Praised be my Lord, for the gift of St. Francis to the Church and to the world!
Peace and good to all who will read us!
Dear readers, in a short time we are going to celebrate the saint the most similar to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ crucified. In St. Francis of Assisi, 5 stigmata, such as those of Jesus, were printed on His hands, feet and side.
The next October 4, feast of St. Francis of Assisi, is a great solemnity for all the Franciscan Orders.
The Franciscan Missionary of Our Lady, together with all the Franciscan Sisters, have the joy of celebrating their Patron, with a solemn Eucharist, presided over by Bishop Stephen Lee at 6:45 p.m., in the Cathedral of Macao.
To this day, they also invite all the other female and male religious congregations of this diocese, as well as all the faithful who wish and can associate themselves.
In preparation for this important event, we would like to record / leave a small reflection that can be useful for the spirit, as well as contributing to the enrichment of all who read this article.
Why do we use the greeting “Peace and Good?”
It is St. Francis’ usual greeting to his contemporaries. He had the great desire that both he and his brothers should overflow in such works by which God would be praised, saying to them, “As you proclaim peace with your mouth, so to a greater extent do you have it in your hearts. No one through you be provoked to anger or scandal, but may all be provoked by your meekness to peace, kindness and concord.” (Legend of the Three Companions, nº. 58, 4)
St. Francis exhorts his brothers to witness to peace with sweetness. This is the only effective means of communication to draw all men to true peace, goodness, and mutual understanding.
St. Francis, in his note to Brother Leo, traced two unforgettable messages: Praises to God Most High and the Blessing.
In praises, he said, among others:
“You are holy, Lord God, the only one that do wonders;
You are strong, You are great, You are very high, You are omnipotent, You, Holy Father, the King of Heaven and earth;
You are three and one, Lord God of the gods, You are the good, all good, the highest good, Lord God, living and true.” (Sources, in Praises to God Most High and blessing).
The Franciscan greeting of “Peace and Good” is a program of life, an evangelical way of living the spirit of the beatitudes. In these two “small” words there is a dynamism and a provocation: to greet someone with “Peace and Good” is to say: the love of God that I bring in me is the same person that I want to recognize in others and in the world and, because of Him, we want to live the charity – the Good – between us.
This is the sense of the human response, that one of the conversion to the Good, to the “High Good”: to accept God as the absolute centre of his own existence, and to insert himself into his project, becoming his collaborator. From this experience comes the “sweetness” that fills Francis’ life, his need to give everything to God, to thank Him and to praise Him without ceasing, knowing that God will never leave him helpless.
Peace and good!
We would also like to reflect on the meaning of TAU.
The last letter of the Hebrew alphabet is used with symbolic value, which already comes from the Old Testament: “The Lord said: go through the city, cross Jerusalem and mark a cross on the foreheads of men moaning and lamenting because of the abominations that are practiced in it “. (Ezek. 9, 4). The Tau, the cross, saved the people of Israel from extermination.
It was adopted by Christians for the following reasons:
As the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, it was a prophecy of the last day and its function was that of the Greek letter Omega, as the Revelation tells us: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. To him that is thirsty, I will freely give of the spring of the water of life. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Rev. 21, 6, 22, 13)
Christians used the Tau, because it resembled the cross on which Christ died to save the world. It is a sign of Christian recognition and devotion, but above all, a sign of the poor and crucified Christ following. It is used to feel the protection of God in life, because we are beloved and precious sons for Him, because it is the Cross of Christ.
For St. Francis, the Tau was regarded as the Cross of Jesus, for the Cross occupied a very important place for him: it revealed to him the strong and deep spiritual conviction that only on the Cross of Christ is the salvation of every man. That’s why it was so dear to him. It was welcomed by him for its intense spiritual value and in such a way that he became, through the stigmata in his flesh, that living “Tau” that he so much contemplated and loved to the last consequences.
It is presented in wood, because wood is a very simple material and the sons of God are called to live in a simple way and in poverty of spirit (Mt 5,3). It is also an easy material to work with and the baptized Christian needs to be shaped in everyday life by the Word of God and to be a volunteer of His Gospel.
May St. Francis grant to all of us the grace to love and live the gift of peace and goodness with all the people with whom we cross, and may the Cross of Jesus Christ, also represented in the Tau, illuminate the darkness of our hearts for let us follow and serve Him as He deserves, to the end.