Written by: Denise Serafini on Saturday, March 11, 2017Presenting “Call from the Crucified Heart” in St. Francis of Assisi Church in Torrington, CT on March 5 gave us the opportunity to consider the message Christ has for us in manifesting the visible evidence with the associated pain and suffering of His crucifixion in the poor and humble Franciscan from Assisi. In order to do that we have to look more carefully inside, to the interior life of a Christian disciple who wished nothing more than to follow in the footprints of Christ. The very essence of the physical stigmata that appeared externally on Francis's body was reflective of his interior conformity to the lived example of Jesus Christ. He was consistently meditating on the life and Passion of Christ. It has been said that no one else in history was as dedicated as Francis to imitate the life, and carry out the work of Christ, in Christ’s own way. The “Call from the Crucified Heart” is a meditative experience that leads you through each step Christ’s Passion. It calls each of us to consider the great love that the Father has for us in sending His Only Son to suffer and die for our salvation. Moreover, it challenges us to look within, see how each of us does or does not bear the marks of Christ in our thoughts, words, and deeds. As we progress in the meditations through each element of His Passion in our program, we can see all the virtues Jesus exemplified in praising the Father, forgiving his enemies and literally pouring himself out for our salvation. We are expected to imitate all the virtues Christ demonstrated in his crucifixion just as St. Francis did.