St Francis of Assisi, whose feast day is celebrated on October 4, is often remembered as one of the most Christ-like of saints, a man who imitated Our Lord so closely that he was rewarded with the stigmata.
To live like St Francis is primarily to love Jesus – in the Eucharist, where he recognised “the Poor Christ” continuing to humble himself in the forms of bread and wine, and in the sacred humanity of Christ, through which God’s love came to mankind (an insight which led to the saint creating the first Nativity scene).
You can follow Francis by embracing a life of evangelical simplicity uncluttered by unnecessary attachments. “Seek first the Kingdom of God”, then use your possessions prudently, never letting them become your gods.
Love the Church, remembering how Francis was asked by Christ to rebuild the Church through the holiness of his life and by encouraging others to conversion.
Also, give praise to God for the majesty of the visible world, understanding how such praise is due to the Creator rather than creation itself. Strive to see the unity and interdependence of living things, and perhaps take the advice of Francis to give a patch of your garden solely to the wild and the beautiful.
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