“I greet you, Lady, Holy Queen, Holy Mary, Mother of God, Virgin…chosen by the most holy Father of heaven; consecrated to holiness thorough His most holy and beloved Son and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. In you was and is the whole fullness of grace and everything that is good.” (St. Francis of Assisi)
Sometimes the formal approach is more convincing. Titles are an example. Some years ago a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom told a gentleman who was interviewing him for some British television programme to simply call him ‘Tony’. Embarassing. The interviewer could have justly said, “No I will not, Sir, because it is not ‘Tony’ that I’m asking questions of but the man who has been given the authority that comes with the office of Prime Minister!” That would have been too kind. Then again, ‘Tony’ might not have noticed since he was too busy listening to God, whom he said told him to invade someone elses country! Funny how the one with the greatest title of all got called by the titleless Prime Minister.
Dumping titles often goes with a price. The fatherhood of the priesthood has suffered from the same nonesense. Loss of respect for the office goes hand in hand with treating it as something to be treated with a casual attitude. The more casual things become the harder it is to take it seriously. We’re all buddies together now so no-one is going to make any demands on anyone else. All ‘love and peace man!’
Yes, once again it’s the cultural Marxist’s attempt to level everything: “We’re all the same. There is no difference between me and you!” (Usually said by a screaming skin-head wearing Doctor Martin boots – and who happens to be female but tries to say that is simply a product of DNA and that has now been transfattygenderized out of existence). It is quite unfitting for someone who holds an office to cast aside the signs of that office simply because he doesn’t like it. The office, after all, is not the property of the man (or woman) who holds it. Prime Ministers, Presidents, Popes or whoever holds an office, do not own the office. Indeed, it could be argued that they are owned, to a certain degree, by the office. The office is over them rather than the other way around. They are duty bound to do what is in accord with the office. Casting off clear signs of what the office is would seem to undermine the very office itself. If they don’t like it they shouldn’t take on the office in the first place.
St. Francis! He has been given a title by Holy Mother Church. The title is that of SAINT. Yes, people often drop the title for brevity’s sake but if the title is dropped because one feels uncomfortable with it then one needs to think a bit more clearly as to what it means. Why not just call him ‘Frankie-boy’, or ‘Me-old-mucker’? Why not get a bit more cozy with him and draw him hanging around a coffee shop SKYPING to Chiara-gal, rather than having him as the small man next to the Queen of the Angels throne?
Seriously though – the title ‘saint’ is not there to cut him off from us poor sinners in the vale of tears; but rather to let us know that he is a powerful friend interceding for us in Heaven. Sure, even the word ‘friend’ is a title. He is that ‘friend’ of all the Franciscans who rejoice on his Feast Day. He is their ‘Seraphic Father’ who loved the Blessed Mother. Yes, he’s the little guy standing next to her throne. Please God he’ll intereced especially for the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate in their time of trial, and win for them the grace to carry the Cross they are being asked to bear. God bless them all with courage as they are being robbed of their title of being Mary’s own. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for them.