The Seraphic Alphabet Part 6  01/15
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 scaled the peaks of penitence, prayer and praise, we arrive at yet another triad of Franciscan family traits, dear to the heart of our SERAPHIC Father and to all who follow after him on his holy Gospel way.  For, full-hearted living of the Franciscan ideal brings us to
HUMILITY, HAPPINESS and HOLINESS.

Humility: is intimately connected with Truth.  I am the Truth, Jesus Declared.  Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart.   It is a lesson, Francis discovered, that one can never stop learning.  And the truth of it is, one never wants to stop learning, for every deepening in truth, every refashioning of our lives in humility brings us that much closer to Christ, who is Truth, who is Humility.  It is little wonder, then, that in the grand sweep of the Seraphic vision, our Father St. Francis coupled a profound desire to be both "the herald of the Great King" and the "last and least in the Church of God."  The "lesser brothers" was the appellation he gave to his sons; the "tiny, poor people" to his spreading religious family.


Happiness:
One can scarcely think of St. Francis without thinking of joy.  His Christ-seeking, his quest for virtue, his pursuit of perfection, his dedication to prayer, his determination in penitence, his generosity in responding to God's call and his overflowing gratitude for God's gifts, were the infallible ingredients for real, lasting happiness.  And the wonder of it is that these very same ingredients are readily available to us in the here-and-now of everyday living, if only we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit and respond faithfully and humbly to His holy way of working.  Growth in humility, happiness in the knowledge that we are the beloved, redeemed, forgiven children of God sets us securely on the path of

Holiness:

which, after all, is meant to be the final goal of every Christ-follower, of every Franciscan, - as much in the Third Millennium as it was in the thirteenth century.

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