In 1224, St. Francis of Assisi withdrew to Mt. La Verna with his companion Brother Leo for a 40-day fast and to contemplate on Christ’s Passion. He prayed fervently to share in Christ’s suffering. His prayers were answered and he came to know Christ so intimately that he shared the marks of the crucifixion (the stigmata).
Image by Michael O'Brien
As we live through these days of self-isolation and physical distancing during the COVID 19 pandemic, we can climb our own metaphorical Mt. La Verna. What better time than now, during this Holy Week, to contemplate on Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.
We too can pray to share in Christ’s suffering – to come to know Him so deeply that we begin to understand God’s great love for us. Together we can rise out of our greed for more and our lust for power, and live God’s true desire for us
Francis saw God revealed to us in human form through Christ our Lord and in non-human form in all of God’s creation. The wonder and awe that we feel when we spend time and contemplate on God’s creation is because creation is revealing God Himself to us in a multitude of diverse ways. To destroy that diversity through our reckless search for more consumables is to dishonour God. I believe that St.
My dear 86-year-old Franciscan friend, June Harris, sent me this video: (or Click on the title)
which you can use for your time on Mt. La Verna so that you might find The Way to a more just, and peaceful world.
How has your life changed for the better since COVID 19 restrictions were put in place? Have you become more aware of how you have willingly embraced the consumeristic economy that Pope Francis tells us we must change? Do we really need more? Do we really need fossil fuels to provide us with energy to heat our homes and power our transportation systems or can we use the sun and wind and the earth’s geothermal sources? Can we live ‘with’ rather than ‘in’ God’s creation? Can we truly live a relationship ‘with’ God?
Pray the Canticle of the Creatures as St. Francis would.
Know that you can make changes and take actions (personally, politically, and economically) that can prevent catastrophic weather events (affecting mainly the poor and vulnerable of this earth) due to a changing climate or wars and oppression because of humans’ ‘selfish need’ to own, hoard, and conquer.
Our life here on this earth is short and NOW is the time to express our love for the Lord in our actions.