Thursday, March 15, 2007
Little brown brother of the Umbrian hills,
Childlike and pure, you surely are the one
To hear a plea of pity for the ills
Man visits on all helpless things that run
Or creep and fly beneath the stars and sun.
Guard them, I pray, from human lust and greed-
The beautiful, the saucy and the shy-
And teach mankind to know wild creatures' need
Of confidence when human feet go by;
A heart that almost bursts the walls of flesh,
The frozen terror in a small bright eye,
Are plea enough for their immunity.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Saturday, March 03, 2007
With joy-filled devotion Francis dwelt in the heavenly mansions and in complete self-emptying he remained for long periods hidden, as it were, in the wounds of the Savior. He therefore sought out solitary places where he could cast his soul entirely upon God.
Celano – First Life – 71
Lord Jesus, I pray that as I search along that path into Your outstretched arms, that if I deviate from that path, that You take that whip and drive me back onto that narrow path to righteousness.
The Crown of Thorns
When he was asked why he went about the countryside weeping, St. Francis said, “I should travel through all the world and, without any false shame, cry and moan over the passion of my Lord!”
Legend of Perugia – 37
Lord Jesus Christ, my Beloved, just as that Crown of Thorns was placed upon your precious and holy head, please take that very same Crown of Thorns and place it upon my unworthy and sinful head for as you told me in your own words:
“Do not be afraid to put on my crown of thorns.
It is My crown of glory!
Wear it as I did.
I will bear the pain so that you have none.
Then, and only then, will you see Me in glory.
Then we shall meet face to face.
You in me, and I in you.
People will see me in your image.
Give yourselves to Me fully,
And I will come to you in glory…”
Lord Jesus, I humbly beg You to place Your crown of thorns upon my sinful and unworthy head. I pray that Your Crown blocks any thoughts that are not from you from entering into my mind. Lord Jesus, I pray that only Your good and holy thoughts are able to penetrate Your Crown into
my mind. Give me Your Knowledge and Wisdom and allow me to come into complete union with You.
The Nails Pierce His Precious Hands
St. Francis used to say we should prefer nothing to the salvation of souls, and he said so for this reason: It was for souls that the only-begotten Son of God deigned to ascend the cross.
St. Bonaventure – Major Life 9:4
Lord Jesus, as my soul walks blindly through the dark night of my soul, I humbly offer You my hands as a little child to his Big Brother. I beg You to take my sinful hands into Yours and ask you to lead me out of the darkness and into the Light...the Light of Christ.
God called St.Francis and his companions and chose them to bear the cross of Christ in their hearts and to preach it in word and action. That is why they looked like and were in fact crucified men in their comportment and in their austere life, in their deeds and actions. And that is why they wanted more to receive shame and insults for the love of Christ than the world's vain honors or respect or praise; and that is why they were saddened when they were honored. And so they went through the world as pilgrims and strangers, with Christ crucified as their only baggage.
Little Flowers of St. Francis – Chapter 5
My sweet Lord Jesus, please take that very nail that pierced Your precious and holy feet into Your hands and drive it through my unworthy and sinful feet. “Shod” my feet with that nail for the the preparation of the Gospel, commissioning me to take Your “Good News” to all the corners of the earth.
Receive the Body and the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ with great humility and with veneration, remembering the words of the Lord: “Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life” and, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
Rule 1221, Chapter XX
Oh sweet Brother Jesus, I beg You to take that very spear that pierced Your Most Precious and Holy Heart and “run me through!” Impale me, Oh Lord! Wound my soul! Pierce my heart and soul with Your love for all mankind; every man, woman and child, regardless of Race, Color or Creed. Dear brother Jesus, I beg you to drive that spear deep into my heart and soul so that all my sins and sinful nature pours out onto the dust and dung heaps of the earth, to be replaced by Your total Being, Your Holy Spirit, our Father's Love, and our Father's Joy!
Now hidden in the tomb... contemplation... silence... listening... expectant... emptied of all... peace... serenity... quiet... God is present... only God.... complete emptying of self... plunged into the dark night of his presence.