Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Missionaries - take the Gospel to the Nations

St. Francis
It is impossible to say when anything begins. Especially in the Church. The seeds buried in the Gospel send up shoots in one age and then produce bushes in another. So you cannot say that the missionaries orders began in the 1200's, but they surely did take off.

Another branch for the ancient tree.

Of course there were aberations at the time. There were heresies. (Has there ever been a time without heresy in the Church? It makes sense, since heresy is just missing the mark.) But there were those who preached the Gospel and taught those who went astray.

In the early 1200's we find Francis and Dominic. The mendicants. They did not withdraw from the world; they went out and fought it. Hand to hand. Face to face. And the world was changed.

St. Dominic
Francis of Assisi, free as the birds he loved, mortified as Anthony in the desert, happy as the martyrs at the stake, totally committed to the love of the Incarnate God. He drew thousands - of men, of women and of every walk of life. Not everyone could be a friar and not everyone could live like Clare, but men and women, lay and not, gave everything to follow Christ where they were.

Meeting of St. Francis and St. Dominic
Dominic, hound of the Lord, teacher, preacher, corrector, prayer. His love for the Blessed Mother is legendary. And he went forth to teach those who had missed the mark.

Their ways proved infinitely flexible. Their teachers still teach, their poverty still draws, their absolute love of neighbor still teaches us how to serve. And God as continued to raise up those who followed in their footprints.

No comments:

Post a Comment