Today I went to see my primary care doctor. It was a routine visit. However, as is the case in most of life, nothing is really routine. He encouraged me to continue making little changes to my routines and life to become more healthy. The idea of little changes is one that Saint Francis spoke of a lot.
Most of us view Saint Francis as the kind of person who walked in and made radical changes to the world around him. However, Saint Francis’ story is one laden with little changes that created a ripple effect. Take for instance is renunciation of his father’s wealth. While not a huge change that effected the world in that moment, it started a ripple that would change everything in the church.
His rebuilding of the chapel in San Damiano was a small step that involved just him at first. But as he worked to rebuilt the chapel, others joined his efforts. Saint Francis did not start out to form a religious order. He just wanted to be closer to God. However, today there are 4,688 communities, 30,068 members (not counting the Third Order or lay orders), with an additional 20,289 priests. And that is just in the Roman Catholic Church! That does not include the Anglican/Episcopalian or Old Catholic/Independent Catholic orders in the world.
Saint Francis did not envision his work to help the poor and sick becoming a world-wide movement of people dedicating their lives to the service of others. I am not sure any of the founders of the main religious orders started out with that goal. But along the way, that is what happened.
Our little changes in life can have a big impact. In my own life, I have started to eat more vegetables and I go to the gym to exercise several times a week (5 times if possible). In the past year and a half, I have lost 42 lbs and I feel much better. My doctor encouraged me to remove processed foods and diet drinks from my diet as well. And today I started that process.
Here at Saint Francis Parish, we are committed to making little changes that we hope will impact others lives for the better. We need your help to make that happen. Whether it is financial support (via https://paypal.me/saintfrancis) or by volunteering your time and energy to help us grow. You can make a difference in our world by committing to little changes. Join us for Sunday Mass at either of our locations. Volunteer to help at Mass. Sign up to help with the blessing bag program. Let us know what your strengths are and how you would like to help our parish.
Your help can be a little change that sets the world on fire!