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

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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Congressman Mike Pence Awarded 2008 Distinguished Christian Statesman Award

2008 Distinguished Christian Statesman Award

D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship honors Indiana

June 28, 2008 -- The D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship (CCS) honored Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana on Wednesday evening at a dinner in the Cannon Caucus Room on Capitol Hill. Dr. George Roller, Executive Director of the Center, along with the Rev. John Sorensen, President of Evangelism Explosion International, and Anne Kennedy, widow
of the late D. James Kennedy, presented the Distinguished Christian Statesman award to Pence, thanking him for his exemplary conduct in public office.

A Christian Statesman is one whose commitment to Christ and love of country compel him or her to stand for truth and righteousness in government. Pence is the thirteenth recipient of this award. Previous awardees include Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, Rep. Mike McIntyre, Sen. Dan
Coates, Judge Roy Moore, Director of U.S. Office of Personnel, Kay Coles James, Sen. Sam Brownback and Rep. Todd Akin.

In accepting the award, Mike Pence said he had been greatly influenced by the ministry of D. James Kennedy. "The Center for Christian Statesmanship is a model of faith in action - action which has been and continues to be a blessing to scores of Congressional staff as well as
Members of Congress," said Pence. "I am deeply humbled to be chosen as the 'Distinguished Christian Statesman of 2008.' To join the company of those statesmen who have been chosen in the past is a great honor."

The Center for Christian Statesmanship is a part of the international outreach of Evangelism Explosion International, the first Christian ministry to reach into every nation on earth. Sorensen said that, "the work on Capitol Hill fits perfectly into the vision of Evangelism
Explosion, which is fulfilling the Great Commission and spreading the gospel to all people in this generation."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Admonition VII

Good works must follow knowledge.

A man has been killed by the letter when he wants to know quotations only so that people will think he is very learned and he can make money to give to his relatives and friends.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Admonitions

Admonition VI

The Imitation of Christ

We ought to be ashamed of ourselves; the saints endured all that (trials and persecutions, in ignominy, hunger, and thirst, in humiliations and temptations), but we who are servants of God try to win honour and glory by recounting and making known what they have done. 

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Admonitions

Admonition V

No one should give way to pride but boast in the cross of the Lord.

If you were the most handsome and the richest man in the world, and could work wonders and drive out devils, all that would be something extrinsic to you; it would not belong to you and you could not boast of it. But there is one thing of which we can all boast; we can boast of our humiliations (2 Corinthians 12:15) and in taking up daily the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Admonitions

Admonition IV

No one should claim the office of superior as his own.

Those who are put in charge of others should be no prouder of their office than if they had been appointed to wash the feet of their confreres. They should be no more upset at the loss of their authority than they would be if they were deprived of the task of washing feet. The more they are upset, the greater risk they incur to their souls.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Admonitions

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Admonition III

Perfect and Imperfect Obedience

There are many religious who under the pretext of doing something more perfect than what their superior commands look behind and go back to their own will that they have given up (Proverbs 26:11). People like that are murderers, and by their bad example they cause the loss of many souls.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Admonitions

Friday, June 27, 2008

Admonition II

The Evil of Self Will

A man eats of the tree that brings knowledge of good when he claims that his good will comes from himself alone and prides himself on the Good that God says and does in him.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Admonitions

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Admonition I of Saint Francis of Assisi

I. The Blessed Sacrament

Our Lord Jesus told his disciples, I am the way, and the truth, and the life

That is why all those were condemned who saw the Lord Jesus Christ in his humanity but did not see or believe in spirit in his divinity, that he was the true Son of God. In the same way now, all those are damned who who see the sacrament of the Body of Christ which is consecrated on the altar in the form of bread and wine by the words of our Lord in the hands of the priest, and do not see or believe in spirit and in God that it is really the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Most High himself who told us, "This is my Body and Blood of the new covenant" (Mark 14:22-24), and "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life" (John 6:55).

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Admonitions

Note: The Admonitions are found in the Assisi MS. 338, the Orgissanti MS., the thirteenth-century MS. in the Laurentian library at Florence, and in some twenty-one other manuscripts. Since the manuscripts are unanimous in attributing them to St. Francis, there can be no question as to their authenticity.

The Portiuncula Is To Be An Example

Blessed Francis caused it to be written down in his Testament that all the houses of the brothers were to be made of clay and wood as a sign of holy poverty and humility and that the churches built for them were to be small. On this specific point of building with wood and mud, it was his wish that St. Mary of the Portiuncula the first friary where the Lord began to multiply the brothers, be taken as an example. He wanted this friary always to be a model and a reminder to the present and future brothers.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 77

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Poverty Is The Special Way To Salvation

When the friars asked him privately what virtue made one dearest to Christ, he replied as if revealing his closest secret, "Believe me, my brothers, poverty is the special way of salvation. It is the source of humility and the root of all perfection and its fruit is manifold, although unseen. This is the treasure hidden in the field in the Gospel to by which we must sell all - and anything that cannot be sold should be abandoned for love of it."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure - Major Life

Love Money As Much As Dung

Francis, the true friend and imitator of Christ, utterly despised all things belonging to this world, and hated money above all else. He always urged his brethren both by word and example to avoid it as they would the devil. And he told the friars to have as little love and use for money as for dung.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 14

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Richmond Catholic Community Charismatic Prayer Group Meeting July 20th

The monthly meeting of the Richmond Catholic Community Charismatic Prayer Group will meet on July 20, 2008 in the basement of St. Mary Church 710 North A Street Richmond, IN 47374.

"I have no hesitation in saying that all pastoral initiatives must be set in relation to holiness....Stressing holiness remains more than ever an urgent pastoral task....

"Our Christian communities must become genuine 'schools' of prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed no just in imploring help, but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening, and ardent devotion until the heart truly 'falls in love.' Intense prayer, yes, but it does not distract us from our commitment to history: by opening our heart to the love of God it also opens it to the love of our brothers and sisters, and makes us capable of shaping history according to God's plan."

Pope John Paul II
NMI 30,33

For additional information, please Email Chris Dickson at: dicksoncorp@parallax.ws

Imitate Christ

Christ gave to the world a summary of Christian perfection in his Sermon on the Mount. Francis studied this sermon and made it, in a sense, the core of his rule of life for his brothers, as expressed in the final rule of 1223. 

...But Francis sought not only to follow the words of Christ, he wished also to imitate the life of Christ as perfectly as he could, and he willed that his friars too should "follow the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

Saint Francis of Assisi
Sacrum Commercium Sancti Francesci cum Domina Pauperate
by Placid Hermann, O.F.M.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wrongfully Criticizing The Poor

When blessed Francis had gone to preach at a house of the friars near Rocca Brizzi, it happened that on the day he was due to preach, a poor, sick man came to him. Full of compassion for him, he began to speak about the man's poverty and sickness to his companion. And his companion said to him, 'Brother, it is true that this man seems poor enough, but it ma be that no one in the whole Province has a greater desire for riches.' He was at once severely rebuked by blessed Francis, and confessed his fault. Then the Father said to him, 'Are you ready to perform your penance that I give you?' 'I will do it willingly,' he replied. And he said to him, 'Go and remove your habit, and throw yourself naked at the poor man's feet, and tell him how you have sinned in speaking ill of him, and ask him to pray for you.' So the friar went and did all that blessed Francis had told him. And the Father said to him, 'Do you want to know how you sinned against him, and against Christ Himself? Whenever you see a poor man, remember Christ in Whose Name he comes, and how He took upon Himself our poverty and weakness.'

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 37

It Is Not Right For A Servant Of God To Show A Sad And Gloomy Face

So the Father (Francis) used to censure those who went about with gloomy faces, and once rebuked a friar who appeared with a gloomy face, saying, "Why are you making an outward display of grief and sorrow for your sin? This sorrow is between God and yourself alone. So pray Him in His mercy to pardon you and restore to your soul the joy of His salvation, of which the guilt of your sins has deprived it. Always do your best to be cheerful when you are with me and the other brethren; it is not right for a servant of God to show a sad and gloomy face to his brother or anyone else."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror or Perfection - 96

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Living By Example

In those days, Blessed Francis was living at the hermitage of St. Eleutherius, not far from Contigliano, in the disict of Rieti. Since he was wearing but one tunic and it was extremely cold, he was obliged to line the inside of it; so did his companion. His body felt some relief from this. A short time after, as he had just finished his prayer, overjoyed, he said to his companion, "I must be a model and an example to all the brothers. Therefore, although my body needs a lined tunic, I must think of my brothers who are experiencing the same need and who do not have or cannot procure for themselves a like tunic. I must therefore put myself in their place and share their privations, so that they may endure them patiently because they see the way I live."

...blessed Francis' main concern was to teach the brothers, more by his actions than his words, what they ought to do and what they ought to avoid.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia : 85

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Strip Our Lady's Altar Bare!

At another time the community at St. Mary of the Portiuncula was so much in need that they had nothing to offer the friars who came there visiting. Francis' vicar approached him and told him how badly off they were and asked him to allow tem to keep some of the property which those entering the Order brought with them; then the friars could fall back on this when the need arose. Francis, who was not without his own share of divine guidance, replied, "My dear brother, God forbid that we should sin against the rule for anyone. I should prefer to see you strip our Lady's altar bare rather than have you commit the slightest sin against our vow of poverty or the observance of the Gospel. The Blessed Virgin will be better pleased to see her altar laid bare and the Gospel counsel observed perfectly, rather than have the altar properly decorated and her Son's counsel violated, which we have promised to observe."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life

Friday, June 20, 2008

Holy Simplicity

For holy simplicity had so filled them, innocense of life so instructed them, purity of heart so possessed them, that they knew nothing of duplicity of mind. For, as there was one faith in them, so was there one spirit in them, one will, one love; there was unity of souls among them, harmony of behavior, practice of virtues, conformity of minds, and piety of actions.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Walking In Simplicity

At that time, walking in simplicity of spirit, they did not know as yet the ecclesiastical office. He (St. Francis) said to them: "When you pray, say Our Father, and We adore thee, Christ, here and in all thy churches which art in the whole world, and we bless thee, becauseby thy holy cross thou hast redeemed the world."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Passion Of The Lord!

One day, just a few years after his conversion, he was following the road that passes near St. Mary of the Portiuncula and, as he was walking by himself, he was lamenting and weeping out loud. A spiritual man, whom we know well and who reported it to us, met him at that time. This man had been very kind to the saint and had consoled him before he even had one brother and continued to do so. He said to him, "What is the matter, brother?" He thought that he was suffering from some infirmity. Blessed Francis answered: "I ought to travel through the whole world, crying and moaning without any false shame over the passion of my Lord!" The man began to cry with him and wept bitterly.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Piece Of Wood Or A Stone As A Pillow

Francis would not allow his resting place to be laid over with covers or garments when he received hospitality, but the bare ground received his bare limbs, with only a tunic between. When at times he refreshed his body with sleep, he very often slept sitting up, and in no other position, using a piece of wood or a stone as a pillow.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life - 52

Monday, June 16, 2008

"The Love Of God"

Among other words used in ordinary conversation, he (Francis) could never hear "the love of God" without a kind of transformation within himself. For immediately upon hearing "the love of God," he would become exited, stirred, and inflamed, as though an inner chord of his heart had been plucked by the plectrum of the outward voice of the speaker.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Our Holiness Should Be Known Only To God

...Those whom they think they edified or converted to penance by their discourse were actually edified or converted by God through the prayers of the holy brothers who were completely ignorant of it; God wishes it this way for fear it should be grounds for pride for them. Behold my Knights of the Round Table: the brothers who hide in abandoned and secluded places to devote themselves with more fervor to prayer and meditation, to weep over their sins and those of others. Their holiness is known to God, but most often unknown to the brothers and to men.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What A Man Is Before God, That He Is And No More

As Christ's true disciple, he was careful to preserve a low opinion of himself and appear worthless in the eyes of others, keeping in mind the words of the supreme Teacher, "What is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in God's sight" (Luke 16,15). He often used to remark, "What a man is before God, that he is and no more."

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Miracle Of Pentecost Renewed

At one time that wonderful vessel of the Holy Spirit, St. Anthony of Padua, one of the chosen followers and companions of St. Francis, whom St. Francis used to call his bishop, was preaching before the Pope and Cardinals in a consistory where there were men from different countries - Greeks and Latins, French and Germans, Slavs and English - and men of many other different languages and idioms. And being inflamed by the Holy Spirit, subtly, clearly, and understandably that all who were assembled at that consistory - although they spoke different languages, clearly and distinctly heard and understood every one of his words as if he had soken in each of their languages. Therefore they were all astounded and filled with devotion, for it seemed to them that the former miracle of the Apostles at the time of Pentecost had been renewed, when by the power of the Holy Spirit they spoke in different languages.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis - 39

Thursday, June 12, 2008

His Words Were Like A Burning Fire

Francis began to preach penance to all with great fervor of spirit and joy of mind, edifying his hearers with his simple words and his greatness of heart. His words were like a burning fire, penetrating the inmost reaches of the heart, and it filled the minds of all the hearers with admiration.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Heart Stricken And Wounded With Melting Love And Compassion

From that hour (before the cross at San Damiano) his heart was stricken and wounded with melting love and compassion for the passion of Christ; and for the rest of his life he carried in it the wounds of the Lord Jesus. This was clearly proved later when the stigmata of those same wounds were miraculously impressed upon his own holy body for all to see. 

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions

Monday, June 09, 2008

By Anointing You, The Holy Spirit Teaches You All Things

To these words of the brothers Lady Poverty replied with joyful heart, pleasant countenance, and kind words, saying, "I confess to you, my Brothers and my dearest friends, that from the time you began to speak, I have been filled with happiness; and I overflow with joy, seeing your fervor and knowing your proposal. Your words have become for me more precious than gold, than a heap of purest gold, sweeter than syrup or honey from the comb. For it is not you who are speaking, but the Holy Spirit who speaks through you, and his anointing teaches you concerning all things that you speak concerning the most high King, who by his grace alone took me to be his beloved, thus taking away from the earth my reproach, and made me glorious among the princes of heaven.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Sacrum Commercium

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Richmond Catholic Community Charismatic Renewal

Beginning June 15, 2008 the Richmond Catholic Community Charismatic Prayer Group will meet every 3rd Sunday of the month from 7:00-9:00 P.M. in the basement of Saint Mary's school building.

Everyone is invited to come and join us in Prayer, Praise and Worship.

For additional information, please e-mail me at: dicksoncorp@parallax.ws

Let The Fire Fall!

Saint Clare ate a meal with Saint Francis and his followers in Assisi:

And when it was time to eat, St. Francis and St. Clare sat down together, and one of his companions with St. Clare's companion, and all his other companions were grouped around that humble table. But at the first course St. Francis began to speak about God in such a sweet and holy and profound and divine and marvelous way that he himself and St. Clare and her companion and all the others who were at that poor little table were rapt in God by the overabundance of divine grace that descended upon them.

And while they were sitting there, in a rapture, with their eyes and hands raised to Heaven, it seemed to them men of Assisi and Bettona and the entire district that the Church of St. Mary of the Angels and the whole Place and the forest which was at the time around the Place were all aflame and that an immense fire was burning over all of them. Consequently, the men of Assisi ran down there in great haste to save the Place and put out the fire, as they firmly believed that everything was burning up.

But when they reached the Place, they saw that nothing was on fire. Entering the Place, they found St. Francis with St. Clare and all the companions sitting around that very humble table, rapt in God by contemplation and invested with power from on high,

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis 

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Wear Nothing But The Habit Next To Your Skin

For the first friars, and those who followed them for a long while, afflicted their bodies beyond measure by abstinence from food and drink, by vigils, by cold, by coarse clothing, and by manual labour. They wore iron bands and breast-plates, and the roughest of hair shirts. So the holy Father, considering that the friars might fall ill as a result of this - as had already happened in a short time - gave orders in Chapter that no friar should wear anything but the habit next to his skin.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 27

Friday, June 06, 2008

This Is What My Whole Heart Desires (cont'd)

He (Francis) learned these words by heart, meditating on what he had heard; and joyfully he started to put them into practice. He discarded his second garment, and from that day onwards he used no staff, shoes, or haversack; he kept one miserable tunic, and instead of the strap toook a length of cord as a belt. He set his whole heart and mind on how he could best carry out the words of grace that he had heard, and, divinely inspired, he began to speak in public very simply of penitence and the life of evangelical perfection. 

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions

Thursday, June 05, 2008

This Is What My Whole Heart Desires

Until the work of restoring the church at Saint Damian was completed, blessed Francis still wore the garments of a hermit with a strap to serve as a belt, and he carried a staff and had sandals on his feet. Then, one day during the celebration of Mass he heard the words in which Christ bade his disciples go out and preach, carrying neither gold nor silver, nor haversack for the journey, without staff, bread or shoes, and having no second garment. After listening to the priest's explanation of these words of the Gospel, full of unspeakable joy, he exclaimed: "This is what my whole heart desires to accomplish."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Do Not Become A Burden To Others

"I wish all my brethren to work and to occupy themselves humbly in good works, so that we do not become a burden to other men, or allow our hearts and tongues to wander in idleness..."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection  75

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"My People! Go And Repair My House Which Is Falling Into Ruin!"

Francis left the town one day to meditate out-of-doors and as he was passing by the church of San Damiano which was threatened to collapse with age, he felt urged to go in and pray. There as he knelt in prayer before a painted image of Crucified, he felt greatly comforted in spirit and his eyes were full of tears as he gazed at the cross. Then, all of a sudden, he heard a voice coming from the cross and telling him three times, "Francis, go and repair my house. You see it is falling down." Francis was alone in the church and he was terrified at the sound of the voice, but the power of its message penetrated his heart and he went into ecstasy. Eventually, he came back to himself and prepared to obey the command he had received. He was quite willing to devote himself entirely to repairing the ruined church of San Damiano, although the message really referred to the universal Church which Christ "won for himself at the price of his own blood" (Acts 20,28), as the Holy Spirit afterwards made him realize and he himself explained to the friars.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Bridegroom's Touch

He (Francis) always sought a hidden place where he could adapt not only his soul but also all his members to God. When he suddenly felt himself visited by the Lord in public, lest he be without a cell, he made a cell of his mantle. At times, when he did not have a mantle, he would cover his face with his sleeve so that he would not disclose the hidden manna. Always he put something between himself and the bystanders, lest they should become aware of the bridegroom's touch.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life 

Sunday, June 01, 2008

We Are Not To Judge The Wealthy

Blessed Francis also warned his brothers never to judge or criticize those who live in luxury, and indulge in superfluous and splendid clothes; God, he said, is their Lord and ours; he has the power to call them to himself and to justify them.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions