“Manifesting Integral Goodness” is a New Mission Call for the Capuchins Today
The Capuchin Goodness (Part – 1)
Only goodness will save us
A falling tree is said to make more noise than a growing forest; the same happens with good and evil: evil always makes a lot of noise; on the contrary, the good is always discreet and humble.
Goodness is the most specific element of the Franciscan understanding of life. St. Francis taught us to discover God as the Supreme Good, all the Good, the total Good. Everything that God created is good. The human being, the image of God, is good by nature. Those who are unable to discover their beauty and goodness often experience the difficulty of recognizing the good that God does in others. The God of goodness opens the way to the ethics of responsibility: we are responsible for protecting the common good in defense of people who have been stripped of the goods that God has put at the service of all: the right to land, to clean air, drinking water, decent housing, health, education …
We were once watching TV with a group of middle aged people. And there was a news item about an Anti-Social Prisoner being released after 6 years of imprisonment for the crime he was accused of. Seeing this one of us responded saying: “Let this person be blessed with the grace to start a new and good life now.”
Upon hearing this the immediate reaction of some who sat near us was: “This fellow will only continue his evil ways. He will not change and it is in his blood. He cannot lead an open life, he will only live a hidden life,” etc.,
It may be true that this person may not change but our attitude should be wishing him or her good when a change takes place. But we are sometimes so affected by the negativity of others that we are not able to see the good in them. So it is o.k to exaggerate sometimes and insist upon the integrally optimistic ways of seeing good in everything. And allow its goodness go deep into ourselves and make us positive.
We live in a moment of pessimism, social, cultural and anthropological. Nobody trusts anyone. Those who are not like me are strange and generate a feeling of distrust in me. As Franciscans we are called to create the culture of goodness, gratuitousness and trust: we praise God for the goodness that exists in every man, in every city, in every culture, in every religion … So our mission today will be to manifest the integral goodness we learned from God and in Franciscan Capuchin Fraternal Life to all whom we meet.
One last wish: that good is the criterion that guides all our thoughts and actions; and at the same time, let’s not forget that only silence and contemplation are the ways that can help us discover the good that God has put into everything we have done.
Fra. Jaime Rey & Charles Alphonse Ofm Cap
General Secretariat for Formation