A word from our Pastor



St. Francis of Assisi lived in a time very much like our own. When he was born in 1181 the world had been fighting at least two crusades. The world was obsessed with war, fear, and security. Francis himself was a soldier and taken prisoner in 1202. After he had left prison, he was dazed and disillusioned and wondered if there was something more than all the cruelty and aggression. He came to realize that what caused this was often the need to protect one’s possessions, perks, and privileges. He saw his own father, a wealthy businessman, obsessed with making money in ways that was destroying his soul. Francis felt that the only way out of such a world was to live a life of voluntary poverty, or what he called a life of “non-appropriations.” This meant he would choose to never be possessive of anything and would always want to share with others whatever God gave him. That is why today we, his brother Franciscans, wear a rope around our waist as a sign that we carry no wallet, and therefore no money. St Francis was living a life of simplicity; and though he did not realize it at the time, he was living the very same life of the Most Holy Trinity. For the Holy Trinity is simple love made real in the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each person of the Holy Trinity willingly gives up everything out of love for each other; and their great love spills over to us so that we may enjoy life, family, and the good things that God has created. When you stop and think about it, God really didn’t need to create us at the beginning of life. God had everything because God IS everything! So out of voluntary poverty God shared His divinity with us in the act of creating us. What this mystery of our faith teaches us is that we must always try to simplify our lives as much as we can. We must make choices and decisions to counter greed and overconsumption. It is rare that we can imagine ourselves confessing an offense against the 10thcommandment: “Coveting our neighbor’s goods” which is the very nature of our society. We are not expected to live like St. Francis of Assisi; his was a radical voluntary poverty. We can do much in sharing our time, talent, and treasure for the sake of others who are in need. The life of the Holy Trinity can be expressed by these words: “Live simply so that others may simply live.”       ~ Fr. John