Of Saint Francis
St. Francis said,
“A man who uses his hands is a laborer.
One who uses his hands and mind is a craftsman.
He who uses his hands, and his mind, and his heart is an artist.”
Could not these thoughts extend to our work as Passionists as well?
If part of our calling to live the Charism of Christ and heed the thoughts of mystics like St. Paul of the Cross, is founded in action as well as words and contemplative prayer, then how does our ‘work’ rate?
Do we simply ‘labor’ at spirituality, performing routine tasks without modeling love and passion? Worse, do we lazily become ‘couch potatoes’ in life’s drama — casual observers of some ‘reality game’ in which ‘passion’ is vicarious and scripted by others? I do not judge here. At least being tuned into the right ‘channel’ of spirituality can bring peace and salvation.
We do better as ‘craftsman’ most certainly, applying our skills to planning, orchestrating and studying to enhance our understanding and commitment. Yet there was not a single covenant stated or heard in our hearts that did not sing of something more. We can bring hope and light to those lost from the fold through fine practice of skills and knowledge. As an ” Ecclectic ComPassionist”, I believe there must be more.
As an ‘artist’ in Passion we can, by faith and example, allow others to emerge from the sculptor’s stone. We need not form or shape a kindred spirit to a path or dream, we need only remove that which is not pure and simple. St. Francis’ example was one of living the Passion — of being visible and profound. Art is found in the eyes of the beholder and God’s grace of vision and mercy. Remember the potter’s wheel that did not always produce fine works of art. The imperfect cup can still pass life to another, and the clay reused in a divine cycle of birth and death.
By living we proclaim the Passion.
Being seen and heard in this calling is true artistry.