Sunday, December 13, 2009

HOLY POVERTY AND THE HOLIDAYS (Advent reflections for Franciscans based on an article by Br. JR)- Part III

Christmas draws near. It is but proper to meditate on how Francis celebrated Christmas and on his deep devotion to the child Jesus. To remember that he set up the first live nativity scene in history or that he saw the live Christ child in the crib is a moving thought, but these are ordinary meditations for every Roman Catholic.

What is exclusively Franciscan is the poverty that Francis observed as he celebrated the Christian holidays. His joy and his faith always strengthened his resolve to live as Christ said, to empty himself of everything – property, attachments, surplus, sharing with the poor, trusting that Christ would provide from day to day.

As Franciscans, we think ahead toward Christmas and ponder how we will show our gratitude to God for everything that he has given us. We reflect on how much our Heavenly Father loved the world that His only begotten son became flesh and dwelt among us for the sole purpose of dying for us. Let us keep in mind that our celebrations must reflect Gospel poverty, not worldly consumerism.

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