"CUM GRANDE HUMILITATE!"

"Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."

A special "Thank you!"
Goes out to
John Michael Talbot
for giving us permission
to use his song on our
"Come to the Quiet"
You Tube Video
T
T
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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Environmentalists: Lost In Slavery To A False god

For created things are less than the human person. They are made for you, not you for them, and so they can never satisfy you. Only I can satisfy you...These souls in one way or another have identified with the earth in their love, and so they have in fact become earth themselves...Some lose me in their slavery to creatures...And the more disordered their love in possessing, the greater is their grief in loss....They suffer because they do not have what they long for.

Catherine of Siena

If through delight in the beauty of these things
men assumed them to be gods,
let them know how much better than these is the Lord,
for the author of beauty created them...
For from the greatness and beauty of created things
comes a corresponding perception of their Creator...
and they trust in what they see,
because the things that are seen are beautiful.
Yet again, not even they are to be excused;
for if they had the power to know so much
they could investigate the world,
how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?

Wisdom 13:3, 5, 7b-9

Look Long At The Good Shepherd

Look long at the Good Shepherd, Who, to save His sheep, endured the suffering of the cross.

Admonition 6

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Honor The Nobility And Dignity Of Begging

Even when St. Francis would know that his host had prepared more than enough food, he would go begging at mealtime to give the brothers an example and to honor the nobility and dignity of Lady Poverty.

He would usually say something like this to his host: "I'm going out to beg for alms because I don't want to renounce my royal dignity, my inheritance, my vocation, and the vows the Lesser Brothers and I have made. I may come back with only a few scraps, but I shall have done what is mine to do."

Writings of Leo, Rufino, and Angelo

Friday, December 29, 2006

It Is Unseemly To Feel Humiliated When Seeking Alms

The Son of God was more noble than we; nevertheless, for us he made himself poor in this world. For love of him we have chosen the way of poverty; we shouldn't, then, feel humiliated to go seeking alms. It is not seemly for the heirs of the kingdom to feel ashamed of the pledge of their heavenly inheritance.

Celano - Second Life

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Value Coins And Lose The Kingdom Of Heaven

We must not think that the utility and value of coin or money is greater than that of stones. The devil wants to blind those who do desire and value money more. And so let us who have left all things beware, lest for so little we lose the kingdom of heaven.

Rule 1221 - Chapter VIII

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

St. Francis's Letter To St. Anthony

I am pleased that you are teaching sacred theology to the brothers, so long as this kind of study, as our Rule has it, does not extinguish the spirit of prayer and devotion.

St. Francis's Letter to St. Anthony

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Fast

One Christmas the brothers were discussing whether or not they were obliged to abstain from meat since the feast fell on a Friday. Francis responded to Brother Morico, "You sin, little brother, to call a day on which the Child was born for us a Friday. On a day like this I want even the walls to eat meat, and if they can't, at least let their surfaces be smeared with it."

Celano - Second Life

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Miracle Of The Hay

The hay that had been placed in the manger at Greccio was kept, so that the Lord might save beasts of burden and other animals through it. And in truth it happened that many animals throughout that region, beasts of burden and others with various illnesses, were freed from their ailments after eating of this hay. Indeed, some women who had been laboring for a long time in a difficult birth delivered their children easily when some of this hay was placed upon them; and a large number of persons of both sexes, suffering from various illnesses, obtained the health sought in the same way.

Today, the place on which the manger stood is consecrated to the Lord by a church, and over the manger there is an altar dedicated to St. Francis, so that where once the animals ate the hay, now people eat to health of soul and body the flesh of the Lamb without blemish and without spot, our Lord Jesus Christ, who in highest and ineffable love gave himself to us, and lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God eternally glorious, forever and ever. Amen, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Celano - First Life

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The First Christmas Crib (cont'd)

The gifts of the Almighty were multiplied at Greccio, and a wonderful vision was seen by a virtuous man who was present at the Mass. He saw the little Child lying in the manger seemingly lifeless, and then Francis, the holy man of God, went up to it and roused the Child as from a deep sleep. The vision was not unfitting, for the Child Jesus, who had been forgotten in the hearts of many, was brought to life again by God's grace working through his servant Francis and was stamped deeply upon his memory. And when the solemn vigil of Christmas was brought to a close, each one returned home with unspeakable joy.

Celano - First Life

Friday, December 22, 2006

The First Christmas Crib (cont'd)

Frequently, too, when Francis wished to refer to Christ Jesus, he would call him simply, "the Little Baby of Bethlehem," and at the word "Bethlehem" his voice was more like the bleating of a sheep. And when he said the name "Little Baby of Bethlehem" or "Jesus," his tongue licked his lips, as if he were savoring the sweetness of the words...

Celano - First Life

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The First Christmas Crib (cont'd)

Francis was clothed with the vestments of the deacon, for he was a deacon, and he sang the Holy Gospel in a resonant voice. And his voice was a strong voice and sweet, a clear voice and sonorous, ravishing everyone there with heavenly desires. Then he spoke to the people charming words about the poor King re-born and about the little town of Bethlehem.

Celano - First Life

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The First Christmas Crib (cont'd)

The good folk came and were filled with joy as if for the first time over a whole new mystery. The woods rang with voices, the rocks echoed their festive chorus, the brothers sang their choice praises to the Lord, and the whole night seemed to leap rejoicing. The saint of God stood ecstatically before the manger, his spirit trembling with compassion and ineffable love. Then the priest celebrated the solemnity of the Eucharist over the manger and he too experienced a consolation he'd never tasted before.

Celano - First Life

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The First Christmas Crib (cont'd)

Then the manger itself was prepared with the hay that had been brought, and the ox and ass were led in. Then was Godpel simplicity resplendent, poverty exalted, humility commended, and Greccio, as it were a new Bethlehem. The night was bright as if full of daylight, and it was sweet to people and beasts alike.

Celano - First Life

Monday, December 18, 2006

The First Christmas Crib

There was a certain man in Greccio by the name of John, of good reputation and an even better life. ..Thus it was that about two weeks before the Birth of the Lord, Blessed Francis sent for this man, and said to him, "If you would like to celebrate the Birth of Jesus at the hermitage of Greccio, then go with haste and diligently prepare what I tell you. For I wish to re-create the birth of the Babe born in Bethlehem, so that we will see with our own eyes how he did not even have the barest necessities, how he lay upon the hay where he had been placed."

Celano - First Life

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Scatter Wheat And Grain On Christmas Day

All mayors and lords of castles and towns are required each year on Christmas Day to order their subjects to scatter wheat and other grain on the roads outside the walls so that our sisters the larks and other birds might have something to eat on so festive a day.

Mirror of Perfection - 114

Saturday, December 16, 2006

St. Francis's Devotion To The Birth Of Jesus

Francis used to observe with inexpressible eagerness and above all other solemnities the Birth of the Child Jesus, calling it the feast of feasts on which God, become a little baby, hung upon human breasts. He would avidly kiss pictures of those infant limbs, and his compassion for the child overflowed his heart, making him stammer sweet words, even like a child. The name Baby Jesus was for him honeycombed-sweet in the mouth.

Celano -Second Life - 199

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bear Everything With Patience and Humility

You will encounter some who are faithful, meek and well disposed; they will joyfully receive you and your words. But there will be more who are skeptical, proud, and blasphemous, and who will insult you and resist your message. Prepare yourselves, therefore, to bear everything with patience and humility.

Legend of the Three Companions - 36

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Feast Day of St. John of the Cross

Suffering is more fruitful than pleasure. It is in suffering and in stillness that God strengthens the soul. When she is active and satisfied, she practices nothing more than her own inclinations and weaknesses. In suffering, the soul evolves in virtue and purity. She wakes up and grows wiser.

St.John of the Cross - Dark Night of the Soul

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Franciscus Christificatus

FRANCIS THOMPSON

Thief that has leaped Heaven's star-spiked wall!
Christ's exultant bacchanal!
Wine-smears on thy hand and foot
Of the Vine that struck its root
Deep in Virgin soul, and was
Trained against the reared Cross:
Nay, thy very side its stain
Hath, to make it redly plain
How in the wassail quaffed full part
That flown vintager, thy heart.
Christ in blood stamps Himself afresh
On thy Veronical-veil of flesh.

Lovers, looking with amaze on
Each other, would be that they gaze on:
So for man's love God would be
Man, and man for His love He:
What God in Christ, man has in thee.
God gazed on man and grew embodied,
Thou, on Him gazing, turn'st engodded!
But though he held thy brow-spread tent
His little Heaven above Him bent,
Thy scept'ring reed suffices thee,
Which smote Him into sovereignty.

Thou who thoughtest thee too low
Fir His priest, thou shalt not so
'Scape Him and unpriested go!
In thy hand thou wouldst not hold Him,
In thy flesh thou shalt enfold Him;
Bread wouldst not change into Him...ah see!
How He doth change Himself to thee!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Do Not Look Down Upon Or Judge Ill

All the Lesser Brothers are to wear poor clothes and, with God's blessing, let them mend them with pieces of sackcloth or some other materiel. I admonish and encourage them not to look down upon or judge ill of those people they see wearing soft and colorful clothes and enjoying the choicest food and drink. Instead, let each brother criticize and judge himself.

Rule 1223 - Chapter II

Monday, December 11, 2006

Myspace

Please check out myspace page at:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=74346026

Would I Might Wake Saint Francis in You All

VACHEL LINDSAY

Would I might wake Saint Francis in you all,
Brother of birds and trees,
God's Troubadour,
Blinded with weeping for the sad and the poor:
Our wealth undone, all strict Franciscan men,
Come, let us chant the canticle again
Of mother earth and the enduring sun.
God make each soul
The lowly lepers slave:
God make us saints, and brave.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

St. Francis Weeping

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

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Looking Into A Mirror Of The Lord

When you see a poor person, you are looking at a mirror of the Lord and his poor mother. So, too, in the sick you are contemplating the kind of infirmities he took upon himself for us.

Celano - Second Life - 85

Friday, December 08, 2006

Feast Of The Immaculate Conception

St. Francis embraced the Mother of Jesus with an inexpressible love because she it was who made the Lord of Majesty our brother. He composed special songs of praise in her honor, he poured out prayers and offered her affection. He made her the Advocate of the Order and placed under her wings the sons he was about to leave, that she might cherish and protect to the end.

Celano - Second Life - 198

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Eucharistic Music Video

Please enjoy this Eucharistic Music Video sent to me by Theresa Thomas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cbGCQyP_uk

The Vision Of The Little Black Hen

St. Francis had a vison of a little black hen, whose feathers and feet were those of a dove. She had so many chicks that she couldn't gather them under her wings, and so they ran all around her, beyond her reach.

When he woke up, Francis began to think about the dream, and the Holy Spirit revealed to him that the hen symbolized Francis himself, "I am that hen," he said, "because I am small in stature and black, and because I am to be simple like a dove and fly heavenward on wings of virtue. The Lord, in his mercy, has given and will give me more children, which I could never care for by myself. I need, therefore, to surrender them to Mother Church, who will protect them and gather them under the shade of her wings."

Legend of the Three Companions - 63

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Canticle of Brother Sun

Altissimu, omnipontente, bonsignore,
tue sono le laude
la gloria elhonore
et omne benedictione.

Ad te solo, Altissimo, se Kofano
et nullu homo enne dignu
te mentovare.

A Translation:

Most high, all powerful, all good, Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor
And all blessing.

To you alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy
To pronounce your name.

St. Francis Addresses The Brothers

Brother Francis, a man of little account and of weakness, your little servant, salutes you in him who has redeemed us and washed us in his precious Blood, in him whom, when you hear his name, you should adore with reverent fear, prostrate upon the ground. Jesus Christ the Lord, Son of the Most High, is his name, who is blessed forever and ever.

Letter to the Whole Order

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Prayer Or Peaching

"In prayer we walk with God and listen to him, and we walk with the angels. But in preaching, we have to descend to the human and live among others as one of them, thinking and seeing and hearing and speaking only on the human level. But, in favor of preaching, there is one argument which seems to count more than all the rest in God's eyes and that is this: the only-begotten Son of God, who is Infinite Wisdom, descended from the Father's embrace to save souls"...

St.Bonaventure - Major Life - 12:1

Monday, December 04, 2006

Woe To Those Who Despise Priests

Blessed is that servant who trusts in the priests who live justly, according to the rules of the holy Roman Church, and woe to those who despise them; for even if they were sinners, still no one ought to judge them, for God reserves to himself alone the right of doing so. For as their charge is greater than that of any others, namely, the administration of the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which they receive, and which they alone can give to others, so the sin of those who offend against them is greater than against anyone else in the world.

Admonitions to the Bretheren

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Beasts Of Burden Are Forbidden

I enjoin all my brothers, be they clerics or laics, whether they go through the world or reside somewhere, that they have no beast of burdon, either with them, or in keeping of others, or in any other way.

Nor are they permitted to ride horseback unless they are constrained by infirmity ot great necessity.

Rule of 1221 - Chapter XV

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Francis And Clare At The River

One day it happened that Francis and Clare were walking on opposite sides of a river in flood. When Francis saw Clare, he tried to cross the river to her, but the powerful, swirling current prevented him. He was troubled because dangerous water kept him from joining his sister after his own spirit. Then suddenly Clare threw her mantle on the water and, stepping on it, walked across the river in an instant. Blessed Francis, in awe and devotion, then said, "See, Lady Clare, you are more in favor with God than I am."

- A folk story of the country people of Rocca Sant' Angelo transcribed by Arnaldo Fortini in Nova Vita di San Francesco

Friday, December 01, 2006

Francis Walked Reverently Over Rocks

Francis walked reverently over rocks, out of consideration of him who is called Peter, the Rock. And when he came to his psalm verse, "Upon a rock you have exalted me," he would say, to be more reverent, "At the feet of the Rock you have exalted me."

Celano - Second Life - 165

Thursday, November 30, 2006

In The Summer When The Roses Bloom

One day when St. Clare and St. Francis were walking from Spello to Assisi, they had great unrest in their hearts. For on their way they had entered a house, where they had asked for and been given a little bread and water. While they were there, they had drawn looks of malice from the people, and were forced to endure all sorts of whispering, with jokes and veiled insinuations. So they went on their way in silence. It was the cold season of the year, and the land all around was covered with snow. Soon the horizon began to grow dark. Then Francis said: "Did you understand what the people were saying about us?"

Clare gave no answer. Her heart contracted as if pressed by pincers, and she felt close to tears. "It's time to part," Francis said finally. Then Clare fell to her knees in the middle of the road. After a while she got hold of herself, stood up, and went on with her head lowered, leaving Francis behind.

The road led through a forest. All at once she lost the strength to leave him like this, without hope or comfort, without a word of farewell.

She waited.

"When will we see each other again?"

"In the summer when the roses bloom."

Then something wonderful happened. All of a sudden it seemed to both of them as if there were countless roses all around - on the branches of juniper bushes and on the frost-covered hedges. Recovering from her astonishment Clare rushed up, plucked a bunch of roses, and laid them in Francis's hands. From that day on St. Clare and St. Francis were never seperated again.

An Old Franciscan Legend

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Angels As Companions

Francis venerated most affectionately the angels who are with us on the field of battle and who walk with us in the midst of the shadow of death. We should venerate these companions, and we should call upon them as our guardians. He used to teach that we should not offend their presence by doing in their sight what we would not do before people.

Celano - Second Life - 197

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

God Alone

God alone is kind
innocent
pure
from whom and through whom and in whom is
all pardon
all grace
all glory
of all the penitent and the just
of all the blessed who rejoice together in
heaven.

Rule 1221 - Chapter XXIII

Monday, November 27, 2006

St. Francis To Brothers Who Are Priests

I beseech in the Lord, all my brothers who are priests, now and in the future, and those who desire to be priests of the Most High, that when they celebrate Mass, they be pure and offer purely and with profound reverence the true sacrifice of the Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that they offer it with a holy and sincere intention, and not from worldly motives or out of fear or love of some human being, as though pleasing humans.

But let their will, aided by the grace of God, be directed to him, desiring by means of the Mass to please the Most High God alone, because he alone works in the Mass as it pleases him.

Letter to the Whole Order

Sunday, November 26, 2006

We Have Done Little, Or Nothing

Though St. Francis had to moderate his early rigor because of his illness, he continued to say, "My brothers and sisters, let us begin to serve the Lord God, for up till now we have done little, or nothing."

Celano - First Life, 103

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Joy Wards Off Evil

Servant of God, if you apply yourself to acquiring and preserving, both in heart and demeaner, that joy which comes from a pure heart and is won by devotion and prayer, the devils can do you no harm. They say, "This servant of God is as happy when things are going badly as when all is well, and so we cannot find an opening to enter him and hurt him."

Mirror of Perfection - 95

Friday, November 24, 2006

Working

I used to work with my hands, as I still want to, and I want all the other brothers to work at a task which is honest and becoming to our manner of life.

Those who do not know how to work should learn, not because they are eager for the pay due their labor, but for example's sake and to banish idleness. And when we receive no pay for our work, let us have recourse to the table of the Lord, begging alms from door to door.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Brother Leo's Vision Concerning Franciscans

St Francis being once grievously ill, Brother Leo, as he was in prayer by his bedside, was rapt in ecstasy, and carried in spirit to a great, wide and rapid river; and watching those who crossed it, he saw some brothers enter the river heavily laden, who were carried away by the current and were drowned; some contrived to reach one third of the way; others arrived as far as the middle of the stream; yet none could resist the rapidity of the waters, but fell down and were drowned. Presently he saw other brothers arrive; these carried nothing on their backs, but all bore upon the marks of holy poverty. They entered the river, and passed over to the other side without any danger to themselves. Having seen this, Brother Leo came to himself; and St Francis knowing in spirit that he had had a vision, called him to him, and asked what he had seen. When Brother Leo had related to him the vision, St Francis said: "What thou hast seen is indeed true. The great river is the world; the brothers who were drowned are those who do not follow their evangelical profession, or practice the great virtue of poverty; but they who passed the river are those who neither seek nor possess in this world any earthly riches, who having food and raiment are therewith content, and follow Christ naked on the cross, bearing joyfully and willingly his sweet and easy yoke and loving holy obedience: these pass easily from this earthly life to life eternal."

The LittleFlowers

Francis Addresses The Poor Ladies Of San Damiano

Since divine inspiration you have made yourselves daughters and handmaids of the Most High King, the Father of Heaven, and have embraced the Holy Spirit as your spouse, choosing to live according to the perfection of the Holy Gospel, I resolve and promise that personally and through my brothers I will always have the same special care and solicitude for you as I have for them.

Rule of St. Clare- Chapter VI

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Christ Teaches Us Humility

Humility, the guardian and ornament of all virtues, had superabundantly filled Francis, the man of God. He thought of himself as nothing but a sinner, when in truth he was a mirror shining with all the reflections of holiness. Like the wise builder he had learned about from Christ, he wanted to build his own edifice on the foundation of humility. The Son of God, he used to say, left the womb of the Father and descended from heaven's heights into our misery to teach us by word and example, even he the Lord and Master, what humility is. Therefore he strove, as Christ's disciple, to humble himself in his own eyes and those of others, recalling what his supreme Teacher had said: "What is highly esteemed in human eyes is loathsome in the sight of God."

St. Bonaventure - Major Life 6:1

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rule Of St.Clare On Fasting

The sisters are to fast at all times. But on Christmas, no matter on what day of the week it falls, they may have two meals. As for the young, the frail, and the sisters who serve outside the enclosure, the abbess may mercifully dispense them from fasting, as she sees fit. But in times of evident necessity, the sisters shall not be bound to bodily fasting.

Rule of St. Clare - Chapter III

Monday, November 20, 2006

Make Your Needs Known

Be confident in making your needs known to one another. For each of you, to the extent that God gives you the grace, should love and nourish one another as a mother loves and nourishes her child.

Rule 1221 - Chapter IX

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Begging Alms

I have never been a thief of alms, seeking or using more than I needed. I always accepted less than necessary, lest other poor people be cheated of their share.

Mirror of Perfection - 12

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Solitude

The Blessed and Venerable Father Francis wanted only to be taken up with God and to purify his spirit of the dust of the world which eventually clings to us in our daily association with others. So he would periodically withdraw to a place of solitude and silence...He would take with him a very few companions from among those more intimately associated with his inner life, so that they might keep people from visiting or disturbing him, and might lovingly and faithfully keep guard over his quiet.

Celano - First Life - 91

Friday, November 17, 2006

Lukewarm Soul

When soul is tepid and little by little cools to grace, then flesh and blood leap forward to impose their needs.

Mirror of Perfection - 15

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Symbols Of God

Francis embraced all things with an unheard of love and devotion, speaking to them of the Lord and exhorting them to praise Him. He spared lights, lamps, and candles, refusing to be responsible for extinguishing their light which he saw as a symbol of the eternal light.

Celano - Second Life

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Salvation Of Souls

St. Francis used to say we should prefer nothing to the salvation of souls, and he said so for this reason: It is for souls that the only-begotten Son of God deigned to ascend the Cross.

St.Bonaventure - Major Life

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Sign From God

One day at the very beginning of his conversion, St. Francis was attending Mass at the Portiuncula, and he heard the words of Christ whereby he sends out his disciples to preach and admonishes them as to their life on the road: "Provide yourselves with no gold or silver, not even with coppers for your purses, with no haversack for the journey or spare tunic or footware or a staff."

Immediately St. Francis knew that these were the words of assurance, the sign from God that he had been looking for, and he said,"This is what I've wanted, this is what I've been longing for with all my heart."

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Monday, November 13, 2006

St.Francis To St. Clare And The Poor Ladies

I, Brother Francis, little one, want to follow the life and poverty of the Most High, our Lord Jesus Christ, and his Most Holy Mother, and to preserve in this to the end. And I pray you, my ladies, and councel you to live always in this same most holy life and poverty. Be careful to keep far from you anyone who would in any way teach or councel anything other than this.

Francis's Last Will for the Poor Ladies

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sweetness Of Body And Soul

In his Last Testament, St. Francis writes, "For I, being in sin, thought it bitter to look at lepers, and the Lord himself led me among them, and I worked mercy with them. And when I left their company, I relalized that what had seemed bitter to me, had turned into sweetness of body and soul."

The Testament of St. Francis

Saturday, November 11, 2006

In The Beginning

One day, as usual, Francis was in his shop preoccupied with selling cloth whan a beggar appeared asking alms for the love of God. Francis, deep in his dreams of riches, ignored him.

Then, as the beggar shuffled away, the young Francis, touched by divine grace, began to reproach himself for what he had done, thinking: "If that poor man had asked you to contribute something in the name of some count or some great baron, you would have accomodated him, for sure. Shouldn't you have been more eager to do so in the name of the King of Kings, the Lord of the Universe?"

And with that thought in mind, he promised himself from that moment on never to refuse a request made in the name of the Lord. Then he called the poor man back and gave him a handsome sum of money.

Anonymous of Perugia

Friday, November 10, 2006

Be Found Always Obedient To His Will

Once when Francis was very ill, he was so weak that he could not even move. But when one of the brothers asked what he would prefer to bear, this lingering, protracted illness or the suffering of an excruciating martyrdom at the hands of an executioner, he replied, "My son, what has always been and still is most dear to me and sweeter and more acceptable is whatever the Lord my God is most pleased to let happen in me and to me, for my own desire is to be found always conformed and obedient to his will in everything.

Celano - First Life

Thursday, November 09, 2006

St.Francis Addresses Political Leaders

Pause and reflect, for the day of death draws near. Accordingly, I beg you as respectfully as possible, do not let your cares and preoccupations with the world make you forget the Lord or tun aside from his commandments. For all those who forget him and turn away from his commands are cursed; they will be completely forgotten by him. And when the day of death does come, what you think you possess will be taken from you. And the more clever and powerful you have been in the world, so much greater will be the punishment of hell that you will have to endure.

Letter to the Rulers of the People

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Life's Paradox

Know that there are some things in life which are exalted and sublime before the Lord but are low and despicable in others' eyes; and other things which people consider grand and n0ble, in the eyes of God are counted worthless and vile.

Second Letter to the Custodes

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Ladder Of Contemplation

God is called and prayed as the dear spouce that is to come to this mourning soul that languishes in love. What does God then, whose help is ever upon the righteous and our ear at our prayer? He doesn't wait until the prayer is fully ended, but he pierces in the midst of the burning desire of that thirsty soul, and with a secret balm of heavenly sweetness softens the soul and comforts it, and makes it be so overcome with delight and joy that it forgets all earthly things for that hour, and he makes it to lose itself in wonder, as if it were dead from knowing ourself. And as in fleshly works we are so overcome that we lose the guidance of reason and so become all fleshly, right so in the ladder of contemplation our fleshly stirrings are so cancelled out that the flesh does not win over the spirit but is become all spiritual.

Guigo II - The Ladder of Four Rungs

Rise Up!

St. Francis used to say: "If you, O servant of God, are upset, for any reason whatever, you should immediately rise up to prayer, and you should remain in the presence of the Most High Father for as long as it takes for him to restore to you the joy of your salvation.

Selcano - Second Life

Monday, November 06, 2006

Virtue Drives Out Vice

Where there is charity and wisdom,
there is neither fear nor ignorance.
Where there is patience and humility,
there is neither anger nor disturbance.
Where there is poverty with joy,
there is neither covetousness nor avarice.
Where there is inner peace and meditation,
there is neither anxiousness nor dissipation.
Where there is fear of the Lord to guard the house,
there the enemy cannot gain entry.
Where there is mercy and discernment,
there is neither excess nor hardness of heart.

Humble Beginnings Of The Order

After the Lord gave me some brothers, no one showed me what to do; but the Most High revealed to me that I was to live according to the manner of the Holy Gospel. And I had it written down in brief, simple words, and the Lord Pope confirmed it for me.

And those who came to receive this life gave everything they had to the poor, and they were happy with one tunic patched inside and out, and a cord and breeches.

And we had no desire for anything else.

The Testament of St. Francis

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A True Lesser Brother

I wouldn't seem to be a Lesser Brother if I didn't have the dispostion I am about to describe to you. As superior of the Lesser Brothers I go to the chapter where I preach and admonish, and in the end it is said of me, "A man so unlettered and contemptible isn't fit for us. Therefore we do not want you to lead us with your lack of eloquence, your simplemindedness and ignorance." Finally I am dismissed in disgrace and scorned by all. I tell you, if I can't hear these words and keep the same expression, the same joy of soul, the same purpose of sanctity, then I am in no way a Lesser Brother.

Celano - Second Life

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Ladder Of Monks

A thief climbs a ladder to break into the vault where treasures are stored. The soul, too, ascends the secret contemplation to plunder the riches of heaven.

St. John of the Cross - Dark Night of the Soul

St. Francis Teaches Against Hypocracy

It was winter, and Francis was wearing only a single habit over his holy body, and it was patched all over with coarse pieces of cloth. His guardian, who was also his companion, came by a fox hide and gave it to him saying, "Father, you're suffering spleen and stomach pain, so I beg you, for the love of God, to let this hide be sewn on the inside of your habit. Or if that is too much to expect, at least take a small part of the hide to cover your stomach." But Francis answered, "If you want me to wear this fox skin beneath my habit, then let me wear one of equal size on the outside. Sewn there, it will show others that there is another one hidden inside, too."

Celano - Second Life

The Very Summit Of Poverty

You who long to reach the very summit of poverty must renounce not only worldly wisdom, but even, to a degree, the privilege of learning itself. Divested of these possessions, you will be able to enter the power of Yahweh (Psalm 71:16) and offer yourself naked to the embrace of the Crucified.

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Friday, November 03, 2006

Only Divine Love Can Purchase Heaven

St. Francis used to say: "To offer the precious patrimony of the love of God in exchange for an alms is a noble prodigality, and those who value this prodigality less than money are very stupid, for only the incalculable price of divine love can purchase the kingdom of heaven."

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Bread We Beg Is Holy Bread

The bread we beg is holy bread. It is made holy by our praise and love of God. When a Lesser Brother goes begging, his first words are, "Praised and blessed be the Lord our God," and then, "Give us alms for the love of the Lord our God."

Legend of Perugia - 61

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Our Body Is Our Cell

Wherever we are or wherever we are going, we have our cell with us. For Brother Body is the cell, and the soul is the hermit who dwells in it, meditating there and praying to God. Therefore, if the soul does not preserve quiet and solitude in its own cell, of what profit is a cell made by hands?

Legend of Perugia - 80

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Prophecy Of St. Francis About The Poor Clare's

Immediately after his conversion and before St. Francis had any brothers or companions, he spent his time repairing the church of San Damiano. There he received that vision of the Lord which filled him with heavenly consolation, there he made his final decision to leave the world, and there in a transport of joy and enlightened by the Holy Spirit, he prophesied something about us which the Lord later fulfilled.

He climbed the wall of the church and cried out in French, "Come and help me build this monastery of San Damiano, because in a short time some ladies are going to live here whose holy lives will bring glory to our Heavenly Father throughout the whole Church!"

The Testament of St. Clare

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Mirror Of Christ

When you see a poor person, you are looking at a mirror of the Lord and his poor mother. So, too, in the sick you are contemplating the kind of infirmities he took upon himself for us.

Celano - Second Life

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Allow Your Body What It Needs

I exhort you to know your own constitution; for one of you might be able to get along on less food than another, and I wouldn't want you who may need more food to think you have to imitate someone who needs less. You each must know your own physical makeup and allow your body its needs, so that it has strength to serve the spirit. For just as we are bound to avoid overindulgence in food, which harms both body and soul, we must also avoid exaggerated abstinence.

Mirror of Perfection - 27

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Love For Jesus

Francis was intimately united with Jesus - Jesus always in his heart, Jesus on his lips, Jesus in his ears, Jesus in his hands, Jesus in all other members of his body. How many times he would be eating dinner and would hear or mention or think about Jesus and forget to eat, so that, as we read about one of the saints,"looking he did not see, and listening he did not hear."

Celano - First Life

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dark Night Of The Soul

1. One dark night,
fired with love's urgent longings
- ah, the sheer grace!
- I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

2. In darkness, and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
- ah, the sheer grace!
- in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.

3. On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.

4. This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
- him I knew so well -
there in a place where no one appeared.

5. O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.

6. Upon my flowering breast
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

7. When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck

with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

8. I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.



The Complete Works of Saint John of the Cross
Volume I
Burns Oates & Washbourne LTD
London - 1933

Monday, October 23, 2006

All Praise Be Yours My Lord

Laudato sie, misignoe, cum tacte te tue creature,
spttialmente messor lo frate sole,
loquale iorno et allumini nor par loi.

A translation:

All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that
you have made,
And first my lord Brother sun,
Who brings the day: and light you give to us
though him.

From "The Canticle of Brother Sun"

To Those Who Wish To Join The Brotherhood

If anyone by divine inspiration wishes to embrace this life and comes to our brothers, let him be kindly received by them. And if he remains constant in his resolve to accept our life, the brothers are to be careful not to meddle in his temporal affairs, but they are to present him as soon as possible to their own minister. Let the minister receive him kindly and encourage him and diligently explain to him the nature of our life. After this, if he is still willing and able to do it in conscience and is without legal impediments, he is to sell whatever he has and set about giving the sum to the poor.

Rule 1221 - Chapter II

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Taking Correction

Blessed are those servants who bear correction, accusation, and reproof from another patiently as if it came from themselves.

Admonition 20

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Humbly Bear Shame

Blessed are those servants who are not quick to excuse themselves and who humbly put up with shame and reproach for sins they are not guilty of.

Admonition 22

Friday, October 20, 2006

Authority Of The Brothers

Those brothers who are placed in authority over the others are to glory in their office as much as if they were appointed to wash the feet of the brothers; and if they are more disturbed when their office is taken from them than they would be if the service of washing feet were taken from them, then to that extent have they amassed treasures for themselves to the peril of their souls.

Admonition 4

Thursday, October 19, 2006

St Clare Regarding Most High Poverty

The summit of Most High Poverty has made you, my dearest sisters, heirs and queens of the kingdom of heaven. It has made you poor in material things, but rich in virtue. It is your inheritance, which gives you entry into the land of the living. Hold fast to Most High Poverty, my most beloved sisters, and never wish for anything more under heaven, for love of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Most Holy Mother.

Rule of St. Clare - Chapter VIII

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Love Of God

If St. Francis heard people use lightly the words "love of God," he didn't like it and would often rebuke them for it. He would say, "The love of God is so exalted that it should be mentioned rarely, in extreme need, and then with great reverence."

Writings of Leo, Rufino, and Angelo

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Insignificant Or Unbalanced

Have no fear of being thought insignificant or unbalanced, but preach repentance with courage and simplicity. Have faith in the Lord, who has overcome the world. His Spirit speaks in you and through you, calling men and women to turn to him and observe his precepts.

Legend of the Three Companions

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Humility Of God

Let humanity kneel in fear, let the whole universe tremble, and let heaven rejoice when Christ the Son of the Living God is on the altar in the hands of the priest!

O wonderful ascent, O stupendous descent! O sublimity, that the Lord of the Universe, God and Son of God, should so humbly hide himself, for our salvation, in what seems to be only a small piece of bread! Look, then, upon the humility of God! And pour out your hearts before him. Humble yourselves that he might exhalt you. Hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves, that he may receive your all who gave his all to you.

Letter to the Whole Order

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Spirit Receives The Body And Blood Of The Lord

The Spirit of the Lord, who dwells in his faithful, is the One who receives the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord; all those who do not partake of the same Spirit and presume to receive the Lord, eat and drink to their own judgement (1 Corr. 11:29) .

Admonition 1

Saturday, October 14, 2006

St. Francis And The Sultan Of Egypt

"The minister general [St. Bonaventure] said to us: Here are some anecdotes that Brother Illuminato who accompanied St. Francis on his visit to the sultan of Egypt told us:

...The same sultan submitted this problem to him: "Your Lord taught in his gospels that evil must not be repaid with evil, that you should not refuse your cloak to anyone who wants to take your tunic, etc. (Mt 5,40): in that case, Christians should not invade our land?" - "It seems," Blessed Francis answered, "That you have not read the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ completely. In another place we read: if your eye causes you sin, tear it out and throw it away (Mt 5 , 29). Here he wanted to teach us that every man, however dear and close he is to us, and even if he is precious to us as the apple of our eye, must be repulsed, pulled out, expelled if he seeks to turn us aside from the faith and love of our God. That is why it is just that Christians invade the land you inhabit, for you blaspheme the name of Christ and alienate everyone you can from his worship. But if you were to recognize, confess, and adore the Creator and Redeemer, Christians would love you as themselves."

St. Francis of Assisi

Omnibus of Sources
Thirteenth-Century Sources
Verba fr. Illuminati (Ms Vat. Ottub. lat. 522)
Golubovich, Biblioteca, vol. I, pp. 36-37

Friday, October 13, 2006

November: 30 Days of Fasting and Prayer for the Unborn

We are inviting everyone to please join us in taking the 30 days in November for praying, fasting and spending one hour a day before the Blessed Sacrament for the unborn.

If you are unable to go before the Blessed Sacrament in your church, you can always go to:
http://www.savior.org/
for a 24 hours a day, seven days a week, live feed of the Eucharist.

Pray for a healing of all God's people.

The Way Of Holy Obedience

Holy Obedience
confounds selfish
and carnal desires,
keeps the body subject
to the obedience of the spirit
and to obedience to one's neighbor,
rendering one submissive
to every human being
in the world;
and not only to humans,
but also to all beasts and all the wild animals,
so that they can do what they want
to you insofar as the Lord
may permit them from above...

Salutation and Virtues

Thursday, October 12, 2006

St. Francis's Advice To His Brothers

Hear, "listen carefully to what I say" (Acts 2:14). Bend the ear of your heart and obey the voice of the Son of God. Keep his precepts in the depths of your heart and fulfill perfectly his counsels.

"Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good" (Psalm 136:1) and extol him in your works, because he has sent you into the whole world for this, namely, to give testimony to his voice in word and work and to make known to all that there is no other Almighty besides him.

Letter to the Whole Order

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Receive From The Lord A Reward

Let us have charity and humility, and let us give alms, for almsgiving washes the soul of the filth of sin.

For we lose everything we leave behind in this world, but we take with us the merit of the charity and the almsgiving we've practiced and for which we will receive from the Lord a reward and worthy recompense.

Letter to All the Faithful - Second Version

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Brother Giles: The Perfection Of Contemplative Prayer

St. Francis said of Brother Giles that he more than any other had arrived at the perfection of contemplative prayer. And Brother Giles himself used to say, "The contemplative life is to leave behind all earthly things for the love of God, to seek only the things of heaven, to pray without tiring, to read often and with concentration, to praise God continually with hymns and canticles. To contemplate is to be seperated from all and to be united to God alone."

The Anonymous of Perugia - Chapter 3:14
The Mirror of Perfection - 85
The Golden Sayings of Brother Giles - Chapter XIII

Monday, October 09, 2006

Daily Humility Of God

See, every day he humbles himself as he did when, from his royal throne, he came into the womb of the Virgin; every day he comes to us with the same humility; every day he descends from his Father's bosom into the hands of the priest at the altar.

Admonition 1

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Ladder To God And Neighbor

The angelic man, Francis, like the heavenly spirits on Jacob's ladder, ascended to God and descended to his neighbor. In fact, he had learned to divide the time given him to gain merit in such a way, that he labored manfully spending part of it helping his neighbor and part in the sweet withdrawal into contamplation.

St. Bonaventure - Major Life


Recommended readings:

The Ladder of Monks and Meditation - Guigo the Carthusian
Cautelas and Avison - St. John of the Cross

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fasting

The brothers are to fast from the feast of All Saints to the Nativity of the Lord. Then, as to the other fast which begins with the Epiphany and lasts uninterruptedly for forty days and which the Lord sanctified with His own fast, those who keep it voluntarily, may they be blessed by the Lord, and those who do not wish to keep it, are not bound to do so. But the brothers are bound to keep the other fast which ends with the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord.

They are bound to no further fasting, then, except on Fridays. And whenever necessity requires that a brother not fast, he is not bound to corporal fasting.

Rule of 1223 - Chapter III

Thursday, October 05, 2006

St. Francis's Prophecy Regarding His Death

One day, when Francis lay ill in the bishop's residence in Assisi, a spiritual brother said to him with a smile, as if joking, "How much do you think you should charge the Lord for this sackcloth of yours? For much precious cloth and drapery will one day cover your little body which now is clothed in sackcloth!" And indeed, at that time St. Francis's cowl was patched with sackcloth, and his habit was all of sackcloth as well.

Then St. Francis, or rather the Holy Spirit in him, answered with words filled with fervor and joy, "You have spoken the truth; what you've said will be fulfilled to the praise and glory of my God."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

October 4th: The Feast Of St. Francis

The larks are friends of daylight and shun the shadows of twilight. But on the eve that St. Francis passed from this world to Christ, just as twilight was descending, the larks rose up to the roof of his cell and began circling it with clamor of wingbeat and song. No one knew if they were singing with joy or sadness, for their voices were filled with joyful tears and sad joy, as if they were orphaned children weeping and singing their father into heaven. The city guards who were keeping watch were filled with wonder and they summoned others to witness the sight.

Celano - Treatise on the Miracles

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Transitus (Passing) of St. Francis

When he was dying, St. Francis made clear to his brothers the uniqueness of each person's response to Christ. He covered the wound in his side with his right hand, as if to preserve the seal of his own unique response, and he said, "I have done what was mine to do; may Christ teach you what is yours to do."

Celano - Second Life

In The Embrace Of Lady Poverty

As far as the brothers distance themselves from poverty, that far will the world distance itself from the brothers, and they will search and not find (Luke 11:10). But if they remain in the embrace of my Lady Poverty, the world will nourish them, for then they are given the world for its salvation.

Celano - Second Life

Monday, October 02, 2006

Alien

MARY BRENT WHITESIDE

He crouches in the chapel, on his knees,
With matted hair that hangs in dusky strands;
Apart and strange, among the little bands
Of worshipers, for he is not as these.
Alone! and yet a deeper vision sees
That near this alien with his grimy hands,
The Little Poor Man of Assisi stands,
As Giotto painted him upon a friese.

I know one luminous Italian spring!
"Your province? Is it Umbria?" I ask.
The weariness falls from him like a mask,
And all his visage is a shining thing,
As though some dethless master of his race
Inscribed a sudden message on his face.

Pure Hearts

"Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God." The pure of heart are those who despise earthly things and seek those of heaven, and who never cease adoring and looking with pure heart and soul upon the Lord God living and true.

Admonition 17

Sunday, October 01, 2006

"Do You Smell That?"

"This past week someone shared with me the story of Dana Lu Blessing. I share it with you as we reflect on the awesome gift of human life.

"A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as a doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon, March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24 weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver the couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.

"At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. 'I don't think she's going to make it,' he said as kindly as he could. Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived.

"Because Dana's nervous system was essentially "raw" the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so for the first two months of her life her parents couldn't touch or cradle their tiny baby girl. Little by little this miracle child gained weight and strength. Five years later she was a petite and feisty little girl with no signs of physical or mental impairment.

"While her survival was a miracle, another miracle was revealed when Dana wasjust five years old. One afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ballpark watching her brother play baseball. She suddenly asked her mother, "Do you smell that?" "Yes," Diana responded, "it smells like rain." Dana closed her eyes and asked again, "Do you smell that?" Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're going to get wet. It smells like rain." Dana shook her head and announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest." And off she ran to play with the other children.

"And Dana knew that during those long days and nights of her daughter's first two months of life when her nerves were too sensitive for anyone to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it was His loving scent that she remembered.

"May Dana Lu Blessing never forget that scent and may we never forget God's love for His little ones both born and soon-to-be-born."

In God's love,
Fr. Todd Riebe
Pastor
Richmond Catholic Community
www.richmondcatholiccommunity.com

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Blame Game

There are some who, when they sin or suffer some injury, immediately blame their enemies or their neighbors. But that is not the way it is. Rather, each of us has the enemy in his or her own power, namely, the flesh which is sin.

Therefore, "blessed that servant" (Matt 24:26) who holds captive this enemy given into his or her power and who wisely guards against it; for as long as you do this, no other enemy, visible or invisible, can do you any harm.

Admonition 10

Friday, September 29, 2006

Love For Angels

St. Francis was united with an unbreakable bond of love to the angelic spirits who burn with a marvelous fire and who inflame the hearts of the faithful and enable them to enter into God.

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Spiritual Murderers

There are many religious who, under the pretext of seeing better things than those which their prelates command, look back and return to the vomit of self-will. Such as these are murderers because by their bad example they cause many souls to be lost.

Admonitions 3

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Il Cantico del Sole (The Canticle of Brother Sun)

Laudato si, misignore, per quelli ke perdanano
per lo tuo amore
et sostengo infirmitata
et tribulatione.

A Translation:

All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who
grant pardon
For love of you; through those who endure
Sickness and trial.

Seek To Humble Yourselves In All Things

In the love which God is I beseech all my brothers - speakers, workers, whether clerics or laics: Seek to humble yourselves in all things, and do not glory in yourselves or rejoice inwardly, or exalt yourselves for the good words and works or, indeed, of any good which God sometimes says or does or works in you or through you.

Rule 1221 - Chapter XVII

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

All Praise Be Yours My Lord

Laudato sie, misignoe, cum tacte te tue creature,
spttialmente messor lo frate sole,
loquale iorno et allumini nor par loi.

A translation:

All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that
you have made,And first my lord Brother sun,
Who brings the day: and light you give to us
though him.

From "The Canticle of Brother Sun"

A Holy Contract

There is a contract between the world and the brothers: The brothers are bound to give the world a good example, and the world to provide for their necessities. If, then, the brothers break their contract by reneging on their good example, the world will withdraw its hand in just censure.

Celano - Second Life

Monday, September 25, 2006

Extraordinary Way To Salvation

Poverty is an extraordinary way of salvation, since it nourishes humility, the root of perfection. Its fruits are manifold, though hidden. This is the Gospel treasure hidden in the field. To buy it we have to sell everything, and what we cannot sell, we should consider worthless in comparison to the treasure.

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Friday, September 22, 2006

We Seem To Think

by PETER MAURIN

Saint Francis thought
that to choose the poor
is just as good
as if one should marry
the most beautiful girl in the world.
We seem to think
that poor people
are social nuisances
and not the Ambassadors of God.
We seem to think
that Lady Poverty
is an ugly girl
and not the beautiful girl
that Saint Francis of Assisi
says she is.
And because we think so,
we refuse to feed the poor
with our superflous goods
and let the politicians
feed the poor
by going around like pickpockets,
robbing Peter
to pay Paul,
and feeding the poor
by soaking the rich.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fragrant Words Of Christ

Receive with divine love the fragrant words of our Lord Jesus Christ. And those of you who do not know how to read should have them read to you often, and commit them to memory, and live them unto holiness to the end, for they are spirit and life.

Letter to All the Faithful - First Version

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

PRAYER REQUEST: IMMEDIATE !

Please see:

http://seizethedei.blogspot.com

I am asking that everyone please pray for little Naomi...and her wonderful parents!

The Lord give you peace!

Prudent Speech

Blessed are those servants who do not talk in order to gain something and who do not reveal everything about themselves and are not quick to speak, but wisely consider what they are going to say and how they are going to answer.

Admonition 21

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

When Soul Is Tepid

When soul is tepid and little by little cools to grace, then flesh and blood leap forward to impose their needs.

Mirror of Perfection

Monday, September 18, 2006

Would I Might Wake Saint Francis In You All

VACHEL LINDSEY

Would I might wake Saint Francis in you all,
Brother of birds and trees,
God's Troubadour,
Blinded with weeping for the sad and the poor:
Our wealth undone, all strict Franciscan men,
Come, let us chant the canticle again
Of mother earth and the enduring sun.
God make each soul
The lowly leper's slave:
God make us saints and brave.

What God Asks Above All Else

In holy charity, which God is, I beg all of you, that, removing every obstacle and putting aside every worry and every care as best you can, you strive to serve, love, adore, and honor the Lord God with pure heart and pure mind, which is what he asks above all else.

Rule 1221, Chapter XXII

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Forgiveness

Let there be no brother who has sinned, no matter how seriously, who would look into your eyes seeking forgiveness, and go away without it. And should he not seek forgiveness, you should ask him if he wants it. And if after that he were to sin a thousand times, even before your eyes, love him more than me, for this is how you will draw him to the Lord; and always have mercy on such as these.

Letter to a Minister

Friday, September 15, 2006

When You Are Honored And Extolled

Blessed are you, servant of God, if you do not consider yourself any better when you are honored and extolled by others than when you are considered low and simple and despised; for what you are before God, that is what you are, and no more.

Admonition 19

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A New Kind Of Fool

The Lord has called me into a way of simplicity and humility, and he has indeed made this way known through me and through all who choose to believe me and follow me. So I prefer you not talk to me about any other Rule, whether St. Benedict's, or St. Augustine's or St. Bernard's, nor recommend any other ideal or manner of life than that which the Lord in his mercy has revealed and given to me. He told me I am to be a new kind of fool in this world.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Crown Of Thorns

by brother lesser

I was in an area of complete and utter darkness. Then a mist appeared, through which two hands appeared that were handing me a crown of thorns.

I took the crown of thorns from the outstretched hands and placed it upon my head. As the crown was being seated upon my head, I prematurely winced, fully expecting searing pain from those thorns to shoot through my head and throughout my entire body.

But instead of pain, a warm and wonderful feeling of joy and peace settled over me. I was being bathed in God’s love.

Simultaneously with the crown of thorns being placed upon my head, a vision appeared before me of a glass mirror “unfurling” like a window shade, even though it was glass.

Jesus then appeared in the glass before me.

I was immediately filled with shame because Jesus had caught me wearing his crown, and I immediately pulled it from my head.

As I did, the glass rolled up and Jesus disappeared.

I then placed the crown back onto my head.

As I did, the glass again unfurled before me...and again Jesus was standing before me.

At that moment, the realization hit me that I was looking into a mirror and seeing my own reflection, and that reflection was my Savior and my Lord! And me! One and the same!

This vision greatly troubled me. After all, who did I think I was, anyway? Was I so vain as to think myself equal to Jesus? God forbid! The vision continued to frighten me long afterwards, fearing that my attitude was obviously not right with God…that is, until I heard these words spoken to me:

“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…”

The Passing Of St. Francis

When he was dying, St. Francis made clear to his brothers the uniqueness of each person's response to Christ. He covered the wound in his side with his right hand, as if to preserve the seal of his own unique response, and he said, "I have done what is mine to do; may Christ teach you what is yours to do."

Celano - Second Life

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Compassion

St. Francis turned with marvelous tenderness and compassion toward anyone inflicted with physical suffering; and when he noticed deprivation or need in anyone, he saw in that person the suffering Christ himself. The love of Christ only intensified his natural bent toward compassion.

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bear The Cross Of Christ In Our Hearts

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 and 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

Hidden In The Wounds Of The Savior

With joy-filled devotion Francis dwelt in the hevenly 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

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Simple Dwellings

If at any time the brothers abandon their small, poor dwellings because someone has offered them something more spacious and comfortable, they thereby give the worst kind of scandalous example.

Writings of Leo, Rufino and Angelo

Friday, September 08, 2006

St. Francis Speaks To The Demons

Do what you want to me, wicked and deceitful spirits, for you can only do what the Lord allows you to do. Therefore, I am happy to suffer everything that God lets you do to me.

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Thursday, September 07, 2006

This Is Your Vocation

The peace which you proclaim with words must dwell even more abundantly in your hearts. Do not provoke others to anger or give scandal. Rather, let your gentleness draw them to peace, goodness, and concord. This is our vocation: to heal wounds, to bind the broken, to bring home those who are lost.

Legend of the Three Companions

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

When Reproved

Blessed are those servants who when reproved, gently submit, respectfully obey, humbly confess and gladly make reparation.

Admonition 22

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Those In Need

Strip the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary and cart off its varied furnishings if you cannot otherwise satisfy one who is in need. Believe me, it is dearer to Mary that the Gospel of her Son be kept, though it means stripping her altar, than to see her altar ornamented and her Son neglected.

Celano - Second Life

Friday, September 01, 2006

Anger

No matter how someone else sins, if you let yourself be upset or angered over it, except for charity's sake, you store up for yourself - like a treasure - the sin of another. But, servant of God, if you do not become angry or indignant over someone else, you are living justly and poorly, that is, without claiming anything of your own.

Admonition 11

The Great Almsgiver

Go humbly begging alms. Don't be ashamed, because after sin everything comes to us as an alms, and the Great Almsgiver gives generously and kindly to all, to the worthy and unworthy.

Celano - Second Life

Thursday, August 31, 2006

To Those Expecting Glory And Honor

Did not the Lord's flock actually follow him in tribulation and persecution, shame and hunger, sickness and trial and all the rest, and thereby receive eternal life from the Lord? What a great shame, then, that while the saints actually followed in the footsteps of the Lord, we, today's servants of God, expect glory and honor simply because we can recite what they did.

Admonition 6

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Brother Fly

In the beginning, when the Order was new and the brothers were living at Rivotorto, there was a brother who didn't pray much, who did no work, and who wouldn't go begging because he was ashamed to. But he did eat, and quite well.

So St. Francis said to him: "Good-bye, Brother Fly. All you want is to eat what your brothers work for and to idle away your time instead of working in God. You're like Brother Drone, refusing to work or to produce, but eating what the good bees work for, what they produce." So that brother left, and flesh-minded man that he was, he didn't even ask forgiveness.

Legend of Perugia

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Tepid Soul

When soul is tepid and little by little cools to grace, then flesh and blood leap forward to impose their needs.

Mirror of Perfection, 15

By Word And Example

The Apostle says, "The written letters kill, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Cor 3:6).

They are killed by the written letter who desire to know words so that they might seem wiser than others and be able to acquire riches to leave to their relatives and friends.

And those religious are killed by the letter who do not care to follow the Spirit of Holy Scripture, but desire to know only the words and to explain them to others.

And they are brought to life by the Spirit of Holy Scripture who do not attribute to themselves everything they know and desire to know, but in word and example give credit to the Most High to whom belongs everything that is good.

Admonition 7

Monday, August 28, 2006

Conformed To Christ

In everything he did, St. Francis was conformed to Christ. When he began his Order, he did as the Blessed Christ had done when he chose the twelve Apostles to despise the things of this world and follow him in poverty and the other virtues. He too had twelve chosen companions who were followers of total poverty.

Little Flowers of St. Francis

Sunday, August 27, 2006

God Affixed His Own Seal

The Lord was pleased to endorse the teaching and Rule of St. Francis, not only by miraculous signs, but also by marks of his own stigmata, so that no true believer could possibly question them on external or internal evidence. And in his goodness God was pleased to affix his own seal to the Rule and teaching of St. Francis, who would never have presumed to teach or write anything other than what he received from the Lord. As he himself testifies, it was God who revealed to him the entire Rule.

From a sermon of St. Bonaventure, October 4, 1255

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sacred Vessels

"Whoever comes from God listens to the words of God." We who have been commissioned to deal with things divine should not only hear and fulfill what God says, but, what is more, in order to root in ourselves the transcendence of our Creator and our obedience to him, we should take reverent care of the sacred vessels and the liturgical books which contain his holy words.

Letter to the Whole Order

Friday, August 25, 2006

In What Can We Glory?

Likewise, if you were more handsome and more rich than others and also could work wonders, like driving out demons, all these things are only obstacles to you and none of them blongs to you, and in none of them can you glory.

Admonition 5

Offer No Resistance To Injury

The brothers should offer no resistance to injury; indeed if someone slaps them on the cheek, they should offer to other as well. And if one should take their cloak, let them not hang on to their tunic.

Let them give to everyone who begs of them; and let them not seek to retrieve what someone takes away from them.

Rule 1221 - Chapter XIV

Thursday, August 24, 2006

St. Francis's Devotion To Mary

St. Francis embraced the Mother of Jesus with an inexpressible love because she it was who made the Lord of Majesty our brother. He composed special songs of praise in her honor, he poured out prayers and offered her his affection. He made her the Advocate of the Order and placed under her wings the sons he was about to leave, that she might cherish and protect them to the end.

Celano - Second Life

Guard Against Pride, Vanity, Envy, Avarice...

Guard against pride, vanity, envy, avarice, the cares and worries of this world, detraction and complaining. And if you do not have book-learning, do not be eager to acquire it, but pursue insted what you should desire above all else, namely, to have the Spirit of the Lord and his grace working in you, to pray always with purity of heart and to have humility, patience in persecution and infirmity, and to love those who persecute and rebuke and slander you...

Rule of 1223 - Chapter X

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Burning With Love For The Eucharist

With every fiber of his being, Francis burned with love for the Sacrament of the Body of the Lord. It left him overcome with wonder for so great a condescension and merciful love...He rendered every reverence to so venerable a sacrament, offering the sacrifice of his whole self; and when he received the Immolated Lamb of God, he immolated his own spirit in that fire which was always on the altar of his heart.

Celano -Second Life

Lesser Brothers

Francis, the model of humility, wanted his brothers to be called Lesser and the superiors of the Order to bear the name "servants," thereby preserving the very words used in the Gospel which he promised to observe. At the same time he enabled his followers to learn from their name that they had come to the school of the humble Christ to learn humility. .."Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave" (Matthew 20:26-27).

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Image Of The Mirror

Because the vision of Christ is the splendor of eternal glory, the radiance of eternal light and the mirror without stain, look upon that mirror each day...

Fourth Letter of St. Clare to Blessed Agnes of Prague

Vision Of The Lord

Immediately after his conversion and before St. Francis had any brothers or companions, he spent time repairing the church of San Damiano. There he received that vision of the Lord, which filled him with heavenly consolation, there he made his final decision to leave the world...

The Testament of St. Clare

Monday, August 21, 2006

Choosing Perfect Obedience

If you choose to suffer persecution rather than choose to be seperated from your brothers and sisters, you truly stand firm in perfect obedience, for you are laying down your life for them.

Admonition 3

Voluntary Poverty Is A Royal Dignity

God is well pleased with poverty, and above all with voluntary poverty. For my part I posess royal dignity and special nobility, in that I follow the Lord, who was rich but became poor for our sakes.

Celano - Second Life

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Compassion For Christ Our Savior

Such was St. Francis's feeling, his compassion for Christ, he wanted somehow to suffer with Jesus, and so, two years before he died, this prayer rose from the depths of his love for the crucified Christ: "O Lord, I beg of you two graces before I die - to experience personally and in all possible fulness the pains of your bitter Passion, and to feel for you the same love that moved you to sacrifice yourself for us."

Little Flowers of St. Francis

Patience And Humility

Where there is patience and Humility, there is neither anger nor worry.

Admonition 27

Humility: The Root Of Perfection

Poverty is an extraordinary way of salvation, since it nourishes humility, the root of perfection. Its fruits are manifold, though hidden. This is the Gospel treasure hidden in the field. To buy it we have to sell everything, and what we cannot sell, we should consider worthless in comparison to the treasure.

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Where There Is Poverty And Joy

Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither cupidity nor avarice.

Admonition 27

An Eternal Kingdom Is Being Made Ready For You

St. Francis used to say to his brothers, "Go, announce peace to all people; preach repentance for the remission of sins. Be patient in trials, watchful in prayer, and steadfast in weariness. Be modest in your speech, responsible in your actions, and grateful to your benefactors. And know that in return an eternal kingdom is being made ready for you."

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Friday, August 18, 2006

Contemplation

On its part let (the soul) simply, lovingly fix its attention upon God, without specific acts. Let it occupy itself...in loving attention, quite simply, as one who opens his eyes and fixes them upon a beloved object.

St. John of the Cross - Living Flame of Love

Love And Wisdom

Where there is love and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.

Admonition 27

Don't Say It's Impossible

St. Francis said to his brothers:

"My dear brothers, obey a command immediately without waiting for it to be repeated. And don't say that it is impossible, for if you are commanded something beyond your strength, holy obedience will give you the strength you lack."

Celano - Second Life

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Why Do You Allow Poverty?

I recall one of our brothers describing a long prayer walk he took on the mountain paths surrounding our Little Portion Hermitage. The brother asked God, "Why do you allow poverty?" After a long silence, God answered the brother with a still, small voice that shook his soul: "Why do you allow poverty?"

John Michael Talbot
The Lessons of St. Francis

It Is God Who Purifies Us

"God is teaching us over and over again that it is He who is puryfying us, not we ourselves. He does this in His own way, His own pace. When we run ahead or Him he leaves us on our own and we usually stumble. When He leaves us to depend on our own strength, we soon learn that there is little strength in us. We may suffer one humiliation after another, until it begins to dawn on us that he is everything. We either gradually learn to trust Him or we continue to trust ourselves."

Father John Catoir
"Enjoy the Lord A Path To Contemplation"

Fear Of The Lord

Where there is fear of the Lord to guard the house, there the enemy cannot find a way to enter.

Admonition 27

Prepare Yourselves

You will encounter some who are faithful, meek, and well disposed; they will joyfully receive you and your words. But there will be more who are skeptical, proud, and blasphemous, and who will insult you and resist your message. Prepare yourselves, therefore, to bear everything with patience and humility.

Legend of the Three Companions

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Quiet And Meditation

Where there is quiet and meditation, there is neither preoccupation nor dissipation.

Admonition 27

Insults And Scorn

In the beginning, when St. Francis was still wearing the clothes of a layman, although he had already renounced the world, he went about Assisi for a long time looking wretched and so emaciated by penance that many thought he'd turned simple-minded. They laughed at him as though he were mad, and relatives and strangers alike drove him away with insults and stones and mud. But he was already seasoned with divine salt and rooted in peace of soul by the Holy Spirit, so he bore patiently all their insults and scorn with a joyful countenance, as if he were deaf and mute.

Little Flowers of St. Francis

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

When The Lord Visits You In Prayer

St. Francis would say, "When you are at prayer and the Lord visits you with a new consolation, you should, before coming away from prayer, raise your eyes to heaven, join your hands and say, 'You have sent this sweet consolation from heaven, Lord, to me an unworthy sinner. Now I give it back, so that you may keep it for me, for I feel like a thief of your treasure.' And say also, 'Lord, take your good gift from me in this world and keep it for me in the world to come.'"

Celano - Second Life

Love Your Enemies

The Lord says in the Gospel, "Love your enemies." You do in fact love your enemy when you do not brood over the evil another has done to you, but grieve instead over the sin on the other's soul, while continuing to act with love for the love of God.

Admonition 9

Monday, August 14, 2006

When You Come Away From Prayer

St. Francis used to say things like this to his intimates: And when you come away from prayer, you should appear to be only a poor sinner, and not someone who has just received a new grace. For you can lose something precious for the sake of a small gratification of your vanity and easily provoke him who gave not to give again.

Celano - Second Life

Grace And Not Human Accomplishment

St. Francis was the humblest of men and thought of himself as the lowest, most contemptible of sinners. In prayer he would implore, "Lord, why have you laid this burdon on me? Why have you made a simple, unlettered, wretched creature like me the head of this Order?" And the Lord would reply, "I have placed a man like you over this Order to show that what I achieve in you is of my grace and not a human accomplishment."

From a sermon of St. Bonaventure

Sunday, August 13, 2006

We Have Been Given The Emperor's Whole Kingdom

St. Francis said to his companions, "If an emperor were to give his entire kingdom to one of his servants, wouldn't that servant be filled with joy? And if, in addition, he gave him his whole empire, wouldn't the servant be even happier?" And he continued, "Then I too should rejoice in my infirmities and troubles, and take comfort in the Lord and give thanks always to God the Father, and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Spirit for the great grace they've given me: namely, to know for certain, even while I am still clothed in the flesh, that I am assured of the kingdom, I an unworthy servant."

Mirror of Perfection

Friday, August 11, 2006

St. Francis And The Sister Swallows

It happened once when St. Francis was preaching in Alviano that he could not be heard because of the chattering of a flock of swallows building their nests there. So St. Francis said to the birds:

"My Sister Swallows, you have had your say. It is now my turn to speak. Be quiet now and listen to the word of the Lord."

Then to the astonishment of the people standing about, the little birds fell silent and did not move until St. Francis finished preaching.

Celano - First Life

Saint Francis And The Birds

ROY MCFADDEN

Hearing him, the birds came in a crowd,
Wing upon wing, from stone and blade and twig,
From titlted leaf and thorn and lumbered cloud,
Falling from hill, soaring from meadowland,
Wing upon widening wing, until the air
Wrinkled with sound and ran like watery sand
Round the sky's gleaming bowl. Then, like a flower
They swung, hill-blue and tremulous, each wing
A petal palpitating in a shower
Of words, till he beneath felt the stale crust
Of self crinkle and crumble of his words
Assume an independence, pure and cold,
Cageless, immaculate, one with the birds
Fattening their throats in song. Identity
Lost, he stood in swollen ecstasy.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Flood Of Tears

St. Francis had attained a wondrous purity of soul and body, yet he never stopped purifying the eyes of his spirit with a flood of tears...He preferred to lose the light of his eyes rather than dry up the fervor of his spirit by damming up his tears which cleansed his interior sight and rendered him able to see God.

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

How We Are To Conduct Ourselves

Let the brothers love one another, as the Lord says, "This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you."

And let them show by their deeds the love they have for one another, as the Apostle says, "Our love must be not just words or mere talk, but something active and genuine."

And they are not to go slandering other people nor are they to grumble or speak evil, for it is written, "Libelers and slanderers are enemies of God." And they are to be peacable and gentle, and always polite to people of all kinds.

Rule 1221 - Chapter XI

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Franciscan Rule For Hermitages

Those brothers who wish to live a religious life in a hermitage are to be three or at most four in number. Two of them are to act as mothers and are to have two sons or at least one. The two who perform the role of mothers are to follow the life of Martha, the other two that of Mary.

St. Francis's Rule for Hermitages

Lady Poverty Held In Chaste Embrace

While he lived in his valley of tears, the Blessed Father Francis spurned the riches of this world and, longing for what is higher, panted with all his heart after Lady Poverty...His Lady he held in a chaste embrace, and he was never, even for an hour, anything but a faithful spouce. This, he said to his sons, is the way of perfection, this the pledge and earnest of eternal riches.

Celano - Second Life

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

We Should See And Believe

Now as Jesus Christ appeared to his holy Apostles in true flesh, so now he shows himself to us in consecrated bread; and as with their physical sight they saw only his flesh, but contemplating him with the eyes of faith, believed that he was God, so too, now, though we see bread and wine with the eyes of our body, we should see and firmly believe that it is his Most Holy Body and Blood, living and true.

Admonition 1

Prisoners Of The Devil

All you who do not live in penance and do not receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and who are caught up in vices and sins and go the way of evil concupiscence and the evil desires of your flesh, and who do not observe those things you have promised the Lord, and who serve the world with your body, become slaves to the instincts of the flesh and the cares and preoccupations of this world, you are prisoners of the devil whose children you are and whose works you do.

Letter to All the Faithful - First Version

The Most Holy Body And Blood Of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Kissing your feet and with all the love I'm capable of, I beg you to render, as far as you can, all reverence and total adoration to the Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all things in heaven and on earth are mede peaceful and are reconciled to God the Almighty ( Colossians 1:20).

Letter to the Whole Order

Monday, August 07, 2006

Puffed Up With Learning

Those who are preoccupied only with knowing and pointing out the way of salvation to others, and neglecting their own, will arrive naked and empty-handed before Christ's judgement seat...For those who are puffed up with learning prejudiced this truth by their empty words.

Mirror of Perfection - 72

Uninterrupted Prayer

Francis always sought to keep his spirit in union with God through uninterrupted prayer, so that he would not be without the consolations of the Beloved. In his dedication to contemplation, prayer was the comfort of his life; and as if he were already a citizen of heaven and a fellow citizen of the angels, he went in ardent search of the Beloved, from whom he was seperated only by a partition of flesh.

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Sunday, August 06, 2006

How St. Francis Prayed

Francis's safe have was prayer, not prayer of a few minutes, or empty, presumptuous prayer, but prolonged prayer, full of devotion and the serenity of humility. If he began late, it would be dawn before he finished. At night he would retire alone to pray in abandoned, neglected churches. That was how, by God's grace, he overcame many fears and anxieties.

Celano - First Life

Friday, August 04, 2006

In What Can We Glory?

...in this we can glory: in our infirmities, in carrying every day the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Admonition 5

A Franciscan Greeting

The Lord revealed to me that this is to be our greeting: "The Lord give you peace."

The Testament of St. Francis

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Whoever Dies In Mortal Sin

So let everyone know, wherever you are and whenever you die in mortal sin without satisfaction, when you could have made it but did not, that the devil snatches away your soul from your body with an anguish and suffering so great that no one can know who hasn't experienced it. And all the talent and power and knowledge and wisdom that you thought you had will be taken away. And your relatives and friends take their inheritance and divide it and say, "Cursed be his soul because he could have given us more and acquired more than he did."

Letter to the Faithful - Second Version

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Today Is The Feast Day Of The Portiuncula

We need to thank "Catholic Fire" http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/ for this posting:

The very ancient chapel, venerated for an apparition of angels within it, was originally property of the Benedictines of Subasio. It was located on a piece of land known as the Portiuncula; this name became attached to the chapel. After a long period of abandonment, it was restored by St. Francis. Here he was given a dear understanding of his vocation. He founded here the Order of Friars Minor (1209), "establishing here his home", St. Bonaventure tells us, "because of his reverence for the angels, and of his great love of the Mother of Christ" to whom the little church is dedicated. He obtained the use of the land and the chapel from the Benedictines and made this place the center of his new religious family. On March 28, 1211, Clare, daughter of Favarone di Offreduccio, received here, from the hands of St. Francis, the religious habit, and thus began the Order of Poor Clares. In 1216, in a vision, St. Francis obtained from Jesus Christ the indulgence called the Pardon of Assisi. It was ratified by Honorius III. This plenary indulgence may ordinarily be gained on August 2 and 15; pilgrims may gain it once a year on any day of the year. At this center and heart of the Franciscan Order, St. Francis yearly assembled all the Friars in Chapter to discuss the Rule, and renew their dedication to the Gospel Life. The Chapter of Mats (1221) was attended by more than 5000 friars.

Interior of the Portiuncula

The interior retains its aspect of rude simplicity. Some of the rough hewn stones were put in place by St. Francis who repaired the church. The stones seem to reflect the echo of prayer that, for centuries has radiated from this "little portion" of earth. The warm atmosphere of devotion has been fostered by millions of faithful who have entered this "gate of eternal life" to implore the peace and pardon of the Indulgence.

“Francis loved this spot more than any other in the world....It was here that he made such extraordinary progress.”

St. Bonaventure

To learn more, go here.

Never Refuse Anyone Who Asks "For The Love Of God"

One of the expressions we use in ordinary speech always moved Francis profoundly whenever he heard it, and it was, "For the love of God." As soon as he would hear these words, they would excite him, work upon him, and enkindle him, as if an inner chord had been plucked by them. And he kept faithfully till his death the promise he made to himself when he was still living a worldly life, that he would never refuse a poor person who begged anything "for the love of God." He used to say, "How greatly we should love the very love with which God has loved us so much."

Celano - Second Life

Witnessing To Nonbelievers

You can live spiritually among nonbelievers in two ways. One way is not to enter into arguments or disputes but for the sake of the Lord to be subject to every creature (1 Peter 2:30) and to acknowledge that you are Christians. Another way is to proclaim God's word when you see it is pleasing to the Lord, so that those who do not believe may believe in the all-powerful God - Father and Son and Holy Spirit- Creator of everything, and in the Son who is Redeemer and Savior, and so that they may be baptized as Christians; for "no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born through water and the Spirit (John 3:5).

Rule 1221 - Chapter XVI

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Brother Dog

LUIS ANIBAL SANCHEZ

In the enormous tragic silence of the night,
Francis, the monk of Assisi, with sunken eyes
of immense tenderness, caressed the white
body, the snow-white body, of a poor dog that
died in the war.

To that body, which had no soul, but which felt
much, loved much, suffered much, Francis has
given a tear and infinite pity.

Francis has wept, while afar nations made war.

It is the apocalyptic hour. Humanity is condensed
into one long shriek. Hate asserts its supremacy.
The great red cataclysm sows earth with tears
and blood; tears of a child and of the beloved,
and ancient crystallized tears of the venerable
mothers who weep in dark alcoves where the
cat whines sybaritically without knowing why.

Before the white body of the poor dog slain by
chance bullets, the divine Francis wept.

My God And My All !

Lifting his eyes and hands to heaven, Francis prayed with the greatest devotion and fervor, saying, "My God and my all! My God and my all!" And he continued saying nothing but "My God and my all!" and weeping profusely until matins.

Little Flowers of St. Francis - Chapter 2

A Contradiction

Know that there are some things in life which are exalted and sublime before the Lord but are low and despicable in others' eyes; and other things which people consider grand and noble, in the eyes of God are counted worthless and vile.

Second Letter to the Custodes

Monday, July 31, 2006

St. Francis On Ezekiel 3:18

"I would take it to mean that you should be so on fire with life and holiness that the light of your example and the manner of your speaking would be a reproach to the wicked. So, as I understand it, your life shining and your goodness spreading like a sweet odor will proclaim to the wicked their own wickedness."

Celano - Second Life

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Beware Of All Pride And Vainglory

Beware of all pride and vainglory. Keep yourselves from the wisdom of this world and the prudence of the flesh. For the spirit of the flesh is desirous and very eager for words but does little to carry them out. And it does not seek the interior spirit of religion and holiness but desires of religion and holiness only what is outwardly apparent to people.

Rule 1221 - Chapter XXVI

Truly Poor In Spirit

How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of heaven is theirs" (Matthew 5:3). There are those who apply themselves unceasingly to prayer and the responsibilities of office; they abstain and mortify their bodies often; but for one word that seems injurious to their person or any other thing that might detract from them, they are scandalized and thouroughly upset.

These do not have the spirit of poverty; for if you are truly poor in spirit, you hate your own life (Luke 14:26) and love those who hit you on the cheek (Matthew 5:39).

Admonition 14

Friday, July 28, 2006

Become Rich In Him

Since the great and good Lord, on entering the Virgin's womb, chose to look despised, needy, and poor in this world, so that people in dire poverty and deprivation and in absolute need of heavenly nourishment might become rich in him by possessing the kingdom of heaven, then you who have chosen poverty should rejoice and be glad!

First letter of St. Clare to Blessed Agnes of Prague

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Heart's Innocence

Since spiritual joy springs from the heart's innocence and the purity of incessant prayer, these are the two virtues we need to acquire and keep.

Mirror of Perfection

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Franciscan Prayer

ENID DINNIS

When I am old and tutored by
The grim experience of days;
When I have proved men in their ways,
Oh, do not let the dreamer die.

When I have learned aside to toss
The foolish things that wise men hate,
Lest Littleness should hold me great,
Be mine the folly of the Cross.

When comes detachment's strength to me,
Let mine the weakness be that wept
O'er Lazarus' grave and kept
Three comrades in Gethsemane.

When head bids heart herself forget,
When Reason's lure would love deceive,
May my poor foolish heart achieve
A few life-giving blunders yet.

When I have grown too sane, too sad,
To join the angels' faerie ring
And serve the playtime of the King,
Then, Sweet Francis, make me mad.

Solitude

The Blessed and Venerable Father Francis wanted only to be taken up with God and to purify his spirit of the dust of the world which eventually clings to us in our daily association with others. So he would periodically withdraw to a place of solitude and silence.

Celano - First Life

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Worldly Busyness And Worry

We need to be especially alert to the evil subtlety of Satan. His one desire is to keep people from having a mind and heart disposed to their Lord and God.

He circles, lusting to snatch away the human heart by the ruse of some gain or assistance and to stifle remembrance of the word and precepts of the Lord.

He wants to extinguish the light of the human heart, and so he moves in by means of worldly busyness and worry.

Rule 1221 - Chapter XXII

Monday, July 24, 2006

Brother Ass and Saint Francis

JOHN BANISTER TABB

It came to pass
That "Brother Ass"
(As he his Body named)
Unto the Saint
Thus made complaint:
"I am unjustly blamed.

"Whatever I do,
Like Balaam you
Requite me with a blow,
As for offense
To recompense
An ignominious foe.

"God made us one,
And I have done
No wickedness alone;
Nor can I do
Apart, as you,
An evil all my own.

"If Passion stir,
'Tis you that spur
My frenzy to the goal;
Then be the blame
Where sits the shame,
Upon the goading soul.

"Should one or both
Be blind or loath
Our brotherhood to see,
Remember this,
You needs must miss
Or enter heaven through me."

To this complaint
The lowly Saint
In tears replied, "Alas,
If so it be,
God punish me
And bless thee, Brother Ass."

You Cannot Have Resurrection Without First Going Through Crucifixion