I aspire to live certain Franciscan values such as care for the poor, love and care for creation, rebuilding the Church, and love for the Eucharist. Yet, while I try to live simply, my life is far from simple and poor. St. Francis and St. Clare embraced a poverty I desire to understand. Because of family demands, I do not feel called to their radical embrace of poverty.
The saint who speaks to me at this time in my life, especially in regard to my daily mission and walk as a Catholic wife, mother, and worker, is St. Francis de Sales. The statue pictured is of St. Francis de Sales found in the hallway here at Franciscan Media.
Here is a sample of St. Francis de Sales inspiration for me in his well-read book, Introduction to a Devout Life:
Imitate little children who, as they with one hand hold fast by their father, and with the other gather strawberries or blackberries along the hedges; so you, gathering and handling the goods of this world with one hand, must with the other always hold fast the hand of your heavenly Father, turning yourself towards him from time to time to see if your actions or occupations be pleasing to him; but above all things take heed that you never leave his protecting hand nor think to gather more, for should he forsake you, you will not be able to go a step further without falling to the ground.
Patrick Madrid wrote a new book for Servant Books, On a Mission: Lessons from St. Francis de Sales. This book is for ordinary folks, like me, to consider our daily lives to be ones of extraordinary mission and zeal for God. With inspiration from St. Francis, we realize our call as missionary apostles in the world is something for all men, women and children.
Patrick says we need the heart of an “apostle,” a word that literally means “one who is sent.” Further, “you can reach people in your daily life who have been put there by God’s mysterious providence…. God wants to make you his coworker in the vast drama of salvation. He has a vital role for you.”