St. John the Baptist and St. Francis of Assisi are two perfect examples for those striving to live a life radically faithful to Jesus Christ. Here are some elements from their life and spirituality that we should all imitate:
St. John the Baptist:
Prophecy: St. John’s entire existence was based on preparing the way for Christ and His kingdom. In an evil world he was the one voice crying out against sin and secularism. We all need to take the place of St. John in this day and age and proclaim Jesus Christ!
Silence and Solitude: St. John lived as a kind of “Proto Monk” in the desert. He lived a life of prayer alone with God. We all need to cultivate silence and solitude. Silence and solitude are how Apostles are made.
He battled the evil of the time: St. John exposed the sins of King Herod and died for it. We need to do the same in our culture. Every Radical Catholic has a place in the pro-life movement. We are all called to expose the evil sin of abortion.
Mortification: St. John lived a life of mortification. He wore camels hair and ate locust and wild honey. This helps battle sin, achieve silence in prayer, prepare our hearts for Jesus, and atone for sins.
Incredible Humility: St. John the Baptist was the greatest of the prophets and yet he said he was unworthy to loosen the sandal straps of the Lord. Pray for Humility!
St. Francis of Assisi:
Love of Jesus: St. Francis had the epitome of the personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Anyone who says Catholics don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ has never bothered to read St. Francis. We need to remember that Radical Catholic living is first a foremost a relationship, a love relationship with Jesus.
Battle against sin: St. Francis exemplified the battle against sin and pride and selfishness. His whole life was about the ridding of sin and the gaining of Jesus. He was determined to do whatever he needed to in order to gain victory over sin.
Desire for Martyrdom: Francis wanted to die for Christ’s sake so much so that he went and preached to the Sultan hoping to tempt him into martyring Francis. Francis wanted the chance to die for the One who died for him.
Look to St. John and St. Francis as examples of Radical Catholic Living. We can be confident in imitating them as they followed the Lord radically.
St. John the Baptist and St. Francis of Assisi pray for us!
Dave VanVickle is a Catholic speaker and writer focusing on the Universal Call to Holiness and Authentic Catholic Spirituality. He is currently employed as the Director of Evangelization for the parishes of the Catholic Community of Wexford, PA.