Tuesday, December 03, 2013

St. Francis Xavier and Us

This third day of Advent is also the feast of the Jesuit missionary saint, Francis Xavier. Francis was one of the original band of young men who joined the Company of Jesus. They became known world wide as the Jesuits. When Francis was a student with the older man, the ex-soldier, Ignatius of Loyola, he was fun loving, and carefree. Ignatius kept reminding Francis that there was more to life than fun. "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet suffer the loss of his soul?" When Francis finally gave in and turned his life totally over to God, he gave all his talents to the Lord too. Francis sent to India at first where he converted many--it is said hundreds of thousands to Christ. He converted the songs the men at the docks used into musical Bible lessons. He prayed intensely and worked just as intensely. He lived as a poor man among the poor. Then he moved on to Japan. There he dressed as a Japanese in a more elegant and acceptable style. After all he was an ambassador for Christ. Francis lived out St. Paul's words: "I have made myself all things to all people, so as to win some for Christ." Francis wanted to preach to the Chinese, but his strength was consumed and he died off the coast of China. Pope Francis wants us Christians to be evangelizers, to reach out to our neighbors with the gospel message and with our witness.The Daughters of St. Paul publishing house, Pauline Books and Media, will be printing the pope's apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel. It is expected to be ready by January.
Another way to evangelize our culture is though music. The Daughters of St. Paul on the US east coast begin tonight to sing in concert to prepare folks for a happy Christmas.
See the www.pauline.org web site for locations nearest you. This link provides locations and times: https://www.facebook.com/DSPchoir/events

Have a blessed continuation of this season when we celebrate God's coming to us as a true man, a real human being who loves each of us.

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