Come & See
We are a community of brothers, fallible and weakened by sin, strengthened by the grace of God and the inheritors of a long family tradition of saints and sinners. We who follow St. Francis of Assisi have a heartfelt and passionate desire to imitate our founder in conforming our hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Like St. Francis we seek to love and serve within the heart of our mother the Church and to follow lovingly in the footsteps of Christ.
Community life is at the heart of our religious life. We vow to live together as Franciscan Brothers and Priests in a way that incarnates the Gospel teaching: “I give you a new commandment: love one another: As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” (Jn. 13:34)
While we are involved in a variety of active ministries, seeking to reach out to those in need through sacramental, spiritual and practical service, we also stress a life of profound prayer and contemplation. Intimacy with God in prayer is at the very heart of our vocation as reflected in the Constitution of our Order: “contemplation of things divine and assiduous union with God in prayer is to be the first and foremost duty of the friars.” (const. # 67)
Vocation and discernment weekends take place throughout the year when men can come and stay with us at our Formation House in Oxford and learn more about our way of life. This is a truly beautiful opportunity to Come and share our life of prayer, work and fraternity and so to hear what Jesus may be saying within your own heart.
I would like to invite you to come on one of these weekends and to encounter the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is within His Heart that we will find our true vocation.
It was while kneeling in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament that the Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary displaying to her His Sacred Heart. Jesus told this saintly nun, that it signified His immense love for each one of us. Allowing ourselves to be drawn to the Heart of Jesus will feed the flame of our love for the Lord and so help us to make a gift of ourselves entirely to Jesus.
For St. Francis the Blessed Eucharist was the greatest sign of the love of Christ who is capable of such humility and meekness. Francis says: “May everything in man shake and may the entire world fall back before the humility of Jesus. O’ how much love- and how few love Him, how few adore Him.” In all the churches and wherever the Blessed Sacrament was found, St. Francis would stop to adore and to sing, with his heart enflamed, the praises and glories of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.
One time St. Francis was asked what the greatest thing he could do for Jesus was. Without hesitation he answered that it was to accompany Jesus in the Eucharist. “It is for love that Jesus transformed Himself into nourishment for us, that He has become the means of our salvation and the reason why He is present night and day in all our Tabernacles.”
Let each one of us love and adore the Blessed Sacrament. This is the greatest gift of the love of Jesus for us and a clear manifestation of His self-giving.
Jesus is saying to us what he once said so beautifully from the Tabernacle to St. Faustina while she was adoring Him with all of her heart: “Love has brought me here and love keeps me here, I have a burning thirst to be loved and honoured by you in the Blessed Sacrament.”
Come then, let us adore Him and allow his Heart to speak tenderly to our hearts. Come ans See.
Friar James McInerney OFM Conv.