"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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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


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


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Would I Might Wake Saint Francis in You All


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:


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