Alive with Franciscan joy

Aaron Rodgers and St. Francis

Thursday, December 01, 2011

RodgersAaron
photo: www.jimrome.com

Happy Birthday, Aaron Rodgers!

Stories about Tim Tebow's faith and how you live yours caught my attention.  It is evident in Green Bay that you are a person who trusts in God.  You care about others and are willing to share yourself and your good fortune with others. You are a gentleman on the field and off, even taking time to throw the ball with kids in your neighborhood.  You are unassuming. This is important to note when in the news we hear of athletes who are all about showmanship or are being fined for unsportsmanlike conduct.

You mentioned in a recent interview that you model your Christian faith by the words of St. Francis: "Preach the Gospel at all times; when necessary use words."

This is a great quote, very Franciscan in its spirit, but not literally from St. Francis. The thought is his; this catchy phrasing is not in his writings or in the earliest biographies about him.

In Chapter XVII of his Rule of 1221, Francis told the friars not to preach unless they had received the proper permission to do so. Then he added, "Let all the brothers, however, preach by their deeds."

Whether Francis said it or not isn't the point.  The importance of the phrase for me is how I live the Gospel.  Am I, like St. Francis, concerned for the poor, faithful to the Church, and willing to give up all for the sake of Christ?

So happy birthday and thank you for shining some of your spotlight on our Patron Saint, Francis.  During this Advent time, I am again reminded to "Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary use words."

-- Sister Laura Zelten

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