September 17, 2007

Stigmata

The feast of the Sacred Stigmata of Francis is one of my favorites. For me, it's a feast that affirms the mystery of the Cross as so much more than a terrible event in the life of one historical human being, Jesus of Nazareth.

Through God's identification with this one life, the Cross becomes God's response to all human suffering and com-passion. And for all of the violence and hurt heaped upon God through Christ crucified, nothing comes back but the forgiveness and new life of the Resurrection.

To identify with Christ crucified is not just for stigmatics like Francis. It is for all of us to look through our limitation and pain, to see God suffering in our humanity, and to get a glimpse of Resurrected destiny.

3 comments:

Paula said...

Father Charles, when is this feast? Or it has passed already?

Charles of New Haven said...

September 17, in the Franciscan calendar. I think because all of the accounts of the Stigmata place Francis's experience near the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

Anonymous said...

Prior to the reform of the missal in 1970 the Stigmata of St. Francis was on the universal calendar on September 17.

The reformed missal gives us St. Robert Bellarmine, jesuit, bishop, cardinal and doctor.

2 great reasons to celebrate!