I watched the Saint and the Sultan last week. One of the things that struck me was the willingness of Saint Francis to go against everyone in an effort to bring peace. His faith was monumental in the face of overwhelming odds.
Saint Francis was not worried about his own safety or well-being. He braved the battlefields to get to the Sultan and then risked not even getting a chance to speak to the Sultan. The soldiers could have killed Saint Francis before he even got to the camp.
Regardless, Saint Francis had faith that he was on a mission that was worthwhile. He wanted to see peace and to get the chance to show the Sultan the love of God. The Sultan in turn showed Saint Francis the love of God as well. Together, they discovered that they worshiped the same God. In that realization, they were able to find common ground and have productive dialog. This act by Francis may well have prevented thousands of deaths.
If Francis had listened to the voices of the naysayers, this transformative experience for him and the Sultan would have never occurred. War would have continued and would have been extremely brutal. Also, the vision that Francis had about the nativity of Christ, which led to our modern creche scene, would have never occurred. That vision happened on the way back to Assisi from Francis’ visit with the Sultan.
That is why we have to be willing to see beyond the negative messages around us. While others are predicting failure and bad things, we need to allow room for God to be God and to work miracles in our daily lives. Only then will we experience the great grace and love of God in the most unlikely places and situations.
Be willing to step out on faith. Take time to help those naysayers see the great power of God to overcome even the most outrageous of odds. And remember to give God all the glory when he works those miracles in your daily life.
Step out in faith and join us today to experience a different way to be Catholic!