No one builds a house . . .

I just finished reading a talk given by a prominent theologian who is also a Sister of St. Francis. While the talk itself uses language that is quite beautiful, it left me wondering, “What did she just say?”

As I pondered the question, I realized that the problem with the talk is not what she said, but what she did not mention. Nowhere in the talk is God or any of the three divine persons in the Trinity mentioned. Needless to say, Jesus Christ is not in there. One can argue that building_church(1)speaking to a group of Catholic sisters she need not mention Jesus, because it’s a given that the vision and goals that she put forth for the sisters are grounded in faith in Christ. However, I’m not so convinced that one can always assume that this is understood.

When we propose apostolic endeavors, a vision or a mission and we fail to ground them in the person of Jesus Christ and his work of redemption, we run the risk of making these endeavors, visions and mission our own in the bad sense of ownership. In other words, if Jesus is never mentioned in our plans, there is a risk that we will see ourselves at the center of the plan rather than Christ. When we put ourselves at the center of any plan, then we run the risk of error. Worse, we run the risk of becoming prideful. It’s no longer God’s plan and God’s inspiration. It’s all about “look what I came up with.”

My purpose in writing this is to remind you my dearest sons and brothers that any vision, any goal and any future plan that you or the fraternity may conceive must always be examined against God’s plan for the salvation of souls. If it does not fit into what God has revealed to us about himself and his plan for us, then the vision, the goal and the plan does not come from Christ. It may be beautiful and it may be very sound, but if it does not come from Christ, then it comes from man. We did not become Franciscans to worship man. We did not become Franciscans to follow man. Nor did we become Franciscans to do social service for men.

Like our holy father St. Francis, we follow Christ who will lead us to the Father and we depend on the Holy Spirit to help us understand Christ’s way to the Father. The Catholic Church will confirm for us whether or not we’re on the right track. That is her role in our lives, to be our mother. franciscans of life

St. Francis followed Christ from within the Church. Everything that he did, everything that he built, everything that he taught came from the Word of God. Don’t ever allow yourself to follow any path before you discern if it’s consistent with the Word of God. If you do so, you may be a good person, but you’re not a son of St. Francis of Assisi who always sought to reflect Christ, thus becoming the Mirror of Perfection.

Published in: on September 4, 2014 at 3:12 PM  Leave a Comment  

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