The Seraphic Alphabet Part 8  02/10
Franciscan preachers down the ages have expounded on the enduring "C" themes of

The     S*E*R*A*P*H*I*C     Order.

These themes are the CRIB, the CROSS, and the CIBORIUM.  We find an apostolic summary of Franciscan spirituality in those stirring words of St. Paul:  For me to live is Christ.

That says it best of all because, when all is said and done, JESUS is the Reason for being a Franciscan, just as the following of JESUS was the all-seasonal reason for St. Francis doing what he did.

And so reviewing the past considerations of our SERAPHIC family traits, we find that they all begin and end with
Jesus Christ.

Jesus: Complex and complicated Francis thoroughly CONVERTED to Gospel SIMPLICITY, because JESUS was so Deifically simple.

Jesus: JESUS was SWIFT in accomplishing the Father's will, and that set Francis' feet running down the lane of holy obedience.

Jesus:

It was JESUS in the EUCHARIST that drew Francis; JESUS in the Church that supported and directed the Gospel revolution which he led.

Jesus: The RADIANCE of JESUS in His RADICAL responding to all the Father desired attracted Francis.

Jesus:  ARDENT, ADORING love for the Son of God urged Francis on to APOSTOLIC labors and missionary endeavors for the spread of  His kingdom.

Jesus: It was love that drove Francis up the peaks and PENITENCE, PRAISE and PRAYER, and down into the valleys of HUMILITY and HAPPINESS.

Jesus: Intent on seeing JESUS in all things, INTENSE in his desire that all men be saved, our Seraphic Father so utterly identified with the suffering God-Man that he could offer but one prayer as he neared the end of his earthly life:  Lord, I beg You to allow me to feel in my heart as much as possible the love which urged You to suffer so much for our salvation, and to feel in my body as much as possible that pain which You suffered for love of men.

God's response to this two-fold petition, the Sacred Stigmata, remains the glory of the Franciscan Order.

The love which those five holy wounds signified remains ever and always the goal of every Franciscan heart striving to be like Francis' own.

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