September 17, 2006

Stigmata

Because today is Sunday, the stigmata of Francis aren't celebrated this year. Nevertheless, this remains my favorite feast day in the Franciscan calendar.

Some folks like to argue about what "really" happened to Francis on that day. Some say what the brothers decided were the wounds of Christ on Francis was really leprosy. Others say the whole thing was invented by brother Elias as part of the promotion of the cult of Francis.

All of this misses the point. We'll never be able to describe precisely the great mystical experience of the Crucifed Christ that Francis had toward the end of his life. Even his early hagiographers disagree.

The point is to see God's willingness and overwhelming desire to identify God's own life with the suffering of the world. The point is not to ask whether Francis really had the stigmata, but to learn to see the wounds of Christ in every person who suffers with the meaningless of sickness, is made an orphan or homeless by war, or struggles under the searing burden of poverty.

These are the wounds of Christ. Stigmata are all around us.

2 comments:

Brother Lesser said...

Too many Christians simply “skim across the surface” of their faith like a flat stone being skipped across a pond. Why is it then, that when we’re not willing to plunge into the very depths of our Christianity, we still expect to share magnificently in our Lord’s Resurrection? Why should we expect a greater share in the gifts from our Lord when we truly deserve no more than a tiny little skim across the surface?

By "Becoming Hidden in the Wounds of the Savior," we highlight a deeper Francisan spirituality through daily prayer and meditation.

We are told that we will reap what we sow. Therefore, whatever the depths of spirituality we plunge ourselves into in our prayer life is exactly the heights into which we should expect to share in our Savior’s Resurrection.

by the bay said...

I understand what you are saying, but you speak in a catholic 'language' and I find that difficult to understand out hear in a different church setting. Would you like to help me understand better by contacting me with a quote or passage perhaps that puts it in simpler terms for a non-theologian! :0) I would like to explore further as I get the sense of what you are saying.
blessings, Eleanor n/TSSF