02-2018 Charism of the Month (Pardon and Forgiveness)
The Charisms of our Patron, Saint Francis of Assisi
“Pardon and Forgiveness”
This month of February, we are reflecting on the Charism of Pardon and Forgiveness. As we pray our Parish Prayer, the words “Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace” give us a glimpse into the heart of Saint Francis of Assisi. He often prayed to become an “instrument of God’s peace.”
In one story from his life, Saint Francis meets a friend who is angry because his master had taken all of his possessions. Saint Francis tells him “Brother, pardon your master for the love of God, and free your own soul. Otherwise, you have lost your goods and will lose your soul as well.”
When we forgive for someone who has offended us, it makes us “an instrument of God’s peace” and can change others and us.
In 1216, while Brother Francis was praying in the Chapel Portiuncola, he had a vision of Jesus and Mary surrounded by angels above the altar. He heard an inner voice ask what he wanted for the souls of people. The response of his heart was to ask Jesus and Mary to grant this favor. To award a pardon and remission of sins to all those entering the Chapel and praying for forgiveness.
After meeting with the Pope, a Papal Indulgence was granted for those who crossed the entrance of the Portiuncola. A few days later, Brother Francis himself announced the Church’s Indulgence to the people saying, “My brothers, I want us all to get to Heaven!”
Every year on the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels, August 1 until August 2 a visitor receives an Indulgence after Sacramental Confession, Mass, Holy Communion, Recitation of the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and Prayers for the Holy Father.
"Forgiveness -- pardon -- is surely our direct route to that place in heaven" that Jesus promised his followers, the pope said. "What a great gift the Lord has given us in teaching us to forgive and, in this way, to touch the Father's mercy!"
Father Richard York, Pastor and
Jeanette Lindish, Director for Evangelization