The Seraphic Alphabet Part 2
How to describe the spirit of our Franciscan charism?  We can discover a whole range of life-imitable traits contained in the letters of the title which Holy Church herself has attributed to the spiritual family of St. Francis of Assisi.

The     S*E*R*A*P*H*I*C     Order.

Having opened our hearts to the witness of our Seraphic Father Francis' simplicity, swiftness, and "songfulness," we turn to the second letter of the Seraphic Alphabet to reflect on the "E" spirit of our Franciscan family, a spirit that is at once
Eucharistic and Ecclesial.

Eucharistic: Even a cursory study of the life and letters of St. Francis shows us the ardent and adoring reverence that burned in his heart for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  His wonder-filled love and gratitude for our God-ever-with-us made for long night vigils of prayer in His Eucharistic Presence and for days marked by highly practical serving love.  These same avenues for expressing Eucharistic appreciation are open to us, too, as we make room in our days (and in our nights!) for extra visits to the Blessed Sacrament and hours of Eucharistic adoration, as we prayerfully prepare for the reception of Holy Communion, as we offer our help in caring for the altars of our churches.  Even the way we genuflect should mark us out as children of St. Francis, the herald of the Great King and Knight of the Blessed Sacrament.


Ecclesial:
Closely linked to our Seraphic Father's love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament was his esteem for the Bride and Mystical Body of Christ - Holy Church.  God inspired me with such great faith, he was to write in his testament.  Francis' faith was not simply a hidden, intellectual assent.  His was a faith made-manifest in reverence for the Church's teachings and in respect for her priests.  The story is told of how, after Francis obtained permission for the great Portiuncula Indulgence, the Sovereign Pontiff inquired if perhaps the Little Poor Man would not like a written confirmation of the privilege.  Our ecclesial Father's response was the watchword of a churchly lifetime:  Holy Father, your word is enough for me!  May it always be so for all his children.

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