9 Day Novena to St. Francis. 15791
Council: 15791 - FALMOUTH
Myself and my family participated in the 9 Day Novena to Saint Francis within our homes on the website starting on 25 September to 3 October 2020. Christianity is the only religion which proclaims that God became a human being. This is unique and central to Christian understanding. St. Francis was fascinated by what we have come to call the Incarnation. As we pray in the Angelus: “The word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The Creator became a creature in Jesus of Nazareth. St. Francis understood this as an act of humility and was particularly awed by the thought that God was so humble. Moved by a great love, God was willing to do this for us. God was willing to “let go,” or as St. Paul said in Philippians, not cling to his divinity, but emptied himself, becoming one with us, even unto sharing death. For Francis, that takes humility. Ponder that for a moment! When Francis understood what God was doing in Jesus, he wanted to do the same thing. So he started to live a life of humility, simplicity, of not clinging, not possessing—a life of poverty. He gave away his possessions, even the fine clothes he was wearing. He wanted to be poor and humble, just as God was poor and humble in giving us Jesus. Franciscans have a little memory aid to help us remember these core experiences, which illustrates the humility of the Incarnation: “Crib, Cross, Chalice.” Because of the Incarnation, the whole created world has been made holy. It is good, a gift to be cared for. We don’t cling to things, but to God’s word. We don’t possess things or make them our own. We receive them gratefully, use them, and share them with the poor. But they are not ours. Francis’ life paints a living picture of what was going on in God when he gave us Jesus. God did not “hold back anything of himself but gave himself totally” to us in Jesus. Francis gives us a dynamic to live by. We, too, strive to not hold onto anything of ourselves, but give ourselves away in love. So how do I look upon my possessions? Are they just mine or are they gifts to share? Can I let go and trust in the goodness of God? This has been a very blessed 9 days for us. As Knights of Columbus and Secular Franciscans we must continue to grow, and move ahead in our Faith and belief in Jesus. As Franciscans we do this through following Saint Francis, and his teachings.