Thought for the Day – 23 October – The Memorial of St John of Capistrano (1386-1456)
John was a Franciscan friar and priest, but not of the good-natured variety of Franciscans that holds the popular imagination. To describe John as zealous would be an understatement. He walked the fine line between zeal and fanaticism, allowing God to write straight with the crooked lines he drew throughout his life. Some might wonder why such a man is even a saint but he is, and the lesson in that might be that being a saint is about more than just being nice and friendly. Sanctity is an uncanny quality that can be as off-putting as it is attractive.
We might be “put off” by a saint like John Capistrano. Perhaps the lesson there is that if he made it, there is hope for us all.
John Hofer, a biographer of John Capistrano, recalls a Brussels organization named after the saint. Seeking to solve life problems in a fully Christian spirit, its motto was: “Initiative, Organisation, Activity.” These three words characterised John’s life. He was not one to sit around. His deep Christian optimism drove him to battle problems at all levels with the confidence engendered by a deep faith in Christ.
We are not Christians because we build and maintain institutions. We are Christians because people experience in us an invitation to know Jesus Christ and find in His Church the reality of His divine life and presence.
St John of Capistrano, pray for us!