October Charism of the Month

October 2017 Charism of the Month

The HOSPITALITY and DEEP JOY of Saint Francis of Assisi 

OPENING PRAYER

All: Lord, we come together today at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish to “Build Your Church” as you asked Saint Francis to do. We build not with bricks and mortar but through prayer and actions that make your presence known to those we serve. Be with us today and guide our hands and hearts as we bring your hospitality and joy to others. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen 

CHARISM OF THE MONTH

Hospitality

For Saint Francis of Assisi, HOSPITALITY springs from our belief that every person, regardless of race, creed, capability, financial status, nationality is a Gift from God and is created in His image and likeness. The essence of HOSPITALITY is to value each person and to show each person that we are precious in the eyes of God. This definition of HOSPITALITY challenges us at our Saint Francis of Assisi Parish to welcome the newcomer among us. It challenges us to remember whom Jesus taught is our “neighbor”. Our neighbor might be the person who does not have a Church; a person who has been a member for a long time but are not giving of their time and gifts; a person who speaks another language; a person who is homebound or limited because of illness; and those who are poor in material resources. 

Reflection Questions

1.  What changes in my life do I need to make in order for me to really reach out and become a person of hospitality for others?

2.  What can we do, as part of our Ministry, to demonstrate hospitality?

3.  What processes can we improve, as a Parish, to demonstrate hospitality?

Deep Joy

For Saint Francis of Assisi, DEEP JOY was more than being happy. We are happy when we receive a gift we wanted; when we celebrate a birthday and an anniversary; when we share the company of loved ones and friends. All of these are “happy” events in our lives.  DEEP JOY is much deeper, an inner peace.

Deep Joy, for Saint Francis, flows from his awareness of the closeness of God to us through Jesus and His Holy Spirit. In his Apostolic Exhortation on Evangelization, Pope Francis said, “This is why Christmas gives us so much DEEP JOY because we do not feel alone as God is with us.”   Saint Francis of Assisi originated the Christmas Crèche, the crib with the shepherds and animals. This cultural Nativity Scene of Saint Francis CONNECTS us with the DEEP JOY of the Birth of the Christ Child.   DEEP JOY is seeing God in every face and every encounter.

Reflection Questions

  1. Using this definition of Deep Joy, what helps us in our own lives find this joy?
  2. How can we provide opportunities to “connect” to deep joy as part of our Ministry?
  3. How can we as a Parish, provide opportunities for those we serve to find deep joy?

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Prayer

Lord, make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon, where there is doubt, faith, where there is despair, hope, where there is darkness, light and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.