Thought of the day
Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552), Jesuit missionary Letter of the 10 May 1546

Friday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

Commentary of the day 

Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552), Jesuit missionary 
Letter of the 10 May 1546

        "A great missionary who is ready to lose his life"

This country… is very dangerous as the inhabitants – who are full of treachery – often mix poison with the food and drink. That is why no one can be found to go and concern themselves with Christians. Yet these have need of spiritual teaching and of someone to baptize them in order to save their souls. That is the reason I feel an obligation to lose my bodily life so as to bring help to my neighbor’s spiritual life… I place my hope and confidence in God our Lord together with the desire to conform myself, according to my poor, weak means, to the word of Christ, our Redeemer and Lord: “Whoever wishes to save their life will lose it; and whoever loses their life for my sake, will keep it”… 

It is certainly easy to understand the words and general meaning of this saying of our Lord; however when one wants to put it into practice and make up one’s mind to lose one’s life for God so as to find it again in him, when one exposes oneself to dangers in which one pushes the probability of leaving one’s life among them…, then everything becomes so dark that these words, although so clear, become darkened too. In cases such as this, it seems to me, he alone will come to understand – however learned he may be – to whom God our Lord, in his infinite mercy, condescends to explain it in his particular circumstances. It is then one realizes the condition of our mortal flesh, namely how weak and feeble it is.