| Focus on Francis: Perfect Joy
By: Arlene McGannon, Vice President of Mission, St. Joseph's Hospital
This is the fifth in a series of reflections distributed by Arlene to St. Joseph's Team Members.
While on a journey walking with Brother Leo, Francis mentioned many things that might appear to the brothers as perfect joy - great preaching success; lofty intelligence; knowing all the secrets of agriculture or the sciences; even performing amazing miracles - but none of that, Francis said, is perfect joy. On and on he went as they walked, listing things that many think are important but that, to him, did not qualify as perfect joy.
Finally, Brother Leo asked, "What IS perfect joy?!" Francis said, "When we get back to the brothers in Assisi, if they refuse to let us in, despite the frigid cold of the night and our obvious fatigue and hunger, and refuse to believe that we are who we say we are, and call us impostors and send us away, if we accept all this with patience, joy and charity, O Brother Leo, write that this indeed is perfect joy."
In other words, for Francis, perfect joy was not allowing any external forces to affect one's inner peace and love of God.
How can Francis' view of perfect joy impact your life this day?