Saint Francis of Assisi
Today is the memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi, a pillar of the Church and a great saint admired by peoples of all times and persuasions.
The universality of Francis' charisma lies in the universality of his love. Once converted, he learned to love all with the impartial and unconditional love of Christ. He learned how to kiss the foot of the Master, who stooped to wash the feet of his disciples, in the poor and the lepers. Indeed, he learned to live the life of the downtrodden and the outcast in poverty and in humility. Francis' compassion even extended to all of God's creatures. He considered all creation his brothers and sisters.
This solidarity made him, even as he himself prayed, an instrument of God's peace. It is in realizing that we are brothers and sisters all can we find true peace in the world-a peace that is founded on truth and justice, a peace founded on the most stable soil of love.
As members of God's family, this is the inspiration Francis gives us. May we learn from him, by faithful contemplation of Jesus' self-giving love on the Cross, to stretch our arms to the whole world in love and solidarity so that we too may be channels of God's peace.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us!