Blessings to all on this blessed day of St. Francis’ passage from earthly life to eternal life!
Members of the St. James and St. Anthony Secular Franciscan fraternities gathered in our house tonight to commemorate the Transitus of St. Francis, and I was honored to serve as the accompanist for those musical aspects of the liturgy. As I sat at the piano, listening to the voices of St. Francis’ closest companions, I thought about the very real loss – and the very real need for one another’s love – that enfolded St. Francis’ friends on the night of his death.
Those of us gathered tonight to commemorate St. Francis’ passing are almost 800 years removed from his death. In the Transitus liturgy, we may hear hints of the sorrow, the hope, the promise, and the joy that descended upon Francis’ companions in those hours immediately before, during, and after his passing. But do we comprehend the sorrow of his companions? Do we recognize how that sorrow inspired Francis’ companions to keep his beloved spirit alive in their actions and words? Do we honor the life, the loss, and the love as Clare, Ruffino, Leo, and their companions did? Do we, like Francis’ contemporaries, come together resolved to pay tribute to the memory of our dear friend and brother by committing ourselves to the Gospel life that he embraced so wholeheartedly?
May we all be so blessed on this blessed Transitus with a deeply Franciscan zeal for living the Gospel – the Good News of love and joy! May we all be so blessed on this blessed Transitus with relationships that fortify us in our endeavors to live out the Gospel ever and everywhere!
God is good — all the time!