Monday, October 4, 2010

I Don't Think I'm That Strong...

Today is the Feast of St. Francis. For folks not familiar with him, Francis prayed to make him an instrument of peace. But it was the way he chose to live that astounds me.

Born into a wealthy family, Francis had affluence and was loved by everyone. He ran with the popular crowd and wherever he was, there was a party. His plans were to be a knight and to bring glory to his family and nation. God, however, had a different plan.

After much prayer and contemplation, Francis renounced his wealth, his family, and his lifestyle to live in poverty, humility, and total devotion to our Lord. While I admire St. Francis and everything he believed, I don't think I'm that strong.

What calls some of us to a life such as this? As much as I would like to say I could walk away from everything, I know in my heart I could not. I could not walk away from my friends, my home, the comforts of my life. Don't even mention my family...I can't even bring myself to leave New York because all of our family lives here - ridiculous government and taxes and all.

And what about St.Clare, who also renounced her family, leaving everything to follow Francis? It is more than I can comprehend. While I, along with the rest of the world, admire (which seems too small a word) Mother Theresa, I can not get my head around what it must be like to abandon everything to faith. It is really quite amazing. I have several friends who are nuns and I am constantly astounded at the work they do and the lives they live.

I guess admitting that I need these comforts in my life is not really a weakness but an acknowledgment that I am called to serve in different ways. But really, for someone who lived fine without a cell phone 15 years ago, the thought of going anywhere without my Blackberry freezes me with horror. Not having my kitchen with all its accouterments would not feel natural. Abandoning my laptop seems bizarre, as it is such a large part of so much that I do. Does this make me selfish? I don't know. But I find comfort in the thought that I am right where I am supposed to be...and that has to be enough for now.

~ In honor of St. Francis and the Friars of the Franciscan Order ~

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