"CUM GRANDE HUMILITATE!"

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

A special "Thank you!"
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John Michael Talbot
for giving us permission
to use his song on our
"Come to the Quiet"
You Tube Video
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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