“The only real sadness,
the only real failure,
the only great tragedy in life,
is not to become a saint.”
I receive a few magazines each month, some via digital subscriptions online and others in hard-copy, some considered “religious” and others promoted as “secular”, but all providing food for faith since they tell of people like us who are striving to live abundantly.
Yesterday the December issue of Tui Motu arrived. I was immediately taken by every page vibrant with art both in image as well as in text. In the middle of a full week after a long year I needed that.
A number of the articles got me thinking about the journey that has been 2020 for me. You might like to share your own experience of Jesus in 2020 with FFF readers in the comments section below.
In this month’s Tui Motu I especially appreciated Neil’s thoughts, and Susan got me thinking about my own garden, all in pots beside the outdoor chair where I was reading the reflections.
Some of my plants have had a bit of a rough few months. However the tomato is doing well and the lettuces will become salads in the next few days. The chives and parsley are living up to expectations but the rose stock and petunias are a bit disappointing.
I’m reminded of Angelo Roncalli’s words the night before he was elected pope (John XXIII): “We are not here to guard a museum, but to cultivate a flourishing garden of life.”
This is the mission of the saint, not to lock up, but to cultivate and thrive knowing that s/he is powerless to achieve this abundance without Jesus..
The saint of the day, Francis Xavier, was one of the first Jesuits. He was a friend of Ignatius’ and one of the band of seven who with Ignatius took vows in Paris in 1534.
These first Jesuits were great adventurers who sought above all else to live in relationship with the ONE through whom earthly death became the pathway to abundant life. Saints understand that every suffering or anxiety is not a problem to be endured but an opportunity to turn to Jesus with renewed dependance and confident hope.
“It is not the actual physical exertion
that counts toward a person’s progress,
nor the nature of the task,
but the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken.”
Francis Xavier 1506-1552
- Take a moment to appreciate that while you can cultivate many aspects of your own life, it is Jesus who provides your growth.
- The list of initials for prayer continues to grow. Take a moment to pray for those listed. I find it helpful to pray a specific prayer, perhaps an Our Father as I pray in response to a prayer request. And continue to send initials to add to the intentions list.