Thursday, 20 October 2011

Franciscans With No Nostalgia!

One of the risks in trying to live the Christian life as a Franciscan friar is indulging in a form of Romanticism about St Francis and the ''Franciscan Spring". This can lead to a certain nostalgia about the past, and a failure to see how God is working just as definitely in our own day.

Eight hundred years is a long time. Franciscans can look back with thanksgiving for the grace of God manifested in our story. But the story goes on and we are invited to continue that open-ended story. What was once, cannot be relived.

We are faced with our own choices and decisions. We cannot afford a rose-tinted nostalgia for the past. Our time is as much a time of the Holy Spirit as any previous age. So to copy slavishly the ways and methods of the past is to fail the people and Church of our day.

We want to go into the future with fire not with ashes. We are not caretakers of a Franciscan museum. Francis himself gives us this freedom. At the end of his life he told his brothers: “I have done what was mine to do – may Christ teach you yours.”