Tuesday, October 11, 2011
"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart." - St. Francis of Assisi
Earlier this month on October 4 we celebrated in the Church the feast day for St. Francis of Assisi. A man of faith called to action in the service of God and Church. There are few people that their words continue to ring so true so many years after their death. For me, St. Francis is one of those people. I have always held close to my heart that other famous quote by St. Francis, "Preach the Gospel always, if necessary use words." That quote has always been so powerful to me. To know that first and foremost, you and I, are called to preach the Gospel of Jesus the Christ through our actions. Before we can beautifully state our belief in Christ through our words we must first and more powerfully be willing to live it.
More recently, as I was preparing to celebrate the Memorial of St. Francis, I came across a new quote I hadn't heard before attributed to St. Francis. It reads, "While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart." This reminds me that we can do a lot of exterior things in our life many of which are good, but for it to really have value and true meaning, it must flow from our heart. We can not simply use lip service or do things half heartily. It has to extend from the depths of who we are created in the image and likeness of God. It is only when we give from the heart that we can bring about change and be willing to truly lay down our lives for another.