equally true today:
“In our time, in this year 2019, we too feel enveloped in a darkness
that daily sunshine does not dispel. Darkness in our society and in
our church, insidiously pervading our lives and penetrating the lives
of those we love and to whom we minister, often in crisis proportion.
We yearn for light, yet know we must become LIGHT to dispel the
darkness, a new light in our time as Francis was in his. We are called
to see and to listen, called to be faithful and creative in our response
of being a peace-presence within the turmoil. On this feast of Francis. . .
let us see how we can be a new light. Let us be heralds of peace, bringing
our desire for peace to reality every day. . .”
“Being a peace-presence. . .” Can that be said of you? Of me? Are our words calming, rather than stirring up anxiety or fear? Do we affirm one another, rather than criticizing? “We are called to be creative in our response of being a peace-presence within the turmoil.” How are you responding to your call?
May we each bring peace and light into the dark corners of our world!
Feast Day blessings,
for the General Council