Minute Meditations

Heroic Love

Jesus on the cross

The spirituality of St. Francis is not so much about the heroic deed as it is about the heroic love with which even the smallest deed is done. That is very clear from the quintessential story of Perfect Joy. It is not what Francis and Leo endure from the abusive brother that counts. It is, as Francis says to Leo, when we bear such abuse and suffering, “remembering the sufferings of Christ, the Blessed One, and how He taught us to bear all things for love of Him, then write down, Brother Leo, ‘This is perfect joy.’” Francis loved Christ and wanted to die into his love who is the incarnation of how far God will go in his love for us. He wants to be one with the Beloved, even in his rejection and suffering and unjust death at the hands of those for whom he came to reveal the goodness and love of God. It is the mystery of the cross of Christ, namely not what Christ endured, but why he endured. Love was the reason, a love that was divine and, as such, not only endured those three hours on the cross, but did so out of love, a love that embraced all human suffering. It is Christ’s surrender to the will of the Father that reveals the depth and breadth of Christ’s love for the Father. And it is when we can say these words of Christ, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit,” that affliction becomes the marvelous dimension that brings us into the presence of God. For love is ultimately of the will, the will to do God’s will being the ultimate act of love. There is also the dimension of loving what is divine. Francis was in love with God. How, then, does he approach the Most Holy, the Divine? Even with love in one’s heart, it is still God’s presence the holy man or woman is seeking to enter.

—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis
by Murray Bodo, OFM

Surrounded by Love by Murray Bodo


3 thoughts on “Heroic Love”

  1. We all have a destiny for good or ill, as I continue to ask myself how I fit into God’s plan for me.

    That last sentence in the article above is interesting indeed.

Comments are closed.

Sign Up for Our Daily Newsletter

Includes Saint of the Day, Minute Meditations, and Pause + Pray.

Skip to content