"It is not fitting, when one is in God's service, to have a gloomy face or a chilling look."
-St. Francis of Assisi
Today is the feast day of one of the most famous saints in the modern world, St. Francis of Assisi. Now, of course, St. Francis is best known for his time spent preaching to the birds, who would listen to him, and for his prayer "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace..." But, sometimes it's nice to look into the lesser known facts and sayings of the Saints, especially the ones that have not become so common-place. While browsing the St. Francis quotes on www.quotecatholic.com, I found this one and immediately felt God trying to tell me something.
Think about it for a second, "when one is in God's service" we are supposed to be cheerful, so as to "preach the Gospel at all times" (another famous quote of his) through our conduct. And, if we are openly Christian, yet live with a frown on our faces, glaring at everyone who tries to talk to us, what kind of impression are we making? As my mom always likes to remind me, "You attract more flies with honey."
In this quote, Saint Francis said we must keep up a positive demeanor "when we are in God's service." But, I have a question to ask you. When are we not in God's service? If we are truly striving to do God's will, then we are always trying to do His work, and we are ALWAYS in His service! That makes this quote even more challenging, doesn't it? It certainly does for me; my siblings can testify to that!
For those of you who, like me, are not very good at keeping a smile when unhappy or inconvenienced, pray to St. Francis today for help. Take this quote, write it in pretty calligraphy or type it neatly and post it somewhere you will see it often. It's short, so you could even memorize it. Then, when you feel a scowl creeping over your face, or a sharp glance preparing to pierce someone across the room, hopefully this quote will come to mind and help you to reign in that difficult temptation.
Overall, do not forget the simplicity of St. Francis. For, though he had literally nothing, he was one of the most joyful men ever to live upon this Earth. May his example inspire us to a greater love for sacrifice, poverty, and the embodiment of Christ's happiness!
And may the God of Brother Sun and Sister Moon bless all of you tonight!