Sunday, June 30, 2013

Religious Life and Joe Christian

We had our monthly spiritual retreat a few days ago and one thought really hit me. So often we see great saints like St. Francis of Assisi. They're intimidating, aren't they? I mean, I really do not think that I would be capable of living out my faith like he did. If Christianity means that, well, maybe Christianity is not exactly, entirely for me.

Ever felt like that? Well, the good news is that no, you and I are not called to live like that. God does not expect us to dive into thorn bushes, live half-naked out in the cold, or do nothing for our daily sustenance save daily begging for "daily bread." But...He does expect us live like that.

Religious life, and, by the way, St. Francis was a religious, is meant to be a sign of realities that all Christians are called to live. Religious may live aspects of the Christian faith in a more radical way but that does not mean that what they live is for religious alone. On the contrary, religious are living realities that all Christians are called to live.

For example, religious are to live detachment from ALL CREATURES. What does that mean? Well, it means detachment from phones, cars, houses, video games, movies, sports, etc...but creatures extends to everything that is not God- i.e. family and friends, too. Before you get all worked up about possible misinterpretations / ramifications of what that means, I will translate. All that means is that God has the first place in my life and takes priority over everything else. Religious are to live detached from everything with their hearts set on God above all else.

Does that sound good? Well, guess what? That applies to all Christians, too. Religious may just live it in a more radical way.

St. Francis and St. Clare

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