By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—v. 15, ‘…repent…’
Traditionally, Lent is a time of penance. Of course, words like penance and penitential sometimes conjure images of severity and sorrow–or even prisons and doing hard-time. But for me, those words bring a different picture to mind: the little poor man, Francis of Assisi. Francis is the archetypical holy man, a thirteenth-century Mother Teresa: someone who decided to follow Jesus so completely that he gave up everything to more fully imitate him. But Francis never saw himself as anything more than another penitent. He reminds us that penance has less to do with a continual focus on our sins and more to do with a life of holy and ever-widening love. Francis inspires us because he never lost that sense of daily turning, moment by moment, ever more fully toward the flame of love–warming himself thereby and being himself utterly transformed into the living, loving flame.
Prayer God of holy fire and unquenchable love, teach me like St. Francis to turn moment by moment toward you.