St Felix gets Franciscan formation
More than 20 young adults from across Sydney gathered at Bankstown parish on 19 June to hear Fr Thomas McFadden OFM CAP, vocations director for the Capuchin Friars, talk on the Glory of God.
Entitled The Glory of God in the eyes of St Francis, the catechesis was part of a monthly formation program for youth at St Felix de Valois parish.
Father McFadden spoke about how giving Glory to God does not add to His Glory but makes us a reflection of his infinite gloriousness.
Using the example of the founder of his order, St Francis of Assisi, he gave the young people a deeper perspective into God’s glory.
“God is infinitely glorious. When we give glory to God, it is really a way that His glory shines within us. It’s a way in which we become what we have been created to be,” he told participants.
“When He created the universe, it was a way for Him to give Glory. It is creation that can shine fourth God’s goodness, truth and beauty.”
In discussing the different ways in which we can glorify God, Father McFadden helped get to the heart of this seemingly complex call.
“If we want to give glory to God, we should seek goodness, truth and beauty,” he said.
“There is a great line from St Irenaeus that ‘the glory of God is man fully alive’. God’s glory shines when we are fully what we are called to be.”
Using St Francis as a model, Fr McFadden spoke on the practical ways in which we, through being beacons of God’s glory, can become fully alive.
“Francis sought to live the gospel and to follow Jesus. He did whatever he read in the Gospel,” said Fr McFadden.
“He modelled the way of life for the Franciscans on Jesus Christ and the apostles and they were going to live the holy Gospel. We can too patent our lives on the holy Gospel.”
The youth were reminded of the importance that St Francis put on prayer and in being a living prayer to glorify God in every part of his day.
“St Francis valued the spirit of prayer and devotion before all else,” he said.
“Part of the goal of prayer is to conform ourselves more to Christ and to bring Christ into all life’s situations.
“For it is as Francis writes, ‘We are…[His] mothers when we carry Him in our heart and body through love and a pure and sincere conscience; and give Him birth through a holy activity, which must shine before others by example.’”