March 30. Tuesday of Holy Week. Bruce introduced the reflection for the day. He reminded the group, “This one too is linking St Francis with an extract from the 1st reading of the day.”
From the Second Song of the Servant of the Lord. The Lord said to me, “You are my servant Israel, in whom I will be glorified. But I said, “I have laboured in vain. I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity, yet surely my right is with the lord, and my recompense with my God.” Is 49:1-6
St Francis spoke to Brother Masseo about himself. From The Little Flowers of St Francis of Assisi. “Wouldst thou know why all men come after me? Know that it is because the Lord, who is in heaven, who sees the evil and the good in all places – because, I say, his holy eyes have found among men no one more wicked, more imperfect, or a greater sinner than I am; and to accomplish the wonderful work which he intends to do, he has found no creature more vile than I am on earth; for which reason he has chosen me, to confound all strength, beauty, greatness, noble birth, and all the science of the world, that men may learn that every virtue and every good gift cometh from him, and not from any creature, that none may glory before him; but if any one glory, let him glory in the Lord, to whom belongeth all glory in eternity.” Then Brother Masseo, at such a humble answer, given with so much fervour, was greatly impressed, and learned of a certain that St Francis was well grounded in humility.“
St Bonaventure, St Francis’ biographer, in a sermon preached in Paris in 1255 noted the importance of the virtue of meekness in the life of St Francis of Assisi. He writes, “We ought to learn meekness, which is utterly necessary, from St Francis. He cherished meekness not only toward other people, but also toward dumb animals. Even wild animals came running to him as their friend and companion. (There is a famous story of St Francis communicating with and taming a hungry wild wolf who was threatening the people of the town of Gubbio.) Meekness is necessary to the pursuit of truth both in those learning and those who teach; it is necessary for the inward and outward practice of virtue, to make right judgements, for without it others are not corrected but destroyed. Meekness is necessary to attain eternal life. The meek person does not create favouritism towards persons, but will care for both the lesser and the greater. The meek person is simple. He should possess only what is necessary for his needs. He should be someone who comforts the afflicted.”
O sublime humility, o humble sublimity! The Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God so humbles Himself that for our salvation he hides himself under an ordinary piece of bread.”
Reflect, share, pray. How does this reflection speak to you?