Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Francis: Giving it All Away

Saturday of the Second Week of Lent

Micah 7:14–15, 18–20;
Psalm 103:1–2, 3–4,
9–10, 11–12;
Luke 15:1–3, 11–32

“I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.” —Luke 15:19


Today’s Gospel tells the familiar story of the Prodigal Son. Many of us can identify with this rebellious younger son who loses himself in pleasure and adventure. And we also know what it’s like to come to our senses and realize that we’ve taken a wrong turn.

One of the things that makes Francis’s story so engaging is that his early life seemed far from saintly. He was a young man of his time and social class.

Francis grew up quick and clever, and he followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a merchant.…He was a spendthrift, and all that he earned went into eating and carousing with his friends. For this his parents often remonstrated with him, saying that in squandering such large sums on himself and others, his style of living made him appear not so much their son as the son of some great prince. However, being rich and loving him tenderly, they allowed him free rein in order to avoid displeasing him….

Grace, working through these natural virtues, brought him to the point of being able to say to himself: “Since you are courteous and generous to men from whom you only receive vain and transitory favors, it is only fair that you should be equally so to those in need, since the Lord God is magnanimous in repaying whatever is given to his poor.” From that time on Francis welcomed the poor and gave them abundant alms.

Those who worry about whether there will be enough find it difficult to give freely. Those accustomed to giving it all away find it easier to accept God’s grace.


Prayer

Holy Humility puts pride to shame,
and all the inhabitants of this world and all that is in
the world.
Amen.


Minute Meditations


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