"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
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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
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

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


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


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