In this Year of Consecrated Life, let me offer tribute to one of the religious missionaries that has had great impact on missionary consecration: St Francis Xavier.
He did great things, preaching the Gospel to the ends of the earth, baptizing tens and thousands, singing catechetical songs in Asian dialects to little children, converting hardened sailors by his gentleness, healing the sick, and letting the poorest know the closeness of God.
What was greatest about this saint was his kindness. Divine Charity, the eternal Love of God needs a human face, needs to be made real, present, and active to those who do not know what it is. The face of divine Love is kindness. The great zeal of charity that shone forth from his mighty deeds was an emanation of the superabundant kindness he spoke about that came from the Cross through the Sacraments of the Church. He felt such a debt to divine kindness that he considered his missionary travels simply repaying the debt.
Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen said there are three reasons people come to know the faith of Jesus Christ:
Fr Tom Gier, the SOLT missionary who started our Filipino and Papau New Guinnea Missions, who stopped an 18 year old tribal war, and has at least 70 priests from my community and different dioceses who attribute him as the inspiration of their vocation, said there are three things that are necessary for mission:
There really is only one reason people leave the Church. It is because someone is unkind, harsh, or rude to them, because they do not see the kindness of Christ and the fullness of the witness of his mercy lived out. Yes it is also because the Church is misrepresented in her teachings, but the greatest teaching of the Church is, you guessed it, kindness, the human face of divine charity.
The Kindness of God and therefore of the Saints of God (Which we are all called to be):
-Understands what a person is going through, accepts where they are at, listens, is patient, is accepting of a person's circumstances.
-Knows that harsh and unkind people are that way because they have not known kindness and the more a person is insulting, rude, and irritable, the more they are need of kindness.
-Doesn't look for kindness but looks to give kindness.
-Is generous, gratuitous, and is impatiently waiting for any opportunity to show kindness.
-Can only be given by one who has first received kindness from God and his friends. If you find yourself unkind, it is probably because you need to humble yourself before God and beg him for the grace to accept his kindness.
-Is first and foremost available in the Most Holy Eucharist and in the Sacrament of Penance, from here flows a divine fountainhead of kindness to water the earth.
To obtain kindness from God I highly recommend the miraculous novena of grace of St Francis Xavier. I prayed it every day as a religious novice, begging God that my religious missionary witness, would always be a manifestation of kindness.
Here it is: