Friar Jack Muses About All Saints
All Saints Day is November 1. I'd like to share with you some
musings about my favorite saint, Francis of Assisi. He knew
the secret that all the saints know. Everyone familiar with
the life of St. Francis knows that a big moment of his conversion
was his kissing of a leper that he met along the road. Kissing
the leper was a great act of selfless love. The experience seemed
to open up a deep well of love within St. Francis and to open
his eyes to a God who wanted to love him in a way similar to
his loving the leper.
In St. Bonaventure's LIFE OF ST. FRANCIS, Bonaventure describes
how Francis--shortly after the leper episode--had an amazing
vision. It's almost as if Francis' loving gesture toward the
leper triggered in his own mind a deep insight into how intensely
God loved him.
"One day," writes Bonaventure, "while Francis
was praying in a secluded spot and became totally absorbed in
God..., Jesus Christ appeared to him fastened to a Cross."
Then, writes Bonaventure, "Francis' soul melted at the
sight." This was not just a momentary good feeling for
Francis. As Bonaventure writes: "The memory of Christ's
passion was so impressed on the innermost recesses of Francis'
heart that from that hour, whenever Christ's crucifixion came
to his mind, he could scarcely contain his tearsand sighs...."
Francis, like many of the saints, had a tremendous love for
the cross. For him, the Cross was the symbol of God's total,
self-giving, self-emptying love. It's as if Francis saw, behind
the image of the Crucified Jesus, a roaring furnace of divine
love. That's the secret of all the saints. That's why the words
of St. Paul apply so perfectly to the saints: "May I never
boast of anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(Gal. 6:14). For Francis, the cross was the best expression
anyone can have of the overflowing love of God by which we are
JACK O'LANTERNS, SAINTS AND SOULS!:
AmericanCatholic.org celebrates All Hallows Eve with "How
Halloween Can Be Redeemed" including a read-aloud story,
"The Tale of the Jack O'Lantern": http://www.AmericanCatholic.org/Features/Halloween/.
See that Saints are holy and human and receive answers for questions
like "Do saints hear our prayers?" or "Are statues
idols?' or "What are Seraphic saints?" at ACO's "All
Saints" feature: http://www.AmericanCatholic.org/Features/Saints/
St. Anthony Messenger Online features Bill Hemmer: CNN's Emmy-winning
News Anchor. Hemmer says his Catholic faith and family have
taught him valuable lessons. Young journalist Hemmer states,
"In my humble opinion, the six billion of us on this planet
have one main concern: trying to make our lives and the lives
of the people around us better." By Donna Palmatary
RETREAT WITH A SAINT THIS MONTH:
Further your understanding of a particular saint this All Saints
Day by ordering one of the "A Retreat With" series
books. From St. Ignatius to St. Patrick to Mother Teresa, go
on a seven-day retreat and be inspired by these saints who model
Christian living for us today. Search
our catalog pages for all the books from this growing series.
REDEEM HALLOWEEN AND SEND AN E-GREETING:
Send an All Hallows Eve e-Greeting. Both sender and recipient
are invited to follow a link to its companion, the CATHOLIC
UPDATE article, "How Halloween Can Be Redeemed," a
popular explanation of the Christian roots of Halloween, and
the colorful tale of Jack O'Lantern.
WHY DO CATHOLICS PRAY FOR THE DEAD?:
In November, Fr. Pat's "Ask a Franciscan" answers
the commonly posedquestion, "Why do Catholics pray for
the dead?" Find the answer at http://www.AmericanCatholic.org/Messenger/Nov2000/Wiseman.asp.
As always, please continue to submit your questions about the Catholic faith to "Ask a Franciscan."
FRIAR JACK'S CHOSEN SITE:
Check out one of the most extensive saints' listings on the
net, the saints page at Catholic Online: http://saints.catholic.org.
As always, please E-mail your suggestions and comments to:mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy All Saints Day! Pax et bonum! (Peace and all good!)
--Jack Wintz, O.F.M
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