October 20, 2015
I was inspired by the choice to include the icon below in a recent Frassati reflection, and I'd like to talk about it as well. I saw it circulating the internet yesterday and it moved me deeply. At Frassati's Sunday dinner we celebrated the arrival of the Herber's new son as well as the other beautiful babies who were born in our fellowship this summer--with all of the joy and hard work they bring along with them!
I also had the heartrending experience of comforting a dear friend who underwent the loss of her child this summer. The words "for better or for worse" were merely hypothetical for me until seeing my friend and her husband endure that pain together.
So the image of the Martin family below with their living and deceased children really rings true to me in a way it could not before.
I read the following the other day:
"Obedience ought to be universal and without limits... if you [subtract from it], you are taking away part of the sacrifice that ought to be offered in its totality to God" (Knowing the Love of God by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrance, OP). None of us (I'm guessing) can really say we've given everything for our faith, have offered everything to God, have perfect obedience, and yet that is our ultimate goal as Christians--to give everything we have back to the Father, as Jesus did. Saying "yes" to children, at the Martin family did, and trusting them to God's providence is how married couples offer their lives as a sacrifice. I think the example of children is so powerful because of the selflessness required of this act. But even for those of us who don't yet have children, we can think of the many different selfish things that we cling to in this world that God may be asking us to give to Him or to let Him transform.
Pier Giorgio Frassati did not put limits on devotion or how much he would give--he did not subtract from the sacrifice. This is why he would serve the poor to the point of seeming foolish, or obey his father even if it went against his greatest hopes. If you set limits, you will keep running into walls. "Who put this wall here?" You did! You did by your ambitions, the goals you prize above God, your fears of what God might use you to do. Instead of setting limits, let the walls come down and let God shepherd your life, He who desires that none of those given to Him be lost.
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us!
Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, pray for us!
St. Therese, pray for us!