Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy highlights St. Anthony of Padua as a model of social justice in this month of his feast day.
Who is known as “wonder Worker” and “Friend of the Poor”? Who reformed criminals, reconciled enemies, preached throughout all of Italy, is a Doctor of the Church and died at the age of 36? Are you at a loss? Never fear—Saint Anthony will help you, for he is the star of our riddle.
Anthony, already an Augustinian canon, was drawn to follow the example of the first Franciscan martyrs in Morocco. Illness cancelled that plan and he returned to a lowly assignment of working in a small house for lay brothers. Anthony humbly served there without complaint. In God’s time, a gathering occurred at which no preacher was seemingly available. Anthony was called upon to fill the preach. His talents shown out. He astounded his listeners by the clarity with which he instructed and the passion with which he exhorted the crowds. Consequently he preached far and wide with wonderfully blessed results. He truly made himself available to serve as God’s instrument.
Perhaps we don’t always find ourselves treated with justice. Perhaps we feel our abilities are underestimated and overlooked. St. Anthony could be our consolation and inspiration to act with patience and peace, remaining constant in faith until our gifts are required.
Consider: Have I been overbearing and impatient in wanting my own gifts to be known, seen and appreciated? Have I thoughtfully encouraged others to share their gifts today?
Pray: God, Giver of all Gifts, we praise you for the many abilities and talents present within and among us. Help us to share what we can do and to call forth the gifts of others in your service. We pray…