Barb Spies, OFS, Director of Mission Services and Pastoral Care
We are heading full force into the holidays. So many gatherings! So many meals! I came across a story of St. Angela of Foligno, a Franciscan saint who lived just after the time of St. Francis in Foligno, Italy. St. Angela was talking about how she would claim not to eat meats or fish, “But in reality, I fancied fine foods and was full of gluttony; I was a great eater and a guzzler. I pretended I wanted only what was necessary for me, but I had things put away for another day.” I love her honesty about her practices and how they made her respond with humility and care for others. We move toward Thanksgiving with menus foremost on our minds. What will be served during that time? How much pie can I eat without looking like I’m “full of gluttony”?
This time of year is also when we think about how we might offer care for those who don’t have much. We fill the boxes and write checks for food pantries and meal programs. Not only does St. Angela tell us about how she loved food, but also how important it was for us to be aware of the “misfortunes of a neighbor” and how when the soul “sees the bodily ills of its neighbor, the transforming love of God makes it consider them as it’s own. It grieves and feels the compassion.”
We, like St. Angela of Foligno, fancy fine foods! In addition, we feel the good in our souls when we take the opportunity to offer compassion to others and help them to enjoy fine foods too.
Blessed Angela: “May God give us a generous love which forgets itself.”