Peace and Good!
While on pilgrimage in Italy, I reflected on how at times Francis felt a longing to stay up in the mountains as a contemplative, and how hard it was for him to guide his order as it grew so quickly. Yet, he couldn't escape the fact that God called him to interact with others, to use his amazing talents for good. The same thing was true of St. Bernard. He complains at times about how all he wants to be is a simple monk, and yet how often he ends up caught up in the needs of the Church of his day. He and Francis both had to differentiate between what they wanted and what was the true desire of their heart. That true desire is what God planted in them and called them to.
And that is what we all have to seek: to live our true heart's desire. We have to remember, too, that following it will not always be easy or even, ironically, feel 'desirable.' The rich young man in the gospel felt a great desire, but when Jesus told him how he could pursue it, he went away sad.
May God give us courage not to go away sad, but to follow in the footprints of Jesus, with the help of Mary, Francis, and Bernard.
(Here are a few photos from Assisi)