Thursday, August 16, 2007

"The Lord gave me brothers..."

In his final Testament before he died, St. Francis of Assisi said those beautiful words as he described his own personal journey of faith closer to Jesus. It was integral to the journey of Francis to be joined on that journey by brothers who would also pledge to live this life of penance and devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I know in my own faith journey with Francis to Christ, I could not accomplish anything either without the grace of God and the help, support and companionship of my brothers. Fourteen years ago today, I professed my vows as a Franciscan religious for the very first time.

There is a wonderful continuum in our way of life and I was reminded of that yesterday. I had the privilege of being present yesterday at St. Leonard's Church in Boston's North End as three young men, Joseph, Francisco, and Michael received the habit of the Order, officially becoming members of the Franciscan Order and our beloved Province as they begin their year of novitiate - a special year devoted to prayer.

I also brought along to this celebration two young men from my parish - one who will be entering our Postulancy program in just over a week; and another who is seriously discerning a vocation to the Franciscans and the priesthood. As we were at this celebration, where there were more than 40 friars ranging from the youngest to the oldest and those of us in the middle, I couldn't help but be filled with the joy that comes from living a life together as brothers.

There were those who have been living this life for many decades even before I was born and those for whom the life is brand new. And yet, even though we are all very different men, we share in that common love of Jesus, love of Francis and love of fraternity.

And, so today, I treasure those words of St. Francis, "The Lord gave me brothers," and I am grateful that the Lord gave me these brothers too.

Pax et bonum!


  1. Happy Anniversary! How did you get to the middle? :)

  2. Well, I am pushing 40 in another year!!