“Don’t let the bastards get you down,” that’s the translation of today’s title. This tidbit was shared by Fr. Lou McCormick, OFM my spiritual adviser and good friend. Today was one of those days where the bastards were winning temporarily and I was letting it get me down. Now, at the close of the day I have some perspective thanks to others who help me to see myself and the situation more clearly. We all need friends and a supportive community. That community must be authentic otherwise we run the risk of either belittlement or aggrandizement.
How often do the forces around us give us false messages that make us think less of ourselves when in fact we need to really focus on our reflection of our creator. St. Francis used to greet the people by saying, “Good morning good people.” How often do we need to be told that we are good? I need to be told that at least once a day because I am too self-critical and I am surrounded by people programmed by the world and many churches to think poorly of themselves. We are however created in the image of the Most High and that means that we’re good, actually beyond good. We are outstanding. One of the implications of Francis’ love and reverence for the Eucharist and the sacraments of the Church is his reverence for the material world. In Francis’ time there was a prevalent heresy of the Albigensians. Like many Christians today the Albigensians believed the spiritual world was created by God and was good, while the material world was created by the devil and was evil.
St. Francis calls us to embrace the lepers in our lives and to glorify and reassure those around us that indeed we are children of the Most High. We are called to be brother and sister to all we come in contact with. Next time you are in the market consider all the people you see and consciously remind yourself that you are brother and sister to each of them. No matter where we are we need to be reminded that we are of the Most High and that all we are surrounded with is therefore an extension of His creation. Peace.