We greet you warmly with the words of Saint Francis: "Pace e bene, peace and all good."
The summer is coming to an end, and in many parts of the world the harvests are being retracted. Let us praise God together with our Mother Earth who nourishes and sustains us. Let us thank our God for the great gift of our life. We may be aware again and again that we are part of God's creation. Taking care of nature, of creation is always a commitment to take care of people, especially the poor and marginalized, as expressed by Pope Francis in his encyclical, Laudato Si. He states: "I believe that Saint Francis is the example par excellence of care of the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically. Francis was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in a wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. "(Laudato Si Chap. 10)
Yes, living in the footsteps of St. Francis we are fortunate to have such a wonderful model for our life. St. Francis is an example and an instructive champion on how to live with our brothers and sisters, how to create our life and how to take care of God’s creation.
We are mystics and pilgrims on our way to Him our Lord and God. We are living in his presence. We all wish to live the same harmony as St. Francis, this union with God, with our neighbors and with the nature around us. We have not yet reached this harmony and will probably not reach it in our lifetime. By our baptism we are deeply united with Christ and we strive to deepen this, sometimes not always felt, connection with Christ in our life, to be a blessing for our world.
In our daily life, we realize our personal and social boundaries. We experience the many, often threatening conflicts in different parts of the world. We also suffer from the conflicts in our immediate environment, both in our communities and families or in our tasks and services. But that does not prevent us from working, with the help of God and with the help of our sisters and our fellow human beings, on the Integrity of Creation in the concern for the common house.
We don`t do this with a grumpy face. "The world is more than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise." (Laudato Si Chap. 12). So we can happily and gratefully enjoy the fruits of the earth and all that nourishes us. Grateful persons protect and care for the things that surround them. Let us start in our immediate vicinity, in our ministries, in our communities and homes, where we work and live. “It is a way of loving, moving gradually away from what I want to what God`s world needs. It is a liberation from fear, greed and compulsion”, so explained by Patriarch Bartholomew in a Lecture at the monastery of Utstein, Norway, June 2003.
Mother Clara expresses this in our founding Constitutions: "They (the sisters) must seek opportunities to show love for one another, use every possible occasion to show their love for one another, and carefully avoid whatever can disturb love and perfect concord; "(Founding Constitutions Chapter 28). With our charism as a basis for our actions, we are a source of reconciliation and inspiration in the world, as described it in our General Chapter Statement, 2015.
May these feast days be an opportunity to be inspired by the Franciscan charism of Mother Clara so that we become, more and more, a blessing in the heart of our world.