The Seraphic Alphabet Part 3  10/14
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.

Our Eucharistic-minded and ecclesial-hearted Father St. Francis, swift and simple and singingly all for the Lord, calls us to further exploration of our SERAPHIC family inheritance by moving us to consider the next of its alphabetic components
RADICAL and RADIANT.

Radical: The whole of the Gospel is a call to radicality; that is, a call to conversion to Christ at the very roots of our being, at the very depths of our "self-hood."  Living the Gospel asks much, and gives even more.  Christ asked Francis to go the extra mile in serving Him.  And often, Francis was weary, weighed down with illness, burdened with suffering in mind and heart, completely spent.  But when it came to making a full-hearted turning to the Lord, to offering Him the very roots of his being, our Seraphic Father always found the extra energy to expend, the added drive to return to the radical responding which marked the very beginning of his conversion to Christ and to the Gospel life:  This is what I want; this is what I desire with all my heart.  To be wholly Christ's, like unto Him in all things, was Francis' goal, and it remains for his followers today both a goal and challenge for all seasons.  And what is the reward of this kind of spiritual root-tending, this type of radical responding to God's call?


Radiance:
God is light, the Apostle St. John declared and the apostolic St. Francis confirmed.  Francis learned early that the reward of self-denial, of suffering, of sacrifice and self-surrender offered in union with Jesus Crucified is nothing less that a share in the radiance of the Word Incarnate.  Everyone who approached our Seraphic Father could sense the brilliance of his inner light.  Indeed, they could hardly miss it, for it shone forth from him with such unmistakable force.  It is this Christ-light, the radiance of the Christ-life, that St. Francis desires that we possess.  He leads us on the Gospel path; he teaches us what it is to walk in light, as God is in the light.  We need only forsake the dark path of selfishness, and God will do the rest.

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