"CUM GRANDE HUMILITATE!"

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

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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