The debt due to humanity’s sin was paid for by the cruelest and bitterest suffering endured by the most innocent and most undeserving of it: Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, the poor, humble, and spotless One who took on all punishment due to our faults. And yet it was by His totally free choice and true self-offering, His act of selfless obedience and of supreme and pure love, that He achieved for us our redemption! Jesus Christ embraced His Passion not because He had to but because He chose to, because He loved us so! This was the key that StFrancis took to close to heart, occupied himself in thought, and proclaimed by his words and deeds. And because of this, because of his close imitation of Jesus Christ, God granted StFrancis the grace of bearing the brandmarks of His love. Today is the Feast of that Stigmatization. We may not merit the gift of the stigmata but may we nonetheless learn to possess that kind of love that is proved by willingness to suffer for the true good of the beloved. May StFrancis help us all to deny ourselves–that is, our pride, vanities, egotism, and useless attachments–and then lovingly and humbly take up our daily crosses with the mind, heart, and spirit of Jesus Christ. Pax et bonum!
Art vectorized by Jayson dela Cruz, SOL