Scripture Reflections

April 2: Memorial of St. Francis of Paola, Hermit

Posted by Campus Ministry on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 6:00 AM PDT

Image of many small, purple flowers growing around the base of a tree's trunk.

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It seems appropriate in this time of responsible distancing to look to the life of St. Francis of Paola. In the mid-fifteenth century he followed the simple path of St. Francis of Assisi, living as a vegan and promoting non-violence. He felt close to God and experienced great peace when he lived apart from the world. At the same him he engaged with the world to promote simplicity, peace, care for all living creatures, and devotion to God. This is a timely message for us at this time when so much scarcity is exposed in our world, especially the disparity in access to health care and financial resources that are putting people’s lives at risk. This time of isolation and sacrifice can be for many a source of fear and constant anxiety each day. As our lives are filled with these very real worries we look to the words of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel. He lovingly encourages his followers to not be afraid and to trust in the great abundance of God’s love. Paul, while he was suffering alone in prison, encourages the community Philippi to be hopeful, as he was hopeful, looking beyond his suffering and anticipating the resurrection. Paul sets himself as an example of one whose life is not perfect, but who is striving to be like Jesus and live in hope. The memorial of St. Francis, the readings from Paul in prison, the reminder that I am a member of Christ’s “little flock”—all of these help me to use my imagination to see beyond todays isolation and tension. To imagine what it is like to balance contemplation and action in small ways, to remember those in unchosen isolation in prison, to reach beyond today’s scarcity into the immeasurable treasure of God’s love.

 

Tammy Liddell, Director of Campus Ministry