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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

Fully experience that our love cannot more perfectly rest in anything than in a loving compassion for Christ; and that the more we are transformed into Christ crucified, the more we are transformed into the most high and glorious God...For if we fly from his passion, we shall be seperated from him in his glory, according to the words of the apostle Saint Paul: "If we suffer with him, we shall also be glorified with him."

Admonitions of St. Francis

The Summit Of 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.

Rule of St. Clare - Chapter VIII

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Brothers Are To Carry Nothing

When the brothers go through the world, they are to carry nothing for the journey, neither sack, nor scrip, nor bread; neither money, nor staff (Luke 9:3 and Luke 10:4-8).

And whatever house they enter, let them first say, "Peace to this house!" (Luke 10:5).

Rule 1221 - Chapter XIV

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lady Poverty: I Am Faint With Love For Her

"Tell me, I pray you, where does she dell, my Lady Poverty? Where does she dine, and where does she lie down at noon, for I am faint with love for her?"

Sacrum Commercium - 9

Consider It Joy When We Are Crushed And Broken

Here is a word from the Lord given to Fr. Mike when his journey had reached bottom, and a word we should all openly embrace within our own hearts whenever we are crushed and broken:

"Now you are broken and helpless. You can't possibly continue as you have in the past. Now I will show you MY ministry, and all you have been doing will be organized around it. You are sufficiently out of the way, with your eyes seeking me, for me to move with MY ministry, unmistakably marked with my character."

Father Michael Scanlan, T.O.R., The Truth About Trouble

Portiuncula Indulgence: The First Sunday Of August

HOW ST. FRANCIS ASKED AND OBTAINED THE INDULGENCE OF FORGIVENESS

He awoke one night in 1216 at the Portiuncola and an inspiration stronger than usual prompted him to arise and go into the little chapel. He knelt in prayer and, as he prayed, our Lord, accompanied by His Mother, appeared to him and bade him ask for that which he desired most. "Oh God," he said, "although I m a great sinner, I beseech You to grant a full pardon of all sins to all who, having repented and confessed their sins, shall visit this church." And Jesus said to him: "Francis, you ask much, but you are worthy of greater things, and greater things you shall have."

Our Lord then granted Francis' request and told him to go to His Vicar for ratification of the indulgence. Honorius III, who was just beginning his Pontificate, was holding court at Perugia, and it was to him that Francis presented his petition.

Honorius was a spiritual, unworldly man, yet at such a request he hesitated. "Holy Father," Francis said urgently, "a little while ago I restored a chapel for you in honor of the Virgin Mother of Christ (the Portiuncula), and I beseech you to bestow on it an indulgence."

"For how many years do you want this indulgence?" the Pontiff inquired. "Holy Father," said Francis, "I ask not for years but for souls." "Just what do you want?" Honorius asked. "Holy Father," replied Francis, "the Lord has commanded me to ask you that all those who after confession shall visit the Portiuncula with contrite hearts may obtain full remission of the punishment due to the sins of their whole lives from the day of Baptism to the day they enter this church." Honorius pondered the extraordinary request, and said slowly three times: "I also, in the name of God, grant you the indulgence."

St. Francis In Prayer

When Francis prayed in the wilds and in solitary places, he would fill the woods with sighs, water the earth with tears, beat his breast with his hand, and there, making the most of a more intimate, secret place, he often spoke aloud with his Lord. He would give an account to his Judge, entreat his Father, speak with his Friend, chat amiably with his Bridegroom. Indeed, in order to offer to God with every fibre of his being a single, multifaceted holocaust, he would ponder the many facets of him who is Supremely One.

Celano - Second Life

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Ladder

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 contemplation.

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Proper Use Of The New Testament

When this poor woman came seeking alms, St. Francis was sad because they had nothing in the house but the New Testament. So he said to his vicar, Brother Peter, "Give our mother the New Testament. And let her sell it to take care of her needs. I'm sure it is more pleasing to God that we give away the New Testament we use for prayer than hold on to it. After all, it is the very book that teaches us to help the poor.

Celano - Second Life

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Finding Pure Joy

If at times temptation or despondency comes along to try me, and I see joy in my companions, then I immediately recover and let go of the temptation or depression. The joy I admire in others restores my own inward and outward joy.

Mirror of Perfection - 96

Brother Flowers

Francis told the brother gardener not to plant the whole garden with food, but to set aside a plot for those plants which in their season would bloom with Brother Flowers. He said the flower bed with its sweetly scented herbs and flowering plants was because it would invite all who saw it to praise God; for every creature says, "God made me for you, oh human!"

Writings of Leo, Rufino, and Angelo

Monday, July 17, 2006

Contemplative Or Active Life?

On one occasion, St. Francis said to the brothers who were closest to him, "...In prayer we purify the desires of our hearts and enter into union with the one, true, and supreme Good, and we grow in virtue. In preaching, on the other hand, the dust of distraction and relaxed discipline enters the soul."

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Frangrant Perfume Of Holiness

St. Francis used to say that he felt filled with the sweetest fragrance (Ex 29:18) and anointed with "costly ointment" (John 12:3) when it was reported to him that his brothers, scattered throughout the world, were drawing many to return to the right way by the fragrant perfume of their holiness.

St. Bonaventure - Major Life

Friday, July 14, 2006

Puffed Up By The Good We Do

Blessed are you who are no more puffed up by the good which the Lord says and does through you than you are by what he says and does through others. But sinners are you who want to receive from your neighbor more than you are willing to give yourselves to the Lord.

Admonition 17

How Much Patience Do We Have?

When the time comes that instead of receiving your due, you get just the opposite, as much patience and humility as you have then is what you really have, and no more.

Admonition 13

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Looking Into The Mirror

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 infirmaties he took upon himself for us.

Celano - Second Life

Remain In The Embrace Of My Lady

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

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Spiritual Communion

When unable to receive Holy Communion, it is a pious practice to make a Spiritual Communion. Say the following prayer of St. Francis:

I believe that You, O Jesus, are in the most holy Sacrament. I love You and desire You. Come into my heart. I embrace You. Oh, never leave me. May the burning and most sweet power of Your love, O Lord Jesus Christ, I beseech You, absorb my mind that I may die through love of Your love, who were graciously pleased to die through love of my love.

St. Francis

Our Lives Are But Paintings

In a panel painting representing the Lord or the Blessed Virgin, it is the Lord or Holy Virgin who is honored, while the wood and the painting claim nothing for themselves. Similarly, a servant of God is a picture of God, in which God is honored for his favor. And you may not claim credit that God is pictured through you, for compared to him you are less than the wood and the painting.

Mirror of Perfection

Tuesday, July 11, 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

Acquire Nothing As Our Own

The brothers shall acquire nothing as their own, neither house, nor place, nor anything at all. Instead, with all trust, let them go begging alms as pilgrims and strangers in this world, serving the Lord in poverty and humility, and without shame, since the Lord made himself poor for us in this world.

Rule 1223 - Chapter VI

Christ Crucified: Our Only Baggage

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...And so they went through the world as pilgrims and strangers, with Christ crucified as their only baggage.

Little Flowers of St. Francis

Monday, July 10, 2006

ALIEN



MARY BRENT WHITESIDE

He crouches in the chapel, on his knees,
With matted hair that hangs in dusty 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 frieze.

I knew 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 deathless master of his race
Inscribed a sudden message on his face.




The Value Of Money

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 it 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

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Worhip God In Spirit And In Truth

Let us adore God with pure hearts because we need to "pray continually and never lose heart" (Luke 18:1), for the Father seeks such worshipers (John 4:23). "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24).

Rule 1221, Chapter XXII

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Creation: A Ladder To His Throne

In beautiful things, Francis came to know Beauty itself. To him all things were good. They cried out to him, "He who made us is infinitely good." By tracing His footsteps in things, Francis followed the Beloved wherever He led. He made, from created things, a ladder to his throne.

Celano - Second Life

Who Are God's Servants?

Who are God's servants but his minstrels who should comfort the human heart and lead it to spiritual joy?

Mirror of Perfection

Friday, July 07, 2006

To All Christians

To all Christians: religious, clerics, and lay people, men and women; to all who inhabit the whole world, Brother Francis, your servant and subject, offers the homage of reverence, true peace from heaven, and sincere love in the Lord. I am everyone's servant, I am bound to serve and to minister to everyone the fragrant words of my Lord.

Letter to All the Faithful - Second Version

Follow The Will Of The Lord

Now that we have left the world, we have nothing further to do but be solicitous in following the will of the Lord and pleasing him.

Rule 1221, Chapter XXII

Thursday, July 06, 2006

St. Francis Gives His Will And Testament

St. Francis said, "Because I haven't much strength to talk, tormented as I am with the pain of my illness, I shall make three brief statements of my will concerning the brothers. In memory of the blessing and testament I leave them, they should always love and respect one another; they should always love and be faithful to our lady Holy Poverty; and they should always be loyal subjects of the prelates and priests of Holy Mother Church."

Legend of Perugia

When Brothers Are Not Received

If the brothers are not received in one place, let them go elsewhere to do penance with the blessing of God.

The Testament of St. Francis

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Technorati Profile

Repulsive

Nothing should be repulsive to the servant of God...but sin!

Admonition 11

Preach Repentance

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. 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

Monday, July 03, 2006

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 tilted leaf and thorn and lumbering 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
.

Contract Between The World And The Brothers

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

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Franciscan Reverence For Women

Once St Francis was giving a mother and her daughter the comfort of the word of God. All the while he spoke, he never looked at them, and so when they left, his companion said to him, "Father, that holy woman and her virgin daughter came to you with such devotion; why didn't you look at them?" But the holy father answered, "Who would not be afraid to look upon the bride of Christ? A whole sermon was preached with my eyes and face when they looked at me, but not I at them."

Celano - Second Life

The Ones We Should Love Most

Jesus Christ, our Lord, whose footsteps we are to follow, called his betrayer "friend" and willingly handed himself over to his crucifiers. Our friends, then, are all those who unjustly inflict upon us tests and ordeals, shame and injury, sorrows and torments, martyrdom and death. They are the ones we should love most, for what they are really inflicting upon us is eternal life.

Rule 1221 - Chapter XXII

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Prayer Of St. Francis Before The Crucifix

Most High, Glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart,
and give me correct faith,
sure hope and perfect charity,
with understanding and knowledge, Lord,
so that I may fulfill your holy and true command,
Amen.


Writing of St. Francis

Weeping Over My Lord's Passion

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