When University of Wisconsin Whitewater Catholic Student Coalition met for their weekly meeting October 24, 2012, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity were invited to present on ‘Saints: Models of Faith”. This theme fit well with the launching of the Year of Faith and the news of recent canonizations. We followed Archdiocese of Milwaukee Auxiliary Bishop Donald J. Hying who was present virtually. Campus Minister Brian Zanin introduced the first episode of C4: Ignite Your Catholic Faith video “Why Does God Matter?” and will be using this series featuring Bishop in the weeks ahead. (You may want to review this brief podcast, too!)
The Wednesday evening session invited reflection on the question: Gospel Life–Who Frames Your Universe? Three saints, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Clare of Assisi, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha were used as examples of holy souls who discovered God’s direction for their lives while letting go and embracing the new through transformation.
Here are just a few examples of what these three very different personalities, open to grace, needed to let go of to follow God’s will in their lives:
- St. Francis gave up the way things always had been by giving up a wealth of material things to live a life with a specific emphasis on poverty and simplicity.
- St Clare gave her life to God instead of marriage, a tradition that was expected of her from her family.
- St. Kateri embraced the Catholic faith in the midst of her tribal life, a combination that was unheard of among those who knew and loved her.
- Francis needed to separate from his ‘party friends’ so he could listen more to what God desire for Him.
- Clare had to let go of being taken care of by her family of means to live on only that which others provided for her livelihood.
- Kateri left family and tribe to go to live with other Christians in another part of the country.
- Francis chose the Gospel as his rule of life putting his trust in the Church.
- Clare began a completely new form of religious life and waited on the Church’s approval.
- Kateri experienced the death of her parents, accepted her illnesses, adapted to life with her Uncle and tribe and entrusted her life to Jesus through the teachings of the Church.
May we be open to the Holy Spirit’s promptings in our own life.