"CUM GRANDE HUMILITATE!"

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

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Friday, April 28, 2006

Become Hidden In The Wounds Of The Savior

With joy-filled devotion Francis dwelt in the heavenly mansions and in complete self-emptying he remained for long periods hidden, as it were, in the wounds of the Savior. He therefore sought out solitary places where he could cast his soul entirely upon God.

Celano - First Life

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Desire God's 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 only desire is to be found always conformed and obedient to his will in everything."

Celano

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Compassion For Those Who Suffer

He turned with marvelous tenderness and compassion toward anyone afflicted 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

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Avoid The Mere Appearance Of Religious Life

Woe to those who are satisfied with the mere appearance of a religious life. They grow sluggish in their sloth and will not remain steadfast amid the temptations permitted to prove the just. For only those who have overcome the test, after an interval of torment from the malice of the wicked, will receive the crown of life.

Monday, April 24, 2006

How 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.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

All of Creation Is A Ladder To His Throne

St. Francis praised the Artist in every one of his works; whatever he found in things made, he referred to their Maker. He rejoiced in all the works of the Lord's hands, and with joyful vision saw into the reason and cause that gave them life. To him all things were good. They cried out to him, "He who made us is infinitely good." By tracing His footprints in things Francis followed the Beloved wherever He led. He made, from created things, a ladder to His throne.

Celano

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Worst Kind Of Scandalous Example

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, April 21, 2006

Peace Is Our 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 what is broken, to bring home those who are lost. And remember that many who may now seem to be of the devil can one day become disciples of Christ.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

St. Francis To The Poor Clare's

Since by 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 spouce, 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.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Idleness: The Enemy Of The Soul

Those brothers to whom the Lord has given the grace of working are to work faithfully and with dedication. Thus they will rout idleness, the enemy of the soul, and still not extinguish the spirit of holy prayer and devotion which all other temporal things must serve.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Matthew 10:7-19

Upon hearing the message of discipleship from Matthew 10:7-19, Francis took off the beggar's clothes, put on a habit, and began a public preaching ministry.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Man Should Be Seized With Fear!

Man should be seized with fear, the earth should tremble, and the heavens rejoice exceedingly, when Christ the Son of the living God descends upon the altar in the hands of the priest. Oh admirable greatness! Oh stupendous condescension! Oh humble sublimity!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

St. Francis Admonishes A Brother

One day St. Francis heard a brother insinuate to a poor man who was begging alms,"How do I know you're not really rich and pretending to be in need?"

When Francis, the Father of the Poor, heard this, he was deeply saddened. He severely rebuked the brother who had dared to utter such words and ordered him to strip before the beggar and beg his pardon, kissing his feet.

Celano

Friday, April 14, 2006

Ezekiel 3:18

Interpreting Ezekiel 3:18, Francis mused, "If the passage is applied to everyone, 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

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Fasting

The brethren shall likewise fast from the Feast of All Saints to the Nativity of our Lord, and from Epiphany, when our Lord Jesus Christ began to fast, until Easter.

The Second Rule of the Friars Minor

Study well, then, your holy rule, as well to sweeten your trials, as to remind you of the vow you made to keep it. Entertain yourselves often with it in the interior of your hearts, and, in order to accomplish it, carry it always with you, and, above all, hold it in your hands at the hour of death.

Panegyric

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Laziness Chastised

When the Order was new and the brothers were living in Rivotorto, there was a brother who didn't pray much, who did not work, and who wouldn't go begging because he was ashamed to, But he did eat, quite well.

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." So that brother left, and flesh-minded man that he was, he didn't even ask for forgiveness.

Legend of Perugia

Monday, April 10, 2006

Gifts From God

God gave and keeps on giving to each one of us a whole body, a whole soul, a whole life. He created us and redeemed us, and he will save us by his mercy alone. He has done and keeps doing everything good for us.

Sunday, April 09, 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.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Preach Repentance

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 you actions, and grateful to your benefactors. And know that in return an eternal kingdom is being made ready for you."

St. Bonaventure

Friday, April 07, 2006

St. Clare Addresses The Poor Sisters

Each of you should confidently make known your needs to the other. For if a mother loves and nourishes her daughter in the flesh, how much more lovingly should a sister love and nourish her sister in the spirit.

Rule of St. Clare

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Heart's Innocence And Purity

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. Then that joy which I long to see and feel in myself and others, that inward and outward joy, will be an edification to neighbor and a reproach to the Enemy.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Blessed Are The Poor

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

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Obedience To Authority

Among other graces which the Divine Mercy has designed to give me is this: If a novice only one hour in the Order were made my guardian, I would obey him as scrupulously as I would the oldest and most prudent brother in the Order. A subject should not see the man in the prelate, but him for whose love he is subject.

St. Bonaventure

Monday, April 03, 2006

St. Francis Loved Animals

That meekness which is so necessary, we should learn from St. Francis. For his was an extraordinary meekness, not only toward people, but also toward animals. He called all animals "brother" or "sister" and we read in the story of his life how even wild animals came running to him as their friend and companion.

St. Bonaventure

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Our Sisters Are To Be Mirrors Of Christ

For the Lord himself has not only placed us as examples and mirrors for others, but also for our own sisters whom the Lord has called to our way of life, so that they in turn will be mirrors and examples to those living in the world.

St. Clare