Message from the chaplain - 5 October 2018

As [Jesus] was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt
before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit
eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one
is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall
not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; you
shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honour your father
and mother.’” 20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since
my youth.” 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one
thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and
you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22 When he
heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many

- Mark 10:17-22 (NRSV)

Wednesday 3 October marked the feast day of St Francis of Assisi. Francis lived in the 13th century CE, and was born into a family with much wealth. As an adult, his carefree lifestyle was interrupted by an illness, durin which he felt called by Christ to give up his wealth and serve God. He therefore started an order of friars – now known as the Order of St Francis of Assisi – vowed to absolute poverty. An order of women religious, known as the Order of the Poor Ladies or Poor Clares, also follows the Franciscan rule of life. The Franciscan spirituality, modelled on that of St Francis, is characterised by a love of all creation, which is why St Francis is often depicted, in art, with undomesticated animals eating out of his hand.

The life of St Francis reminds us to place love for God and neighbour above all, and to live an incarnational spirituality, in awe of the beauty of God in everything around us and in everyone we meet.

Revd Claudia Coustas