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

A special "Thank you!"
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Monday, December 31, 2007

The Need For Weapons

The Bishop of Assisi once said to St. Francis, "I think your life is too hard, too rough.You don't possess anything in this world."

And St. Francis replied, "My Lord, if we had possessions, we would need weapons to defend them."

Anonymous of Perugia - 17

The True 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 bind 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.

St. Francis
Rule of 1221
Chapter VIII

Sunday, December 30, 2007

We Have Left The World

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.

St. Francis
Rule 1221
Chapter XXII

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Seek Being Considered 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. 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, 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

Friday, December 28, 2007

Gloomy Hypocrites

Anyone who comes to the brothers, friend or enemy, thief or robber, is to be received with kindness. And wherever the brothers are and anywhere they meet other brothers, they are to greet one another wholeheartedly and lovingly, and honor on another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9). And they are to be careful not to look outwardly sad, like gloomy hypocrites, but they are to show themselves happy in the Lord (Philippians 4:4), and cheerful and truly gracious.

St.Francis
Rule of 1221
Chapter VII

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our True Friends

Jesus Christ, our Lord, whose footsteps we're to follow, called his betrayer "friend" and willingly handed himself over to his crucifiers. Our friends, then, are 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're really inflicting upon us is eternal life.

St. Francis
Rule of 1221
Chapter XXII

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Where Did We Lose Our Focus?

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 9:4

It would appear that we are now concerned with every whim and doctrine that comes along...except the salvation of souls. Please click on the following link and find one shred of evidence that Franciscans International are concerned with people's souls. Absolutley nothing is mentioned anywhere in this document about saving souls.

http://www.franciscansinternational.org/index.php

Monday, December 24, 2007

St. Francis's Advice To A Minister

Let there be no brother who has sinned, now matter how seriously, who would not look into your eyes seeking forgiveness, and go away without it. And should he not seek forgiveness, you should ask him if he wants it. And if after that he were to sin a thousand times, even before your eyes, love him more than me, for this is how you will draw him to the Lord; and always have mercy on such as these.

St. Francis
Letter to a Minister

Admonition For Peacemakers

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 your vocation: to heal the wounds, to bind what is broken, to bring home those who are lost.

St. Francis
Legend of the Three Companions - 59

St. Francis Worshiped The Creator And Not Creation

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. In beautiful things he 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 footprints in things Francis followed the Beloved wherever he led. He made, from created things, a ladeer to his throne.

Celano
Second Life - 165

Sunday, December 23, 2007

School Of Americas: "How the Brothers Are to Conduct Themselves."

Let the brothers love one another, as the Lord says, "This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you" (John 15:12).

And let them show by their deeds the love they have for one another, as the Apostle says, "Our love must be not just words or mere talk, but something active and genuine" (1 John 3:18).

And they are "not to go around slandering other people" (Titus 3:2); nor are they to grumble or speak evil, for it is written, "Libelers and slanderers are enemies of God" (Romans 1:30). And they are "to be peacable and gentle, and always polite to people of all kinds (Titus 3:2).

St. Francis
Rule of 1221 - Chapter XI


Please note: here is a letter from Sister Rachel West, The Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Cration. Please tell me if she and these other people are following the way of St. Francis or not. You decide...

"Led by the School of Americas (SOA) Watch frounder Fr. Roy Bourgeois and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, thousands of protesters marched in solemn procession to the gates of Fort Benning, GA, site of the SOA, on the afternoon of Sunday, November 18. Among the participants were Sisters Jacquelyn McKracken (whose article about the SOA protest appeared in the December 2 edition of the Indianapolis Star), Joan Miller and Maureen Irvin.

"They gathered to protest the continued existence of the school (now known officially as the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation) whose graduates they hold responsible for the murders and torture of thousands of innocent people throughout Latin America. But they gathered as well to protest ongoing wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan and violations of human rights throughout the world. More and more, the annoual SOA vigil, first begun in 1990 to call for the closing of the SOA, has evolved into a massive anti-was and pro-human rights rally, probably the largest in the United
States.

..."This year's protest led, as they always have, to numerous arrests for trespass onto the base. Ten were arrested while entering through a side gate, and another for attempting to scale the main gate during the symbolic funeral procession. ....three other protesters, college students, were arrested and face charges for refusing to relinquish crosses whose size exceeded police regulations."

How very, very sad.

Hypocracy

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. It is of these that the Lord says, "In truth I tell you, they already have their reward" (Matt 6:2).

St. Francis
Rule 1221 - Chapter XVII

Poverty Of Spirit

"How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of heaven is theirs" (Matt 5:3).These are those who apply themselves unceasingly to prayer and to 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 thoroughly 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 (Matt 5:39).

St. Francis
Admonition 14

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Blame And Praise

For his part, Francis preferred insult to praise,because he knew that insult leads to self-improvement, praise to downfall. And so when people praised his merits and holiness, he would command one of the brothers to assult his ears with phrases that humiliated and mortified him. And when the brother, although unwilling, called him uncouth and mercenary, unskilled and useless, Francis would reply, his face shining with his heart's joy, "The Lord bless you, dearest son, for you have spoken the very truth. These are the kind of words that suit well the son of Peter Bernardone."

St.Bonaventure
Major Life - 6:1

Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Age Franciscans: St. Francis Not Welcome Here!

I am appalled by the naivete of our Church being duped into anti-Christian communism. Liberation theology is a threat to free society by its undermining of the Church and its magisterium through attempting to redefine moral issues (changing the Gospel to support theology opposed to shaping theology as a result of the Gospel.)

Ignorance is not bliss and unless we familiarize ourselves with the dangers, then future generations will demand answers as to why we threw away our faith in order to embrace communism and eco-tyranny.

To quote Gustavo Gutierrez (the "father" of liberation theology,) "There is no evil in being subversive, struggling against the capitalist system...Liberation leads to reinterpreting the Gospel...As I have witnessed the power of Marxism to provide motivation for a life of service where none existed before, I have come to a new appreciation of this part of my own history. I cannot settle for any story of America that fails to give a central place to this vision."

Again, Roger Garaudy (one of France's foremost Marxist intellectuals) wrote, "Socialism is a traditional stage in the passage from capitalism to communism." Also, "When the established order involves such injustice that millions of men are exploited, oppressed, mutilated, and humiliated by this order, a revolution, even armed revolution, can be less costly and in the long run less 'violent' than this established disorder, which has become pure violence. Of this, incidentally, many Christians are today becoming conscious, including, for example, even priests and bishops in Latin America."

Charles E. Curran, no longer permitted by the Church to teach moral theology at Catholic universities, has stated,"Questions arise in the light of both the importance and the limitations of Scriptures. In the light of the most striking development has been the emergence of dissent within the Roman Catholic theological community from the teachings of the hierarchical magisterium on specific moral issues."

One cannot help but feel an air of approval when local archdiocesan newspapers print articles written by these people. Already we have seen a swing by our priests and educators away from the Church's doctrine of "norma normans non normata"(the Scriptures being the norm above all other norms by which all norms are taken) and are thus shown to question the Scripture's relevance in our daily lives.

Perhaps we need to seek the definition of a couple terms which seem to have taken on good and bad connotations in complete reversal of their intended meanings:

First of all, the term orthodoxy means "right praise," or consistency with the faith of the Church as embodied in Sacred Scripture, the Fathers, official teachings and the liturgy.

Libertaion theology, on the other hand, is defined as a new type of theology which emphasizes the motif of liberation in both Old and New Testaments and which reinterprets all doctrines in terms of that motif. Forms of liberation theology include Environmentalism, Peace and Social Justice (ie., Communism), Latin American, black and feminist.

Specifically regarding the Franciscan Environmentalist movement, I feel compelled to question whether, as Franciscans, we have come to worship Creation more than we do the Creator?

Brothers and Sisters, Jesus "liberated" all of us from the bonds of oppression. Rather than reinterpreting the Gospel, perhaps we would be better served to "live it." This idea may not be popular with some in the Church today, particularly Franciscans, but by returning to the basics of our faith, we will be truly liberated through the instruction of Sacred Scriptures if only we would accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.

Let All Humanity Kneel In Fear

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!

St. Francis
Letter to the Whole Order

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Little Baby Of Bethlehem

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. This 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.

Celano - First Life - 86

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

To Those Who Are Placed In Authority

"The Son of man came not to be served but to serve" (Matthew 20:28), says the Lord.

Those brothers who are placed in authority over the others are to glory in their office as much as if they were appointed to was the feet of the brothers...

St. Francis
Admontition 4

Monday, December 17, 2007

Place Thy Mouth Where Thou Dost Set Thy Feet!

A friar once said to Brother Giles, "Father, tell me, how can we avoid this pride?" To whom Brother Giles made this reply, "Rest assured, my brother, that thou canst never hope to be free from pride until thou hast first placed thy mouth where thou dost set thy feet; but if thou wilt well consider the gifts of God, thou wilt clearly see that thou hast reason to bow down thy head..."

Little Flowers of St. Francis
PART FOUR: Chapter III

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Most Holy Body And Blood Of Our Lord

Now as Jesus Christ appeared to his holy Apostles in true flesh,
so now he shows himself to us in consecrated bread; and as with their physical sight they saw only his flesh, but contemplating him with the eyes of faith, believed that he was God, so too, now, though we see bread and wine with the eyes of our body, we should see and firmly believe that it is his Most Holy Body and Blood, living and true.

St. Francis
Admonition 1

Voce mea ad Dominum clamavi

As the October evening fell rapidly, and it grew dark in the little hut in the Portiuncula woods, St. Francis prayed:

Voce mea ad Dominum clamavi!
["With my voice I have cried out to the Lord!"]
Psalm 141, a Psalm of David, the Vulgate begins:

I cried to the Lord with my voice:
with my voice I made supplication to the Lord.
In his sight I p[our out my prayer,
and before him I declare my trouble:
When my spirit failed me, then thou knewest my paths.
In this way, wherein I walked,
they have hidden a snare for me.
I looked on my right hand, and beheld:
and there was no one that would know me.
Flight hath failed me:
and there is no one that hath regard to my soul.
I cried to thee, O Lord; I said:
Thou art my hope, my portion in the land of the living.
Attend to my supplication: for I am brought very low.
Deliver me from my persecutors;
for they are stronger than I.
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name:
the just wait for me, until thou reward me.

St. Francis of Assisi then closed his lips forever.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Fasting

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 the 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- 199

Friday, December 14, 2007

How The Brothers Are To Preach

All my brothers, whenever they wish, may proclaim to anyone and everyone, with the blessing of God, the following or a similar exhortation and prayer of praise:

Fear and honor, praise and bless,
give thanks and adore
the Lord God All-Powerful,
Triune and One,
Father and Son and Holy Spirit,
Creator of all things.
Repent! (Matthew 3:2)
Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance,
for you know how soon we die!
"Give, and there will be gifts for you" (Luke 6:38).
"Forgive, and you will be forgiven" (Luke 6:37).
And "if you do not forgive others, your Father will
not forgive your failings either" (Matthew 6:15).
"Confess your sins to another" (John 5:16).
Blessed are you who die in repentance,
for you will be in the kingdom of heaven.
Woe to those who do not die in repentance,
for you willbe children of the devil
whose co-workers you are,
and you will go into fire everlasthing.
Guard yourselves and abstain
from every evil and persevere
in good unto the end.

St. Francis
Rule 1221
Chapter XXII

The Grace Of Working

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.

St.Francis
Rule of 1223
Chapter V

Become Exalted In Virtue

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. This is the highest summit of poverty, which has made you, my most beloved brothers, heirs and kings in the kingdom of heaven; it has made you poor in material things but exalted in virtue.

St. Francis
Rule of 1223
Chapter VI

Monday, December 10, 2007

Speaking Good and Evil

"The more strongly a man is tempted, the more needful it is that he speak continually of holiness and virtue; for as by means of unholy talk of evil things a man is easily led to do evil, so oftentimes by speaking of virtue a man is led and disposed to virtuous actions."

Brother Giles
Little Flowers of St.Francis
PART FOUR: CHAPTER XIII

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Canticle of Brother Sun

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 areworthy
To pronounce your name.

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 us
through him.

How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his
splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon
and Stars;
In the heavens you have made them, bright
And precious and fair.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brothers
Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all the weather's moods,
By which you cherish all that you have made.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
So useful, lowly, precious, and pure.

Allpraise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
Through whom you brighten up the night.
How beautiful he is, how gay! Full of power
and strength.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth,
our mother,
Who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces
Various fruits and colored flowersand herbs.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who
grant pardon
For love of you; through those who endure
Sickness and trial.

Happy those who endure in peace,
By you, Most High, they will be crowned.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,
From whose embrace no mortal can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin!

Happy those She finds doing your will!
The second death can to no harm to them.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks,
And serve him with great humility.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Prayer to the Virgin Mary

Holy Virgin Mary,
there is no one like you
among women.
Daughter and handmaid
of the Most High Supreme King
and Father in heaven,
mother of our Most Holy Lord Jesus Christ,
spouce of the Holy Spirit,
pray for us.

Office of the Passion
On this Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception

Friday, December 07, 2007

Rejecting Temptation

"The best remedy when being tempted after we reject it is to run to the Cross of Christ and ask for help. Moreover, this is so terrifying to the evil spirit that as soon as he sees that his temptations urge us to God's love, he ceases to tempt us."

Ralph Martin
The Fulfillment of All Desire

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Holy Chastity Contains All Perfection

"Among all other virtues, I would set the virtue of chastity first, because sweet chastity contains all perfection in itself; but there is no other virtue which can be perfect without chastity."

Brother Giles
Little Flowers of St. Francis
Part Four: Chapter VIII

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Holy Humility

"It seems to me that holy humility is like the thunderbolt; for, even as the tunderbolt strikes a terrible blow, crushing, breaking, and burning whereon it lights, yet can we never find the thunderbolt itself, so does humility stike and disperse, burn up and consume every evil and vice and sin, and yet itself can nowhere be seen."

Little Flowers of St. Francis
Brother Giles
Part Four, Chapter III

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Of Vices And Virtues

The grace of God and the virtues which flow therefrom are a way and a ladder that leadeth to heaven; but vices and sins are a ladder and a way that leadeth to the depths of hell. Vices and sins are venomous and a mortal poison, but virtues and good works are salutory medicine. One grace leadeth on to another, and one vice leadeth on to another. Grace asketh not to be praised, and vice cannot endure to be despised. The mind reposeth tranquility in humility, of whom patience is daughter. Holy purity of heart seeth God, and true devothion enjoyeth him.

Little Flowers of St. Francis
Part Four: Brother Giles

Monday, December 03, 2007

Of Not Carrying Offensive Weapons

The brothers may not carry offensive arms, unless it be for the defense of the Roman Church, the Catholic faith, their own country, or with the permission of their ministers.

Rule of the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Called the Order of Penance

(This Rule is given in its original form.)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Alien

by

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,
That 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 n his face.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cardinal Sean O'Malley's Comments ConcerningThe New Constitutions

"The present constitutions emerged from a long process and the hard work of commissions and General Chapters. We also had the advantage of the newly composed Constitutions of the OFMs and the scholarly work of the legendary Father Cajetan Esser, O.F.M. Each Chapter of the present Capuchin Constitutions adopted a format which takes the Revelation of the Church and then Francis’ genius and then our fraternity and then develops the topic of the Chapter. It is a wonderfully constructed ecclesial vision of religious life and Franciscan spirituality. It locates us in the context of the Church and not as a sideshow of charismatic wonder.

"Capitular fathers were grateful to the fine work of the Italian Friar Guiseppe Santorelli from the Province of Ancora who helped incorporate more of the original Capuchin constitutions into the new Constitutions. All in all the Chapters that worked on the Constitutions did a remarkable job. I was present for some of those Chapters as a lowly translator and witnessed firsthand the hard work of the Capitulars.

"The new Constitutions despite its many strengths does have some flaws in my opinion. It is my hope that the call to re-look at the Constitutions might address some of these concerns:

• The new Constitutions dropped too much of our life of penance and the contemplative side of our life.
• The new Constitutions fail to give a clear formula for living a life of poverty “with explanations.”
• The new Constitutions favor generalities to honor an ill-conceived notion of pluriformity that has robbed the Constitutions of its fire.
• The new Constitutions needed to say more about the friars’ love for the Church and the fidelity to her moral and dogmatic teaching. Francis was so devoted to the Church, despite all the defects and shortcomings of the clergy and leadership.
•Our Constitutions should not be a bland description of how we are living our vocation in the 3rd millennium, but rather a description of how we should be living our life in a concrete program of radical poverty, radical prayer, radical love. Constitutions should not be easily tempered with. Performance and stability are important to inspire people with a sense of awe and seriousness. In today’s world young people see how everything is expendable, “throw-away.” Technology has created a world where everything is experimental or obsolete.

"The Constitutions are our identity as Capuchins and need to be firmly grounded in our history. We do not need a document that is modern and trendy that will soon seem dated and passe.

"Conclusion:

"Capuchin Identity is safeguarded by the Constitutions only in as much as it inspires us to live the Rule and Testament in a radical way. Generalities will never do. The Gospel Life of the Capuchin Brotherhood is about radical love. It is a life that begins with contemplative prayer. This allows one to imitate the self-emptying of Christ’s kenosis and leads to a radical witness that invites people to renounce the extreme individualism and materialism of our age in order to follow Christ poor and crucified.

"Some people are advocating removing some of the concrete directives on prayer that are in the Constitutions and place them in the Ordinances. This would be a fatal mistake. The ordinances are unknown and irrelevant to most of the friars. The Rule and Constitutions will always be the documents that form us and teach us our identity. The Constitutions cannot be a weak exhortation to live a vague ideal of the most common denominator. Rather, the Constitutions should be a challenging document that incorporates concrete directives about the life of prayer, poverty, and austerity. We need more boldness in our Constitutions if we are going to inspire young men to join our ranks.

"If we embrace or institutionalize a comfortable, bourgeois life style, the Order will die out, no matter how much lip service we give to a liberal social agenda. Our way of life lived in all its radical renunciation is capable of producing men whose witness of prayer, poverty and love will help transform society by calling people back to God, calling them to come home to the Church, by helping people to have a sense of personal vocation and to be part of a communal mission.

"It is my conviction that the contemplative aspects of our life should be addressed first of all. The Capuchin charism begins with the eremitical emphasis of the first friars as reflected in the document of Albacena, the subsequent Constitutions elaborate more on ministry and mission. The point of departure however is the contemplative basis of our vocation. When the life of prayer is carefully delineated, then the other aspects of our life take shape. The centrality of the Eucharist and mental prayer needs to be very clear. Daily celebration of a communal Eucharist, two periods of meditation, and the communal praying of the entire liturgy of the hours needs to be enshrined in the Constitutions as a bare minimum. To leave that up to local communities to legislate is too risky. By leaving things out of the Constitutions we are sending a signal that they are not really important and we encourage a take it or leave it attitude.

"The subjective mood, weak exhortations and mild recommendations do not communicate the sense of urgency that Francis wants to communicate in the Rule. It is a matter of life and death. St. Paul says no one will follow an uncertain trumpet blast. Our legislation should not be an exercise in subtleties. The directives about prayer and poverty need to be concrete, airtight and unyielding."

Cardinal Sean

http://www.cardinalseansblog.org/

"Welcome, My Sister Death!"

Saint Francis spent the remaining few days before his death in praise, teaching his much beloved companions to praise Christ with him. He also asked all creatures to praise God and, using the words he'd composed earlier, exhorted them to love God. He even exhorted death itself, terrible and hated by all, to give praise; and joyfully going to meet it, he invited death to be his lodger. "Welcome," he said, "my sister Death."

Celano
Second Life - 217

Voluntary Poverty

God is well pleased with poverty, and above all with voluntary poverty. For my part I possess royal dignity and special nobility, in that I follow the Lord, who was rich but became poor for our sakes (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Celano
Second Life - 73

Friday, November 30, 2007

Never Refuse Anyone Who Asks "For The Love Of God"

One of the expressions we use in ordinary speech always moved Francis profoundly whenever he heard it, and it was, "For the love of God." As soon as he would hear these words, they would excite him, work upon him, and enkindle him, as if an inner chord had been plucked by them. And he kept faithfully till his death the promise he made to himself when he was still loving a worldly life, that he would never refuse a poor person who begged anything, for the love of God."

Celano
Second Life - 196

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How Franciscans Are To Conduct Themelves

I advise, admonish, and exhort you in the Lord Jesus Christ that when you travel through the world you do not quarrel or argue or judge others; rather, be meek, peaceful and modest, courteous and humble, speaking honorably to everyone.

St. Francis
Rule of 1223 - Chapter III

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Lord's Wedding Band

Temptation overcome is the ring by which the Lord espouses the soul of his servant to himself.

Celano
Second Life - 118

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Become A Fool For Christ!

The Lord has called me into the way of simplicity and humility, and he has indeed made this way known through me and through all who choose to believe me and follow me. So I prefer you not talk about any other Rule, whether St. Benedict's, or St. Augustine's, or St. Bernard's, nor recommend any other ideal or manner of life than that which the Lord in his mercy has revelaed and given to me. He told me I am to be a new kind of fool in this world.

St. Francis
Mirror of Perfection- 68

Father Gregory Bramlage Eucharistic Healing Service on Epiphany Sunday

Fr. Gregory Bramlage and CCRCI invite you to a Eucharistic Healing Service on Epiphany Sunday, January 6, 2008 at SS Peter & Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. Join us in praising God and calling down His blessing for the New Year! There will be the Sacrament of Reconciliation, praise and worship music, Eucharistic procession, and Laying on of Hands. Parking is behind the Catholic Center (14th and Meridian Streets). For more information, call 317-592-1992 or e-mail ccrci@inholyspirit.org.

Monday, November 26, 2007

St. Francis Called All Animals "Brother" Or "Sister"

That meekness which is so necessary, we should learn from St. Francis. For his was an extraordinary meekness, not only toward other 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
Sermon of 1255

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How Saint Francis Commanded Brother Leo To Wash The Stone

When St. Francis was speaking with Brother Leo on Mount Lavernia, he said to him: "Brother little lamb, wash this stone with water." Then Brother Leo went forth and washed it with water. Then said St. Francis, with great joy and gladness: "Wash it with wine"; and it was done. "Wash it," said St. Francis again, "with oil"; and Brother Leo did so. Then said St. Francis: "Brother little lamb, wash this stone with balm." And Brother Leo answered: "O sweet father, how am I to get balm in the wilderness?" Then St. Francis replied: "Know, Brother little lamb, that this is the stone on which Christ once was seated when he appeared to me in this place, and therefore did I bid thee wash it four times, and no more, because Jesus Christ then promised me four singular graces for my Order. The first, that all those who shall cordially love my Order, and all the friars who shall perservere therein, shall die a good death. The second, that those who persecute this holy Religion shall be notably punished. The third, that no evil-doer, continuing in his perversity, shall be able to perservere long in this Order. The fourth, that this Religion shall endure until the day of judgement."

The Little Flowers of St. Francis
Part II, Chapter XV

Being In Love With Christ

Jesus in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and Mary in agony somewhere in Jerusalem, unable to do anything, having to stand helplessly by and let her only son suffer the terrible inner struggle that no one else can suffer for us. Such was St. Francis's feeling, his compassion for Christ, his Savior. He wanted somehow to suffer with Jesus, and so, two years before he died, this prayer rose from the depths of his love for the Crucified Christ: "O Lord, I beg you two graces before I die - to experience personally and in all possible fullness the pains of your bitter passion, and to feel for you the same love that moved you to sacrifice yourself for us."

Little Flowers of St. Francis

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Swallows Of Alviano

It happened once when St. Francis was preaching in Alviano that he could not be heard because of the chattering of a flock of sparrows building their nests there. So St. Francis said to the birds:

"My Sister Swallows, you have had your say. It is now my turn to speak. Be quiet now and listen to the word of the Lord."

Then to the astonishment of the people standing about, the little birds fell silent and did not move until St. Francis finished preaching.

Celano - First Life 59

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Reverence For Stones

I am sitting here at my desk holding two stones in my hands. They were given to me by my Mother-in-law, Mary Ann Lloyd, who picked them up off the ground in Assisi and Medjugorje. The fragrant words of Brother Celano play over and over again in my mind and soul:

"He (St. Francis) walked reverently over rocks, out of consideration of him who is called Peter, the Rock. And when he came to this psalm verse, 'Upon a rock you have exalted me' (Psalm 61:2-3), he would say, to be even more reverent, 'At the feet of the Rock you have exalted me.'" (Celano, Second Life, 165)

I wonder. Did Brother Francis walk reverently over this very stone 800 years ago? And what about the rock from Medjugorje? If I were to remain silent concerning the will of God, would these stones begin to cry out (Luke 19:40)?

Saint Francis Receives The Stigmata

"Two years before his death, from the feast of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary until the September feast of St. Michael, Brother Francis kept a Lent in the locale of La Verna in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and of St. Michael. After the vision and words of a seraph and the imprinting of the stigmata of Christ in his body, he made the praises written on the other side of this sheet (written in his own hand) giving thanks for the grace bestowed on him."

Brother Leo
Monograph of St. Francis

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

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.

St. Francis
Admonition 1

Humility

In the love which God is (1 John 4:16) I beseech all my brothers - speakers, workers, whether clerics of laics: Seek to humble yourselves in all things, and do not glory in yourselves or rejoice inwardly, or exalt yourselves for the good words and works or, indeed, of any good which God sometimes says or does or works in you or through you.

Rule 1221 - Chapter XVII

Monday, November 19, 2007

An Innocent, Prayerful Heart

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 in others, that inward and outward joy, will be an edification to neighbor and a reproach to the Enemy. For sadness is his and those who follow him; rejoicing and always being happy in the Lord are ours.

Mirror of Perfection - 95

Prayer

St. Francis always sought to keep his spirit in union with God through uninterrupted prayer, so that he would not be without consolations of the Beloved. In his dedication to contemplation, prayer was the comfort of his life; and as if he were already a citizen of heaven and a fellow citizen of the angels, he went in ardent search of the Beloved, from whom he was separated only by a partition of flesh.

St. Bonaventure
Major Life - 10:1

Sunday, November 18, 2007

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

"For The Love Of God."

One of the expressions we use in ordinary speech always moved Francis profoundly whenever he hears it, and it was, "For the love of God." As soon as he would hear these words, they would excite him, work upon him, and enkindle him, as if an inner chord had been plucked by them. And he kept faithfully till his death the promose he made to himself when he was still living a worldly life, that he would never refuse a poor person who begged anything "for the love of God." He used to say, "How greatly we should love the very love with which God has loved us so much."

Celano
Second Life - 196

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Churches

The Lord gave me such a faith in churches that I used to simply pray these words: "We adore you, Lord Jesus Christ, in all your churches in the world, and we bless you because through your holy cross you have redeemed the world."

The Testament of St. Francis

Monday, November 12, 2007

Living In The Present Moment

"Silence is God's first language, everything else is a poor translation. In order to hear that language, we must learn to be still and to rest in God."

Thomas Keating
Invitation to Love

A Prayer In Suffering

By: Father Michael Scanlan

Grant me, O Lord, the grace to unite my sufferings with yours so that I may suffer as your true follower. I do not ask to be freed from afflictions since these are the reward of the saints; but I beg of you to make me find in calmness and resignation the true use of trials.

My God, I desire, I accept, I abandon myself lovingly to your holy will!

Prayer Of St. Francis Of Assisi

LORD,
Make me an instrument of your PEACE.
Where there is hatred, let me sow
LOVE.
Where there is injury, PARDON.
Where there is doubt, FAITH.
Where there is despair, HOPE.
Where there is darkenss, LIGHT.
And where there is sadness, JOY.
O DIVINE MASTER,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to CONSOLE.
To be understood, as to UNDERSTAND.
To be loved as to LOVE.
For it is in GIVING that we receive,
It is in PARDONING
That we are pardoned
And it is in dying
That we are born to ETERNAL LIFE.

Joy Wards Off Evil

Servant of God, if you apply yourself to acquiring and preserving, both in heart and demeanor, that joy which comes from a pure heart and is won by devotion to 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."

St. Francis
Mirror of Perfection - 95

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Let Your Gentleness Draw Others

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.

St. Francis
Legend of the Three Companions - 58

Regarding Blame And Praise

For his part, Francis preferred insults to praise, because he knew that insult leads to self-improvement, praise to downfall. And so when people praised his merits and holiness, he would command one of the brothers to assault his ears with phrases that humiliated and mortified him.

St. Bonaventure
Major Life - 6:1

Saturday, November 10, 2007

As Brothers We Are To Be Subject To All

All the brothers, wherever they find themselves serving or working for others, are not to be administrators or officials or preside over the house where they are offering service. Nor are they to accept any office which would cause scandal or bring harm to the souls. But let them be the lesser ones and subject to all who dwell in the same house.

St. Francis
Rule of 1221 - Chapter VII

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Humbly Embrace 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.

St. Francis
Admonition 22

Let Your Goodness Proclaim To The Wicked Their Own Wickedness

"So, as I understand it (Ezekial 3:18), your life shining and your goodness spreading like a sweet odor will proclaim to the wicked their own wickedness."

Celano
Second Life: 103

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

True And Perfect Joy

Brother Leo asked St. Francis,"Father Francis, when then is true and perfect joy?"

St. Francis said, "Well, I am returning from Perugia, say, and I arrive at our Friary of the Portiuncula very late at night. It is wintertime, muddy, and so cold that icicles have gathered at the fringes of my habit and keep cutting into my legs until they bleed. But at last, cold, and covered with mud, I make it to the entrance of the Portiuncula. I knock and knock and call out, and finally a brother comes and asks, 'Who are you?' and when I answer, 'Brother Francis,' he says, 'Go away. This isn't the hour to be wandering about. How dare you want to come in!' And when I insist, he snaps back, 'Get out of here, you simpleton, you idiot! We have brothers enough here and we don't need one more like you.' But I again move toward the door and say, 'For the love of God, please take me in tonight.' 'Absolutely not!' he says. 'Go to the Crosiers' hostel and ask them.'

"Now I tell you this: If I keep my patience through all this and do not get upset, then that is true joy and true virtue and salvation of soul."

St. Francis
A Dictated Writing

Insults And Scorn

In the beginning, when St. Francis was still wearing the clothes of a layman, although he had already renounced the world, he went about Assisi for a long time looking wretched and so emaciated by penance that many thought he had turned simple-minded. They laughed at him as though he were mad, and relatives and strangers alike drove him away with insults and stones and mud. But he was already seasoned with a divine salt and rooted in peace of soul by the Holy Spirit, so he bore patiently all their insults and scorn with a joyful countenance, as if he were deaf and mute.

Little Flowers of St. Francis
Chapter 2

Speaking To Demons

Do what you want to me, wicked and deceitful spirits, for you can only do what the Lord allows you to do. Therefore I am happy to suffer everything that God lets you do to me.

St. Bonaventure
Major Life - 10:3

When We Are Despised

Blessed are you, servant of God, if you do not consider yourself any better when you are honored and extolled by others than when you are considered low and simple and despised; for what you are before God, that is what you are, and no more.

St. Francis
Admonition 19

Of Those Who Injure Or Take Advantage Of Us

The brothers should offer no resistance to injury (Matthew 5:39); indeed if someone slaps them on the cheek, they should offer the other as well (Matthew 5:39; Luke 6:29). And if one should take their cloak, let them not hang on to their tunic.

St. Francis
Rule of 1221 - Chapter XIV

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

To Mary And All The Holy Virtues

Hail his palace, hail his tabernacle, his house,
Hail his vesture, hail his handmaid, his mother,
And hail all you holy virtues, who through the grace and
illumination of the Holy Spirit are poured into the hearts
of
believers, so that you might transform unfaithfulness into
faithfulness to God.

St. Francis
Salutation to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Monday, November 05, 2007

"May the Father remain by your side, may he henceforth never leave you..."

The Gospa's blessing.

Do Not Speak Ill Of A Brother

Hearing a certain religious speaking ill of his brother, Saint Francis said to his vicar: "Arise, arise, inquire diligently, and if thou findest the accused brother innocent, thou shalt inflict on the accuser a punishment striking to all. Great evils will befall the order unless it is delivered from detractors; the sweet odor of many will be corrupted unless stinking mouths are closed....The brother who despoils another of the glory of his reputation shall be despoiled of the habit, nor can he raise his eyes to God until he first restore what he has taken away."

St. Francis
Miscellaneous Writings

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Schools Of Prayer

Our Christian communities must become genuine "Schools" of prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just by imploring help, but also thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening, and ardent devotion until the heart truly "falls in love."

Pope John Paul II
Apostolic Letter: "Novo Millennio Ineunte"

Goverment Taxes

It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor. It is a sin worthy of punishment, not an act deserving a reward, to give away what belongs to others.

St. Francis of Assisi
Admonitions To The Bretheren

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Peace Must Dwell In Our Hearts

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 your vocation: to heal wounds, to bind what is broken, to bring home those who are lost.

St. Francis
Legend of the Three Companions

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Think, Do, And Say What Is Holy

I prayed that God would deign to show me when it is I am his servant and when not, for I want nothing else but to be his servant. And the Lord answered most graciously: "Know that you are truly my servant when you think, do, and say what is holy."

St. Francis
Mirror of Perfection 74

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Father Todd Riebe: Pray for Abortion Providers

Sister Diane Carollo, Director of the Archdiocesan Office for Pro-Life Ministry, has invited all parishes to join in a new effort to support the cause of life. In a letter to all pastors, Sister Diane writes:

"Abortion requires more than a legal or constitutional fix. Abortion is primarily a spiritual problem that must be addressed. The spiritual remedy for abortion is, of course, conversion, repentance and healing through Christ. Everyone associated with the sin of abortion, including abortionists and those who conspire against life in organizations such as Planned Parenthood, must be embraced by our prayers that flow from Christian charity. We must desire that our neighbors, even those who are pro-abortion, be brought to eternal life in God."

In Christian charity we pray for all of God's people. Where there is darkness we pray for light.

Father Todd Riebe

Abortion Destroys Peace

Imagine waking up in the morning to the newspapers headlines, "Nine American cities completely wiped out! No one left alive in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Philladelphia, Detroit, St. Louis or Atlanta."

We saw America's reaction to 9/11 and its aftermath. It's hard to imagine how angry American's would be if these headlines were true. Men, women and children would be lining up to join the armed forces to strike back at the enemy. What enemy is that? Is it China, Afghanistan, or Iraq? What massive firepower must the enemy have employed to inflict such destruction, atomic bombs, biological warfare or perhaps nerve agents? It was none of these. It was abortion.

As of 1996, Americans had slaughtered 32 million innocents, the equivalent of nine major U.S. cities.

Mother Teresa said that If we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people that killing is wrong? After all, any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people love, but to use whatever violence necessary to get what they want.

Sure, everyone's concerned for the children of Indiana and Africa, where thousands of children are dying of hunger and disease every day. Many people are concerned with the violence in our streets and classrooms as well. These concerns are good, but all too often these same people aren't the least bit concerned by those being killed by the deliberate decisions of their own mothers. This is the greatest destroyer of peace today - abortion - which brings people to such blindness.

Does abortion destroy peace and cause blindness toward the sick, the hungry and the naked? Of course it does, when life is regarded so lightly and its disposal becomes so trivial, so clinical, so easy. After all, why should people or nations regard human life as noble or dignified if abortion flourishes? Why agonize over indiscriminate deaths in Bosnia when babies are being killed far more efficiently and out of sight of TV cameras?

Just imagine, the populations of all those major cities combined - all dead. Who is left to cry?

Attribute All That Is Good To God

Blessed are you, servant of God, if you attribute all that is good in yourself to the Lord God; for if you hold back anything for yourself, you hide inside yourself your Lord's money (Matthew 25:18), and what you think you have will be taken from you (Luke 8:18).

St. Francis
Admonition 18

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Ladder of Monks

LECTIO:

Reading is careful study of [Sacred] Scripture,
with the soul’s [whole] attention:

MEDITATIO:

Meditation is the studious action of the mind to investigate hidden truth, led by one’s own reason.

ORATIO:

Prayer is the heart’s devoted attending to God, so that evil may be removed and good may be obtained.

CONTEMPLATIO:

Contemplation is the mind suspended -somehow elevated above itself - in God so that it tastes the joys of everlasting sweetness.


http://www.ldysinger.com/MONS_423/02_lectio/04_guigo.htm

The Two Small Coins of St. Francis

Christ's Poor One, Francis, possessed nothing but two small coins (Mark 12:42) which he could dispose of with largesse and charity: his body and his soul. But those two mites he offered to God continually, for the love of Christ; he seemed always to be immolating his body with rigor and fasting and his soul with the flame of desire: his body, a holocaust outside in the court of the temple; his soul, incense offering in the inner temple.

St. Bonaventure
Major Life

Sunday, October 28, 2007

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 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 Way Of Holiness

Holy Wisdom routs Satan
and his whole malicious band.
Pure Holy Simplicity confounds
all the wisdom of the flesh.
Holy Poverty confounds cupidity
and avarice and the cares of the world.
Holy Humility
confounds pride
and worldly people
and all that is of the world.
Holy Charity
routs diabolic
and carnal temptations
and all human fears.


St. Francis
Salutation of the Virtues

Lectio Divina

"Seek in reading and you will find in meditation; knock in prayer and it will be opened to you in contemplation."

St. John of the Cross
Sayings #158

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Only God Can Purify Us

"God is teaching us over and over again that it is He who is purifying us, not we ourselves. He does this in His own way, at His own pace. When we run ahead of Him he leaves us on our own and we usually stumble."

Father John Catoir
"Enjoy the Lord: a Path to Contemplation"

Spiritual Murderers

There are many religious who, under the pretext of seeing better things than those which their prelates command, look back (Luke 9:62) and return to the vomit of self-will (Proverbs 26:11 abd 2 Peter 2:22). Such as these are murderers because by their bad example they cause many souls to be lost.

St. Francis
Admonition 3

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What a Fine Place This World Would Be

PETER MAURIN

What a fine place
this world would be
if Dualist Humanists
tried to be human
to men.
What a fine place
this world would be
if Personaist Theists
tried to be
their brother's keeper
as God
wants them to be.
What a fine place
this world would be
if Fundamentalist Protestants
tried to exemplify
the Sermon on the Mount.
What a fine place
this world would be
if Roman Catholics
tried to keep up
with Saint Francis of Assisi.

The Secrets Of God Are Not To Be Divulged

Saint Francis thought it not right to show forth exteriorly the secrets of the divine wisdom which were revealed to him, unless he were urged thereto by the charity of Christ or the good of his neighbor. He used to say, "For the small reward of vainglory and human honor, we should lose our priceless treasure, and provoke God not to give us any more gifts."

St. Francis
Miscellaneous Writings

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Purity Of Heart

"In the language of the monastic fathers, all prayer, reading, meditation and all the activities of the monastic life are aimed at purity of heart, an unconditional and totally humble surrender to God, a total acceptance of ourselves and of our situation as willed by Him."

Thomas Merton
"Contemplative Prayer"

The Two Beams Of The Cross

"His [Jesus] appearance in our midst has made it undeniably clear that changing the human heart and changing human society are not seperate tasks, but are as interconnected as the two beams of the cross."

Henri J. M. Nouwen
"The Wounded Healer"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Medjugorje: June 15, 1995

The American pilot Scott O'Grady, whose airplane had been shot down over Bosnia, tells the press that he owed his life to the Blessed Mother of Medjugorje who appeared to him during his 6 days of hiding in the western region of Banja Luka, before being rescued.

That's funny, but I don't remember reading anything about that in the press...

Secret Wisdom Is Called A Ladder

"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

Our Walking Is Our Preaching

"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”

St. Francis

Doing The Impossible

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

St. Francis

Preach The Gospel At All Times

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

St. Francis

Monday, October 22, 2007

Claim Nothing For Your Own

No matter how someone else sins, if you let yourself be upset or angered over it, except for charity sake, you store up for yourself - like a treasure - the sin of the other. But, servant of God, if you do not become angry or indignant over someone else, you are living justly and poorly, that is, without claiming anything for your own.

St. Francis
Admonition 11

"Hail Mary"

"When I say 'Hail Mary,' the heavens smile, the angels rejoice, the world exults, hell trembles, the devils fly."

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

Fostering Luxury

Rich clothing and sumptuous dwellings, eating, drinking, sleeping, and idleness, enervate men and foster luxury."

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

Redemptive Suffering

"Beloved, in this vale of misery may you possess nothing so far and so delightful that your soul would be entirely occupied by it."

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

Weapons Of The Soul

"These are the weapons by which the chaste soul is overcome: looks, speeches, touches, embraces."

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Retire Into The Desert

"He who retires into the desert avoids three combats: seeing, hearing, and detraction."

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

Stop Making Excuses !!!

"If thou excusest thyself, God will accuse thee; and if thou accusest thyself, God will excuse thee."

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

The Holy Name Of Mary

"As wax melts before the heat of the fire and dust is scattered by the wind, so the whole army of the evil spirits is dispersed by the invocation of the holy name of Mary."

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

Fly From The World

"Fly from the world, if thou wilt be pure. If thou art pure, the world does not delight thee."

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

Being Good Among The Wicked

"He is not perfectly good who cannot be good among the wicked."

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mary Ann Lloyd - Reverence For Stones

He walked reverently over rocks, out of consideration of him who is called Peter, the Rock. And when he came to this psalm verse, "Upon a rock you have exalted me" (cf. Ps 61:2-3), he would say, to be even more reverent, "At the feet of the Rock you have exalted me."

Celano - Second Life (165)




(My mother-in-law, Mary Ann Lloyd, is visiting Rome, Assisi and Medjugorje this week. She has promised to bring me back a stone from Assisi. I think I'll give it the nickname "Rocky!")

Meditating On The Passion Of Christ

At a time when the saint was oppressed with constant suffering, he was asked why he did not have something read to him to recreate his mind, wearied by such constant suffering. "Nothing," he replied, "is so delightful to me as the remembrance of the life and Passion of my Lord, on which I meditate daily and constantly; and were I to live till the end of the world, I should never want any other book,"

Miscellaneous Writings

Amy King

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

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Mission Of The Lesser Brothers

The truth is that the Lord chose the Lesser Brothers and sent them forth for the welfare and salvation of all souls everywhere. And not only will they be received in lands of the faithful but in lands of unbelievers as well. And as long as they fulfill what they have promised the Lord, he will take care of their needs whether they be in the lands of those who do not believe or of those who do.

Writings of Leo, Rufio, and Angelo

Rule Of The Lesser Brothers

In the name of the Lord begins the Life of the Lesser Brothers! The Rule and Life of the Lesser Brothers is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by living in obedience, without anything of their own, and in chastity.

Rule 1223

* St. Francis called his friars, or brothers, "lesser," to locate them in society among the little people, the poor and lowly, who were called "minores," "lesser ones," in medieval Italy. The more affluent, or the nobility, were called "majores," or "greater ones."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sweet Melody Of Heart

When the sweetest melody of spirit would flame up in his heart, he would release it by singing in French, and the trickle of divine inspiration which his inner ear had caught would begin to overflow like a minstrel's song.

At times, as I have seen with my own eyes, he would pick up a stick from the ground and, holding it on his left arm, would draw across another stick bent by means of a string, as if he were playing a violin. Then pretending to play, he would sing in French the praises of the Lord.

Celano, Second Life

Thursday, October 11, 2007

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, October 10, 2007

St. Francis Was The Humblest Of Men

Saint Francis was the humblest of men and thought of himself as the lowest, most contemptible of sinners. In prayer he would implore, "Lord, why have you laid this burden on me? Why have you made a simple, unlettered, wretched creature like me the head of this Order?" And the Lord would reply, "I have placed a man like you over this Order to show that what I achieve in you is of my grace and not a human accomplishment."

St. Bonaventure

Monday, October 08, 2007

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.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

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

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

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

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sister Briege McKenna, OSC

Two years before he died St. Francis sang, in the Umbrian dialect, his great song, "The Canticle of Brother Sun," and when he finished it, he sang this song for St. Clare and her Poor Ladies:

"Listen, poor little women, called by the Lord,
gathered together from many places and provinces:
Live always in truth,
so you may die in obedience.
Do not long for the life outside,
for that of the spirit is better...

"Those who are heavy with sickness
and the others who are tired because of them,
all of you: bear with it in peace.
For you will sell this fatigue for a dear sum,
and each of you will be crowned queen in heaven
with the Virgin Mary.


Collectanea Frandescana 48 (1978), 5-29

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

False Glory and Honor

Did not the Lord's flock actually follow him in tribulation and persecution, shame and hunger, sickness and trial and all the rest, and thereby receive eternal life from the Lord? What a great shame, then, that while the saints actually followed in the footsteps of the Lord, we, today's servants of God, expect glory and honor simply because we can recite what they did.

St. Francis
Admonition 6

Monday, September 24, 2007

Father Gregory Bramlage invites you: Spring Healing Conference

March 1, 2008


The Holy Spirit and Evangelization

Batesville High School Auditorium
Batesville, Indiana

Healing Through the Power of Jesus Christ Center
c/o Saint Nicholas Parish
6461 East Saint Nicholas Drive
Sunman, IN 47041

E-mail: St.NicholasCatholicChurch@yahoo.com
Phone: (812) 623-8007





"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 business and worry.

Rule of 1221, Chapter XXII

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Guard Against Accepting Gifts

"The brothers should guard against accepting churches, dwellings, even poor ones, and whatever else might be built for them, unless they are truly in keeping with the holy poverty we have promised in the Rule, and let them always dwell there only as guests, as pilgrims and strangers."

The Testament of St. Francis

Friday, September 21, 2007

16th Annual International Week of Prayer and Fasting

For the Conversion of Nations, an End to Abortion, and to Build a Culture of Life

October 7 - 13, 2008

We ask people to participate by doing the following:

Fasting * Daily Mass * Holy Hours * Rosary * Divine Mercy Chaplet

True Nobility And A Royal Dignity

"I will never blush to go and seek alms; but, on the contrary, I consider it a true nobility, and a royal dignity and honor..."

St. Francis
Miscellaneous Writings

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brothers Sun And Fire

At dawn, when the sun rises, everyone should praise God who has created Brother Sun for our service, for through him our eyes light up the day; in the evening, when night descends, everyone should praise God through Brother Fire, for through him our eyes light up the night. We are all, as it were, blind, and it is through these two brothers that the Lord gives light to our eyes. We should praise the Lord, then, in a special way for these creatures and for the others, too, who serve us day by day.

St. Francis
Mirror of Perfection

Monday, September 17, 2007

I Am A Sinner And Unworthy

When you are visited by the Lord, you should say, "Lord, you have sent me this comfort from heaven, even though I am a sinner and unworthy, and I entrust it to your keeping because I feel like a thief of your treasures." And when you leave your prayer, you should seem to be only a poor little sinner, and not someone especially graced by God.

St. Bonaventure
Major Life

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dr. Alan Keyes Announces He's Seeking The White House

Many of you may recall the interview with Dr. Keyes in April of 2006 while I was still hosting the Dickson/Chappell Report (recordings of that program are available for purchase.)

http://www.renewamerica.us/forum/?date=060507


Seasoned statesman:

Alan Keyes spent 11 years with the U.S. State Department. He served in the U.S. Foreign Service and on the staff of the National Security Council before becoming Ronald Reagan's Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations (1985-88). In the interim, from 1983 to 1985, he served as ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, where he represented America's sovereign interests in the U.N. General Assembly.



Genuine conservative:

Keyes was President of Citizens Against Government Waste (1989-91) and founder of National Taxpayers' Action Day. As the two-time Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Maryland, he challenged liberal Democrats Paul Sarbanes (1988) and Barbara Mikulski (1992). In the 1996 and 2000 Republican presidential campaigns, Alan Keyes eloquently elevated the national political debate as a candidate for president. With his unequivocal pro-life, pro-family message, he forced the GOP leadership to address America's moral crisis. His political views are consistently based on America's founding ideals, those in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.

Alan hosted his own syndicated radio show throughout the 1990s, America's Wake-Up Call, and a television commentary show, Alan Keyes is Making Sense, during 2002 on MSNBC. He is currently writing books and speaking publicly on America's moral crisis.



Well-educated leader:

Keyes has a Ph.D. in government from Harvard and wrote his dissertation on constitutional theory. He served as Interim President of Alabama A&M University in 1991. He speaks French and has studied Spanish, Russian, and ancient Greek, and is the author of Masters of the Dream: The Strength and Betrayal of Black America (1995); and Our Character, Our Future: Reclaiming America's Moral Destiny (1996).



Pro-life champion:

Keyes has unashamedly and consistently raised the standard of unalienable rights--and Biblical truth--in defense of the unborn. He confronts the culture of death with compelling and inspiring reasons why abortion must be banned from our land.



Dedicated family man:

Keyes and his wife Jocelyn have three children: Francis, Maya, and Andrew. Alan's stated purpose in life, like that of America's Founders, is to provide a secure future for our posterity.



Please note also that Dr. Keyes is a former Trustee of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (click here for audio/visual of Dr. Keyes, Fr. Michael Scanlan, Bishop Sam Jacobs, Scott Hahn, and Fr. Mitch Pacwa from the 2005 Steubenville Conferences.)

http://www.franciscanconferences.com/Media/

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How The Passion Of Christ Should Be Wept Over

Not long after his conversion, the saint was weeping and groaning loudly near Our Lady of Angels, and, being asked by a certain spiritual man why he wept so bitterly and loudly, he answered, "I weep over the Passion of Christ, and far from being ashamed thereof, I would that my cries could be heard all over the world."

St. Francis
Miscellaneous Writings

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Hope of Future Glory Renders the Endurance of Sufferings Sweet

Being asked how he could bear such great suffering in his eyes and his whole body so joyously and courageously, the saint replied, "So great is the glory which I expect, that all pains, all sickness, all humiliations, all persecutions, all mortifications are pleasant to me."

St. Francis
Miscellaneous Writings

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Price For Fame

"The price we pay for fame is the lessening of the secrets of the conscience. It is far more hurtful and dangerous to abuse virtues than to be without them; neither is it a greater virtue to seek for good, than to preserve it when acquired."

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brothers

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Vow of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience

When invited by others to dinner, the saint would say,"I do not wish to give up my royal dignity, the inheritance and possessions of myself and my brethren, which is that we should beg from door to door."

St. Francis
Miscellaneous Writings

Note: A couple years ago a very dear friend of mine, a priest, told of visiting a convent that was all hand-carved woodwork, granite masonry and marble floors. He said to himself, "If this is how they practice their vows of poverty, I can only imagine how they practice their vows of celibacy!"

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Carnal Men Cannot Understand Spiritual Things

The holy father taught his brethren to use this short but holy salutation: "May the Lord give thee his peace!" Some persons, however, were displeased at this, and the brethren feared to use it. The saint said, however, "Let them say what they choose about these holy words, for they do not understand the things of God; but do not you be ashamed of them, for before long many heroes and princes will show you great reverence on account of this salutation."

Saint Francis
Miscellaneous Writings

Saturday, September 08, 2007

No One Is To Be Praised In This Life

"No one ought to be praised whose end is uncertain. If at any moment God should withdraw from me the treasures of his grace, which he now grants to me, what else would remain to me but a soul and body which sinners possess in common with the faithful?"

St.Francis
Miscellaneous Writings

Friday, September 07, 2007

Concerning Theologians

For those who were puffed up with learning prejudiced this truth by their own lives and by their empty words. They said this truth was falsehood and they cruelly persecuted, as if they were blind, those who were really walking in the truth of holy humility.

Mirror of Perfection - 72

Thursday, September 06, 2007

How The Early Brothers Lived

"We prayed the Office, the clerics like other clerics, and the laics saying their Our Fathers. And we most willingly lived in abandoned churches. And we were without learning and subject to all."

The Testament of St. Francis

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Dr. D. James Kennedy: I Will Miss Him

On July 30, 2005, Dr. D. James Kennedy was a guest on my radio talk show. I was both honored and deeply humbled by Dr. Kennedy's warmth, wit and genius.

The voice of the man known as "most listened-to Presbyterian minister in the world" is now silent. Officials with Coral Ridge Ministries confirmed to OneNewsNow.com Wednesday morning that Dr. D. James Kennedy passed away at around 3 a.m. Kennedy's retirement from his position as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida was announced August 26.

To those of us who dearly loved James, he was a political powerhouse on moral issues. I will miss him.

The Mission of the Lesser Brothers

The truth is that the Lord chose the Lesser Brothers and sent them forth for the welfare and salvation of all souls everywhere. And not only will they be received in lands of the faithful but in lands of unbelievers as well. And as long as they fulfill what they have promised the Lord, he will take care of their needs whether they be in the hands of those who do not believe or of those who do.

Writings of Leo, Rufino, and Angelo - 73

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Christopher Hitchens: The Dogmatic Doubter

I read with great sadness the article published in the September 10th edition of Newsweek entitled, "The Dogmatic Doubter." I am not angry with Mr. Hitchens nor with Newsweek for publishing this article. I feel extreme sadness for both because they simply "don't get it."

In "Dark Night of the Soul," St. John of the Cross states very clearly, "What the soul draws also from the aridity and emptiness of the night of desire is spiritual humility. Through humility, acquired along with self-knowledge, the soul is purified of the imperfections of spiritual pride into which she stumbled during her time of prosperity. Aware only of her own aridity and misery, it never occurs to her that she is now making better progress than others, which is what she used to erroneously believe...Her own wretchedness is so present in her sight that there is no room to scrutinize others."

St. John of the Cross goes on to say, "'I fell mute, humbled,' says David. 'I kept silence in blessing and my sorrow was renewed.' It seemed to him that all that was good in his soul had been entirely depleted. Not only could he find no speech to express it, but the grief he suffered about his own insignificance left him mute concerning his neighbor."

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone? It's nearly word for word in the Newsweek article concerning Mother Teresa.

May the Lord Jesus Christ come into your life in a very powerful and wonderful way, Christopher, and heal your broken heart.

We Are To Consider Ourselves Inferior To All

Being urged and entreated by certain religious to ask privileges of the sovereign pontiff for the greater liberty and credit of the order, the holy father said, "The greatest privilege of myself and my brethren is to have no privileges in this world, but to obey all, and to consider ourselves inferior to all."

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Servant of God Must Show Joy

If Saint Francis saw any of his companions with a sad or downcast countenance, he reproved him, saying: "If thou art grieving over thy sins, my brother, why dost thou show thy sorrow exteriorly? Let this sadness be between thee and God, and pray to him that through his mercy he may spare thee and restore to thy soul the joy of salvation, which thou hast lost through thy sins. But before me and others, show thyself always joyful, for it does not become the servant of God to manifest sadness exteriorly, nor to have a troubled countenance."

St. Francis
Miscellaneous Writings

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Called To Be An Example Of Others

"My brethren who are dwelling in poor houses, when they hear that I am dwelling with cardinals, will suspect me of mixing in worldly affairs, of being advanced in honors, and of enjoying pleasures. I think, therefore, it is better for one who is called to be an example of others, to fly from the court, and remain in lowly dewllings with the humble, that he may animate those who are suffering from poverty by bearing the same."

St.Francis
Miscellaneous Writings

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Father Todd Riebe: The Pure Heart

"Blessed are the pure in Heart: they shall see God" (Matt 5:8). 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.

St. Francis
Admonition 17

The Punishment of Fornication

If any brother, by the instigation of the devil, commit a sin of the flesh, let him be entirely deprived of the habit which he has defiled by his crime, and let him altogether be expelled from our order, and let him go to do penance for his sins.

Sayings of the Holy Father St. Francis

Friday, August 31, 2007

Correction of the Brethren Who Offend

"If the ministers should command one of the brethren anything contrary to our rule and the salvation of his soul, he is not bound to obey..."

Sayings of St. Francis

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Poor Man

The poor man has nothing, who would like to give to the poor, but has nothing to give, who would like to build hospitals, but has not wherewith to do so - in him the will is taken for the deed.

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Of The Vocation Of Friars Minor

Let us, beloved brethren, consider our vocation, to which by the mercy of God we have been called, not for ourselves only, but for the salvation of many; that we may go through the world, exhorting all, more by our example than by our words, to do penance for their sins, and to remember the commandments of God.

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Religious Must Cultivate Silence

Finding a certain religious had a habit of speaking idle words, the holy father sharply rebuked him, saying, "Modest silence is the sure guardian of a pure heart and is not the least among the great virtues; for life and death are in the power of the tongue, not so much on account of the taste as of speach."

St.Francis
Miscellaneous Writings

Monday, August 27, 2007

Perfect Joy

"Of perfect joy - that the most precious gift which we can receive from the Holy Ghost is strength to conquer self, and to bear reproaches patiently for the love of God."

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Good Preacher

"You have as much learning as you put into practice, and you are as good a preacher as you do what you say."

Writings of Leo, Rufino, and Angelo - 22

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sister Briege McKenna, OSC

"All the brothers (and sisters) and are to preach by their works."

Rule of 1221, Chapter XVII

Friday, August 24, 2007

Haughtiness

When you are too sure of yourself, you are less on guard against the enemy. Be alert, therefore, for the devil, who, if he can claim even one hair of your head, will lose no time in making a braid of it.

St. Bonaventure - Major Life - 5

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Sweetest Fragrance

St. Francis used to say he felt filled with the sweetest fragrance (Exodus 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 - 8

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Sight Of Women Is To Be Avoided

The companion of the saint once asked him why he did not look at a certain noble virgin who charitably and humbly visited the sick and ministered to them, to which Saint Francis replied, "Who ought not to fear the spouce of Christ? If we preach to her by the modesty of our eyes, she will be the more confirmed in her chastity. Let her look at me, but I will not look at her."

St. Francis
Miscellaneous Writings

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sisters of St. Francis Oldenburg, Indiana -3rd Annual "Francis Fest"

Come to Oldenburg for the 3rd Annual Francis Fest!

October 7, 2007
1:00-4:00 P.M.

Celebrate St. Francis and his Right Relationship with Earth

Michaela Farm
Oldenburg, IN

For more information, call

812-933-0661

or visit

www.oldenburgfranciscans.org

We Are Not To Judge The Rich

Let us not, however, judge or despise those who live delicately and are clothed sumptuously. God is their Lord as well as ours, and he is powerful enough to call them to his service, and, having called, to justify them.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ralph Martin: "The Fulfillment of All Desire."

Are you interested in the Contemplative Life?

Drawing upon the teaching of seven Spiritual Doctors of the Church, Ralph Martin presents an in-depth study of the journey to God. This book provides encouragement and direction for the pilgrim who desires to know, love, and serve our Lord. I have personally read this book six times and grow deeper in my faith with every reading.

About the Author:

Ralph Martin has been a leader in renewal movements in the Church for many years, and the author of many books, articles, and audio albums on contemporary issues in the life of the Church and the teachings of the saints. He is currently Director of Graduate Programs in the New Evangelization at Sacred Heat Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit and Assistant Professor of Theology. He continues to lead the work of Renewal Ministries, an organization devoted to Catholic Renewal and Evangelization and hosts the weekly television program "The Choices We Face." He and his wife Anne are parents of six children and grandparents of six and reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Pumped Up and Pompous

The apostle said, "The letter killeth; the Spirit giveth life." Those are killed by the letter who desire to know the words only that they may be reputed more learned than others, and that they may acquire great riches to bestow on their relations and friends.

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Brethren

Saturday, August 18, 2007

To My Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, India

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.

The Testament of St. Clare - 6

Opposition From Bishops

After the general Chapter of Assisi, at which more than five thousand brethren assembled from every province, the holy father sent them two and two to preach the Word of God in all countries. Many of them returned to him complaining sorrowfully that some bishops were opposed to them and would not allow them to preach in their dioceses....At which the blessed father, filled with holy indignation, exclaimed, "O my brethren, you know not the will of God, and you seek by your foolishness to rob me of the conquest of the world. For our Lord Jesus Christ wishes that I should overcome the world by the most profound subjection and humility, and that I should perform the great work drawing souls to him by example of my lowliness. My brethren, you will convert all by your words, if you humble yourselves before all by your actions. Those who cruelly persecute you will be converted to Christ by the example of your patience, and will desire to kiss the very ground on which you walk..."

Miscellaneous Writings of St Francis

Friday, August 17, 2007

Conventional Franciscan Friars

www.franciscans.org/ has been created by the Conventual Franciscan Friars as an open invitation to explore Franciscan life and spirituality. The invitation is open to everyone but is specifically designed for Catholic men and women looking to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church through St. Francis of Assisi and Franciscan community life and service.


"Blessed are those religious who have no joy or delight except in the most holy words of the Lord, and who use them to lead others to the love of God in joy and gladness."

Admonition 20

Bishop Sam Jacobs Guest Speaker: March 1, 2008, The Holy Spirit and Evangelization, Batesville High School Auditorium Batesville, Indiana

Bishop Sam Jacobs shepherds the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux,Louisiana and previously served as bishop of Alexandria, Louisiana. He was ordained to the priesthood for the diocese of Lafayette in 1964 and served as pastor, chaplain, and associate pastor of several parishes in the diocese of Lafayette and Lake Charles. He also served as the Episcopal advisor to the National Service Committee for Vocations and Seminarians for the diocese of Lakes Charles. In 1996, Franciscan University awarded him the shepherd’s Award in recognition of his faithful service to the Church.




Joy Is Contagious !

"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

Thursday, August 16, 2007

CHARISCENTER USA

National Service Center of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Often, without moving his lips, St.Francis would meditate for a long time and, concentrating, centering his external powers, he would rise in spirit to heaven. Thus, he directed his whole mind and affections to the one thing he was asking of God. He was not then so much a man who prayed, as a man who had become a living prayer.

Celano - Second Life - 95

Of the Humility and Peace to be Observed Toward Priests

My beloved brethren, we have been sent to assist priests in the salvation of souls, that what is wanting in them may be supplied by us. Everyone will receive his reward, not according to his dignity, but according to his labor. Know, my brethren, that the salvation of souls is most pleasing to God, and this we shall procure much better by living in concord with the clergy than by being at variance with them. If they hinder this work, God is their judge, and he will avenge it in due time. Therefore be subject to the prelates, that, as far as you can prevent it, no envy may arise. If you are the sons of peace, you will gain both the clergy and the people, and this will be much more acceptable to God than if you gained the people only and scandalized the clergy. Hide their faults, supply their deficiencies; and when you have done this, humble yourselves all the more.

St. Francis
Admonitions to the Bretheren

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Contemplative Or Active Life

On one occassion St. Francis said to the brothers who were closest to him, "What do you think? Should I give my time to prayer or should I go about preaching? I am a poor little simple one, with no skill in speaking; I have received the gift of prayer rather than that of preaching. Besides, in prayer we acquire graces while in preaching we deal out the graces we've received. In prayer we purify the desires of our hearts and enter in 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 - 12

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Insignificant and 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. You will encounter some who are faithful, meek, and well disposed; they will joyfully receive you and your words. But there are 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

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Central Indiana (CCRCI)

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Central Indiana (CCRCI) serves the archdiocese of Indianapolis and the diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana. A Service Team, including Fr. Nöel Mueller, O.S.B., of St. Meinrad Archabbey―ecclesial liaison to the archbishop of Indianapolis―and Fr. David Newton, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church―liaison to the bishop of Lafayette―steers the activities and ministries for the Central Indiana area.


Each year CCRCI spreads the Good News of Jesus Christ and fosters renewal through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts for the building up of the Church. Our mission is to renew the grace of Pentecost throughout each parish in Central Indiana through evangelization and service. We envision personal, continuous conversion to the Lordship of Jesus Christ with the fullness of the charisms of the Holy Spirit as normative within personal lives and parish communities.

Please visit their web site at:

http://www.inholyspirit.org/about.html

The Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ

Kissing your feet and with all the love I'm capable of, I beg you to render, as far as you can, all reverence and total adoration to the Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all things in heaven and on earth are made peaceful and are reconciled to God the Almighty.

St. Francis
Letter to the Whole Order

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fr. Gregory Bramlage

The Lord has called me into the way of simplicity and humility, and he has indeed made this way known through me and through all who choose to believe and follow me...He told me I am to be a new kind of fool in this world.

Mirror of Perfection, 68


Most people in their sixties reflect back upon their youth and reminisce about our long-lost youth. Many of us who were in our twenties during the beginnings of the Charismatic Renewal are now in our late fifties and early sixties. We idly reflect upon those "good times" as though they are gone forever. Like so many others, I too had moved on with my life, opting to concentrate more on Contemplative Prayer and Franciscan Holiness than remaining involved in the Renewal. After all, we all have to pass the baton sooner or later.

As God would have it, it was once again time for me to be knocked off my horse (my high horse.)

I first met Fr. Gregory Bramlage in 1996. St. Mary Catholic Church in Richmond, Indiana was his first assignment upon ordination to the priesthood. After moving on to his next assignment, I would run into him every once in a while around Indiana and Ohio, but only long enough to say "hi" and "goodbye." Then about a year ago I was told about this young priest who has a healing ministry and was really shaking things up in southern Indiana. People were coming from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois to be healed. The priest's name? Fr. Gregory Bramlage!

Then in early March I got an e-mail from Ralph Martin saying he was going to be a guest speaker at Fr. Bramlage's parish on August 11th, 2007 and that was the excuse I was looking for to attend one of these healing services.

What I experienced yesterday was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that I had never encountered before, even at national conferences. What impressed me most was the unassuming humility of both Fr. Gregory and Ralph Martin. Their accessability and kindness shown one-on-one with everyone there and the power of the Holy Spirit working in their daily lives reminded where St. Francis wrote, "Since spiritual joy springs from the heart's innocense and the purity of incessant prayer, these are the two virtues we need to acquire and keep."


My advice to everyone? Don't miss the March 2008 Conference featuring Bishop Sam Jacobs !!!

Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, India

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.

Rule of St. Clare, Chapter VI

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Remain Faithful To The Lord

We shouldn't flatter ourselves and boast about doing what any sinner can do. A sinner can fast, pray, weep, mortify the flesh. But this a sinner cannot do: Remain faithful to the Lord. Therefore this is what we should glory in: Rendering glory to our Lord, serving him faithfully, and acknowledging as his whatever he gives us.

Celano - Second Life, 134

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ralph Martin - Indiana Healing Conference: Walking on Water

Please join Ralph Martin, Father Gregory Bramlage and Father Daniel Wilder on Saturday, August 11, 2007 at East Central High School in St. Leon, Indiana at the Indiana Healing Conference !

Ralph Martin is the President of Renewal Ministries and the host of the weekly television program The Choices We Face. He is the author of several books on the Catholic Church and spirituality and audio albums on the teaching of the saints. He is the Director of Graduate Programs in The New Evangelization at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit. Ralph is also Assistant Professor of Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit as well as Visiting Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Ralph and his wife Anne have six children and six grandchildren.

Sponsored by St. Nicholas Catholic Church Sunman, Indiana

Monday, August 06, 2007

PRAY FOR PEACE !!!

One Minute Each Night during WWII, there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every night at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace. This had an amazing effect as bombing stopped. There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Each evening at 9:00 P.M. Eastern, 8:00 P.M. Central, 7:00 P.M. Mountain, 6:00 P.M. Pacific Time, stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens and for peace in the world. It has been said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless. Our prayers are the most valuable asset we have.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

In Pursuit of Perfection

"What you hold, may you always hold,
What you do, may you always do and never abandon.
But with swift pace, light step,
Unswerving feet,
So that even your steps stir up no dust,
May you go forward
Securely,joyfully, and swiftly,
On the path of prudent happiness,
Not believeing anything,
Not agreeing with anything,
That would dissuade you from this resolution
Or that would place a stumbling block for you on the way,
So that you may offer your vows to the Most High
In the pursuit of that perfection
To which the Spirit of the Lord has called you."

St. Clare's "Second Letter to Agnes of Prague"

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Arguing

And all the brothers are to guard against speaking falsely of anyone and are to avoid verbal disputes. Rather, let them seek to keep silent whenever God gives them the grace to do so. And they are not to argue among themselves, nor with others, but they are to strive to respond with humility, saying, "We are useless servants."

Rule of 1221, Chapter XI

Sunday, July 29, 2007

God Will Never Refuse Food And Clothing To The Poor Of Christ

Pope Honorius III tried to persuade Saint Francis to accept some revenues, predicting that his friars would suffer many miseries if they lived entirely on alms. The Saint replied, "I confide in the Lord Jesus, that as he has promised, and will give us, life and eternal glory in heaven, he will not refuse us the small amount of food and clothing which are necessary for the body on earth."

St.Francis of Assisi
Miscellaneous Writings

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Regarding Government Taxes

It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor. It is a sin worthy of punishment, not an act deserving a reward, to give away what belongs to others.

St. Francis of Assisi
Admonitions To The Bretheren

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

THANKSGIVING

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens!

Psalm 8

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Contemplation

In contemplation, God slakes the soul's thirst and feeds its hunger, according to Guigo II. God gives the meditator a new wine and lifts him or her above the normal meditative self into the sphere of experienced transcendence. Here at last is an infused element of prayer. Here the Holy Spirit prays in the human spirit.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Prayer Against Hunters

MARION DOYLE

Little brown brother of the Umbrian hills,
Childlike and pure, you surely are the one
To hear a plea of pity for the ills
Man visits on all helpless things that run
Or creep and fly beneath the stars and sun.

Guard them, I pray, from human lust and greed-
The beautiful, the saucy and the shy-
And teach mankind to know wild creatures' need
Of confidence when human feet go by;
A heart that almost bursts the walls of flesh,
The frozen terror in a small bright eye,
Are plea enough for their immunity.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Contemplating On The Wounds Of The Savior

Pondering sacred Scripture was the way the early monks, the desert fathers and mothers, and in fact the people of the bible, prayed. And the monks developed a traditional method for doing that, the ingredients of which we find rehearsed in John of the Cross when he writes: "Seek in reading and you will find in meditation; knock in prayer and it will be opened to you in contemplation" (Sayings, #158).

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A Lenten Rosary: Become Hidden In The Wounds Of The Savior


The Scourging at the Pillar


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 – 71


Just as that whip scourged Your precious and holy body, Lord Jesus, so take that very same whip into your hands and beat me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. Lay wide open my sins and my sinful nature, to be exposed to the healing power of the Son, the Son of the Everliving God.

Lord Jesus, I pray that as I search along that path into Your outstretched arms, that if I deviate from that path, that You take that whip and drive me back onto that narrow path to righteousness.



The Crown of Thorns

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


Lord Jesus Christ, my Beloved, just as that Crown of Thorns was placed upon your precious and holy head, please take that very same Crown of Thorns and place it upon my unworthy and sinful head for as you told me in your own words:

Do not be afraid to put on my crown of thorns.
It is My crown of glory!

Wear it as I did.

I will bear the pain so that you have none.

Then, and only then, will you see Me in glory.

Then we shall meet face to face.

You in me, and I in you.

People will see me in your image.

Give yourselves to Me fully,

And I will come to you in glory…”


Lord Jesus, I humbly beg You to place Your crown of thorns upon my sinful and unworthy head. I pray that Your Crown blocks any thoughts that are not from you from entering into my mind. Lord Jesus, I pray that only Your good and holy thoughts are able to penetrate Your Crown into
my mind. Give me Your Knowledge and Wisdom and allow me to come into complete union with You.



The Nails Pierce His Precious Hands


St. Francis used to say we should prefer nothing to the salvation of souls, and he said so for this reason: It was for souls that the only-begotten Son of God deigned to ascend the cross.

St. Bonaventure – Major Life 9:4

Lord Jesus, just as those nails pierced Your precious and holy hands, so I willingly invite You to take those very same nails into Your fists and drive them into my unworthy and sinful hands to make me Your “Carpenter Apprentice,” so that I can "Go, and rebuild Your house, which is falling completely to ruin!"

Lord Jesus, as my soul walks blindly through the dark night of my soul, I humbly offer You my hands as a little child to his Big Brother. I beg You to take my sinful hands into Yours and ask you to lead me out of the darkness and into the Light...the Light of Christ.


The Nail Pierces His Precious Feet


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. That is why they looked like and were in fact crucified men in their comportment and in their austere life, in their deeds and actions. And that is why they wanted more to receive shame and insults for the love of Christ than the world's vain honors or respect or praise; and that is why they were saddened when they were honored. And so they went through the world as pilgrims and strangers, with Christ crucified as their only baggage.

Little Flowers of St. Francis – Chapter 5

My sweet Lord Jesus, please take that very nail that pierced Your precious and holy feet into Your hands and drive it through my unworthy and sinful feet. “Shod” my feet with that nail for the the preparation of the Gospel, commissioning me to take Your “Good News” to all the corners of the earth.


The Spear Pierces The Heart of Jesus


Receive the Body and the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ with great humility and with veneration, remembering the words of the Lord: “Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life” and, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

Rule 1221, Chapter XX


Oh sweet Brother Jesus, I beg You to take that very spear that pierced Your Most Precious and Holy Heart and “run me through!” Impale me, Oh Lord! Wound my soul! Pierce my heart and soul with Your love for all mankind; every man, woman and child, regardless of Race, Color or Creed. Dear brother Jesus, I beg you to drive that spear deep into my heart and soul so that all my sins and sinful nature pours out onto the dust and dung heaps of the earth, to be replaced by Your total Being, Your Holy Spirit, our Father's Love, and our Father's Joy!



Now hidden in the tomb... contemplation... silence... listening... expectant... emptied of all... peace... serenity... quiet... God is present... only God.... complete emptying of self... plunged into the dark night of his presence.