Often when I’m walking with my wife she will point out a beautiful flower or a beautiful cloud configuration, which I will have completely missed …… “what, where….oh yes, that is beautiful”. Hmmmmm.
I have the problem of too often walking through life and not noticing important and significant things. I attend St. Louis University back in the 1960’s. “Founded in 1818 by Louis William Valentine DuBourg, it is the oldest university west of the Mississippi River and the second-oldest Jesuit university in the United States.” (Georgetown University is the oldest) Many of the buildings were named after famous Jesuits… like St. Francis Xavier College Church, also known as the College Church. I just never paid much attention to the history all around me, including the fact that many of my family went there including my father and uncle, brothers, sister,…..
I thought about this the other day when I was reading about Francis Xavier, a founder of the Jesuits and great evangelist to Asia …. India, Japan, and almost China. This man was sold out for the Lord. In a letter from India he wrote, “ I looked and desired for nothing here but to wear myself out with work, and sacrifice my life itself in bringing about the salvation of souls”. (Magnificat, Dec. 3, 2021) Wow, I desire to say this but…..
When I read about the great saints, I often see them thru the lens of their 21st century institutions that were built on their legacy. So I somehow think that Francis Xavier was this Jesuit in a black robe founding these mega universities and this mega order … a great intellectual and strategist focusing on changing the world….. pretty unrelatable. Well, he certainly was something, but his greatest fundamental trait was his deep love for the Lord Jesus. Listen to more of his words:
- “ O my powerful God and merciful father of my soul… my only good, I firmly believe, without the possibility of doubt, that I am to be saved through the infinite mercy of the passion and death of my Lord Jesus Christ, no matter how very great may be the sins of my youth and all I have committed since then….. O my Lady, help of Christians, I now recommend myself to you , and to all the saints at the hour of my death so that you may protect me from the world, flesh, and the devil which are my enemies. O St. Michael defend me from the devil at the hour of my death when I shall have to render an account to God of all my past life. Weigh Lord my sins against the merits of the passion and death of my Lord Jesus Christ, and not against my few deserts; and I shall thus be delivered from the power of the enemy and shall go to enjoy forever the glory of paradise. Amen Jesus.” (Letters & Instructions of Francis Xavier, Magnificat, Dec. 3, 2021)
What a great man…a humble and holy man. Here is a man who knew who he was, who knew he needed a savior, and was sold out to his savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Wow, I spent a fair amount of time attending mass in the St. Francis Xavier College Church back in the ‘60’s. I didn’t think about Francis very much during those times, but I hope he was thinking about me and praying for me…. I certainly needed those prayers then and I need them now.
May the Lord help us all to pay closer attention to the beautiful and important things surrounding us, especially when they can lead us closer to the Lord. There are signs all around us…. especially during this beautiful season of Advent. And that is very good news.