"CUM GRANDE HUMILITATE!"

"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
T
T
_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

Are You "Searching" For Jesus?

________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________
Donate ONE PENNY to the
Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage
every time you
SEARCH
the Internet!
GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!
T
_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Prayer of St. Francis Before the Crucifix

Most High, Glorious God,
enlighten the darkness in my heart,
and give me correct FAITH,
sure HOPE and perfect CHARITY,
with understanding and knowledge, Lord,
so that I may fulfill Your true and holy command,
Amen.

Who Or What Is The Lepper In Your Life That You Must Face?

For I, being in sin, thought it bitter to look at lepers, and the Lord himself led me among them, and I worked mercy with them. And when I left their company, I realized that what had seemed bitter to me, had turned into sweetness of soul and body.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Testament of St. Francis

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mystic Monk Coffee - Helping the Portiuncula Hermitage and Birthright

The Portiuncula Hermitage is committed to tithing ten percent of their Mystic Monk Coffee Sales Commissions to Birthright (a loving alternative to abortion)!

Mystic Monk Coffee is roasted by the Carmelite Monks, a Roman Catholic monastery in the silence and solitude of the Rocky Mountains of northern Wyoming. The monks live a hidden life of prayer and contemplation in the pursuit of God. The monastery is inundated with young men who seek to leave everything to pray for the world, in a tradition at least a thousand years old. It is the monks’ great joy and privilege to share the fruit of their life with you in every cup of Mystic Monk Coffee.

What is the Carmelite Monks' goals in roasting Mystic Monk Coffee? They hope that this new monastic industry will help them to establish their Catholic monastery in the mountains of Wyoming. Catholics everywhere love coffee and why not buy their coffee from Catholic monks who are laboring to take vocations?

Every Catholic monastery has its own manual labor, a way to support itself by its own hands. Then it usually sells what it makes as its monastery gift item. Coffee is unique in that Catholics everywhere drink coffee daily. So this is a monastery gift for every day of the year. Catholics should find this as another way to integrate the church into their daily lives, through Catholic coffee. Every morning as they sip their coffee, why not think of the church and say a morning offering to Christ?

Mystic Monk Coffee is pleased to offer the socially conscious consumer a coffee that respects the value of every human life and the right and dignity of every person, especially the unborn. Fair Trade Organic is a decision to act with social justice.

The monastic life is one of ordered perfection, which you will taste in every bag of Mystic Monk Coffee. Passionate about perfection, no challenge is too great for Br. Java and the monks, if it will result in a Mystic Monk brew suited for the most discriminating coffee drinker. The Carmelite monks have mastered the ancient art of roasting coffee, laboring with steadfast determination to make each cup of coffee simply superb. Taste the monastic perfection in each brew, which makes all the difference.


The Portiuncula Hermitage is committed to tithing ten percent of their Mystic Monk Coffee Sales Commissions to Birthright (a loving alternative to abortion)!

Please remember to keep the pre-born in your prayers!

To order direct, simply click on the Mystic Monk Coffee Icon on the left side of this page:

Missionaries Among Unbelievers

The brothers who can conduct themselves among unbelievers spiritually in two ways. One way is to avoid quarrels or disputes and be subject to every human creature for God's sake (1 Peter 2:13), so bearing witness to the fact that they are Christians. Another way is to proclaim the word of God openly, when they see that is God's will, calling on their hearers to believe in almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Creator of all, and in the Son, the Redeemer and Savior, that they may be baptized and become Christians, because unless a man be born again of water, and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5).

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Rule of 1221
Chapter 16

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Four Privileges Granted By God To The Order

Blessed Francis said that God had granted him four privileges, and made them known to him by an angel. These were: that the Order and profession of Friars Minor would endure until the Day of Judgement; that no one who deliberately persecuted the Order would live long; that no wrong-doers, who intended to live an evil life in the Order, would be able to remain in it for long; and that anyone who sincerely loved the Order, however great a sinner, would obtain mercy at the last.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 80

Words Of Peace, Comforting All

The people St. Francis and his brothers met were extremely surprised because in dress and manner of life they were so different from all others, and appeared almost like wild men of the woods. Whenever they came to a town or village or castle or house, they spoke the words of peace, comforting all, and exhorting men and women to love and fear the Creator of heaven and earth, and to observe his commands.

Some people listened gladly; but others only mocked them as fools aned humbugs, and refused them admittance into their houses for fear they might be thieves and make off with something. Thus in many places they suffered innumerable trials and insults, and, finding no hospitality, they were driven to take shelter under the porticoes of the churches or houses.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions - 38

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Deprived Of Speech

When St. Francis was praying at the place of the Portiuncula, it happened that the bishop of Assisi came to him on a friendly visit, as was his custom. As soon as he entered the place, he went unceremoniously to Francis' cell without being called, and after knocking at the door, was about to enter. But behold, he put his head in and saw the saint praying, a trembling took hold of him suddenly and his limbs became rigid, and he also lost his speech. Suddenly, by the will of God, he was driven out by force and pushed backward some distance. I believe that he was either unworthy to look upon this secret thing or that the saint was worthy to keep his secret longer. The astonished bishop returned to the brothers, and with the first word he uttered in confessing his fault, he recovered his speech (John 18:6).

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER LXVI

How To Act During Rapture

The holy and very devout lay brother James of Massa, who had been with St. Clare and many of the companions of St. Francis, had a gift regarding how he should act when he had such a grace.

Brother Giles answered: "Don't add. Don't take away. And avoid crowds as much as you can."

"What do you mean?" said Brother James. "Explain it to me Reverend Father."

He replied: "When the mind is ready to be introduced into that most glorious light of God's goodness, it should not add anything by presumption or take away anything by negligence, and it should love solitude as much as possible if it wishes that the grace be preserved and increase.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis
Part Three
ADDITIONAL CHAPTERS - 8

Saturday, December 27, 2008

When We Are The Bride, Brother And Mother Of Christ

A person is his bride when his faithful soul is united with Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit; we are his brothers when we do the will of his Father who is in heaven (Matthew 12:50), and we are mothers to him when we enthrone him in our hearts and sould by love with a pure and sincere conscience, and give him birth by doing good. This, too, should be an example to others.

Saint Francis of Assisi
LETTER TO ALL THE FAITHFUL

Indulging In Vices, Sins, Evil Longings And Desires

All those who refuse to do penance and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are blind, because they cannot see the true light, our Lord Jesus Christ. They indulge their vices and sins and follow their evil longings and desires, without a thought for the promises they made. In body they are slaves of the world and of the desires of their lower nature, with all the cares and anxieties of this life; in spirit they are slaves of the devil. They have been led astray by him and have made themselves his children, dedicated to doing his work. They lack spiritual insight because the Son of God does not dwell in them, and it is he who is the true Wisdom of the Father.

Saint Francis of Assisi
LETTER TO ALL THE FAITHFUL

Friday, December 26, 2008

When You See A Beggar You Are Looking At An Image Of Christ

A friar once brusquely refused a beggar who had asked for an alms at an awkward moment. When Francis heard about it, he made the friar take off his habit in his love for the poor, and cast himself at the feet of the beggar, confessing his fault and begging his prayers and forgiveness. The friar obeyed humbly and Francis remarked gently, "My dear brother, when you see a beggar, you are looking at an image of our Lord and his poor Mother. When you see a sick person, remember the infirmities he bore for us."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER VIII

The Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

All those are damned 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 this 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 life everlasting' (John 6:55).

Saint Francis of Assisi
Admonition I

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmastime At Greccio

The gifts of the Almighty were multiplied there at Greccio, and a wonderful vision was seen by a virtuous man. For he saw a little child lying in a manger lifeless, and he saw the holy man of God go up to it and rouse the child as from a deep sleep. This vision was not unfitting, for the Childe Jesus had been forgotten in the hearts of many; but, by the working of his grace, he was brought to life again through his servant St. Francis and stamped upon their fervent memory. At length the solemn night celebration was brought to a close, and each one returned to his home with holy joy.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life - 86

Christmas For St. Francis

The birthday of the Child Jesus St. Francis observed with inexpressible eagerness over all other feasts, saying that it was the feast of feasts, on which God, having become a tiny infant, clung to human breasts.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life - 199

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mystic Monk Coffee Rated "Outstanding" by Coffee Review, the World's Most Respected Coffee Guide!

Overall Rating: 90 points

Aroma: 8
Acidity: 7
Body: 8
Flavor: 8
Aftertaste: 8
Roast (Agtron): Medium (48/63)

http://www.coffeereview.com/review.cfm?ID=1770

Origin: Not disclosed.

Notes: Monk's Christmas Blend combines eight different coffees. Mystic Monk Coffee is a small-batch roaster associated with a Carmelite monastery located in the Rocky Mountains of northern Wyoming. Roastmaster Brother Java emphasizes his artisan approach to roasting and his commitment to quality. For more information, simply click on the "Mystic Monk Icon" on the left side of this page.

Blind Assessment: Balanced, quietly complex aroma: ripe tomato, lemon, nut, flowers, milk chocolate. The aromatic notes deepen in the big-bodied cup; the chocolate darkens, an earth note turns up, tart lemon and sweet floral notes persist. Clean, rich finish.

Who should drink it: With eight components this blend could end up blurred in impression, but it manages to make its aromatic layering readable and original.



About Coffee Review:

The concept was simple: conduct blind, expert cuppings of coffees and report the findings in the form of 100-point reviews, much like those that exist in the wine industry. Since I founded the Coffee Review in February 1997 with Ron Walters, it quickly has become the world's largest and most respected coffee buying guide.


To Order Direct, simply click on the "Mystic Monk Icon" on the Left Side of this page!

Everyone Must Be Made Welcome

No matter where they are, in hermitages or elsewhere, the friars must be careful not to claim ownership of any place, or try to hold it against someone else. Everyone who comes to them, friend or foe, rogue or robber, must be made welcome.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Rule of 1221
Chapter 7

The Bread Of Alms Is A Sacred Bread

The bread of alms is, in fact, a sacred bread, sanctified by the praise and love of God, since the brother who goes begging must begin by saying: "Praised and blessed be the Lord God!" Then he must say: "Give us alms for the love of the Lord God!"

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 61

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Absorbed And Wrapt In Contemplation

How much grace God gave the poor men who followed the Gospel and who voluntarily gave up all things for the love of God was manifested in Brother Bernard of Quintavalle who, after he had taken the habit of St. Francis, was very frequently rapt in God by the contemplation of heavenly things.

Thus one time it happened that while he was attending Mass in a church and while his whole mind was on God, he became so absorbed and rapt in contemplation that during the Elevation of the Body of Christ he was not at all aware of it and did not kneel down when the others knelt, and he did not draw his cowl back as did the others who were there, but he stayed motionless, without blinking his eyes, gazing straight ahead, from morning until None.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis - 28

Be Devoted To Prayer And Of Humbling Ourselves

Saint Francis said: "The brothers who are subjects will be very edified to see their ministers and their preachers devote themselves readily to prayer, and demean and humble themselves." A faithful disciple of Christ, Francis himself practiced what he preached to others as long as he enjoyed good health.

Saint Francs of Assisi
Legend of Perugia 71

Monday, December 22, 2008

Finding Joy And Happiness In The Lord

Blessed that religious who finds all his joy and happiness in the words and deeds of tour Lord and uses them to make people love God gladly. Woe to the religious who amuses himself with silly gossip, trying to make people laugh.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Admonition XXI

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bearing Ourselves With Simplicity

Many simple words fell from St. Francis's lips and he spoke from the fervor of his heart for he had been chosen by God to be simple and unlearned, using none of the erudite words of human wisdom; and in all things he bore himself with simplicity. Many people mocked him as a madman, but others were moved to tears when they saw how quickly he had passed from worldly pampering and vanity to loving God. He paid no heed to ridicule and gave thanks to God in great fervor of spirit.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions
CHAPTER VII

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Highest Form Of Religious Life

While visiting Bologna, Brother Bernard put his hand in his bosom and brought out the Rule of St. Francis, which he bore in his heart and practiced in his deeds, and gave it to a learned judge to read.

And when that judge had read it through, reflecting on its lofty state of perfection, he was utterly amazed, for he was an intelligent man. And turning to his companions, he said with the greatest surprise and admiration: "This certainly is the highest form of religious life I have ever heard of! And therefore this man and his companions are some of the holiest men in the world. So those who insult him are committing a very great sin, for he should be given the highest honors rather than insults, as he is a great and true friend of God!"

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis - 5

Think, Speak, And Do Holy Things

Once when St. Francis was staying in a cell at Siena, he called his sleeping companions one night, saying: "I have asked the Lord, brothers, to deign show me when I am a servant. And the most kind Lord just now deigned to give me this reply: 'Know that you are then truly my servant when you think, speak, and do holy things.' Therefore, have I called you, brothers, because I wish to be filled with shame before you if at any time I do nothing of these three things."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER CXVIII

Friday, December 19, 2008

Warm Glow Candles Outlet Selling Mystic Monk Coffee

Warm Glow Candles Outlet Store Selling Mystic Monk Coffee

Warm Glow Candles is selling "Mystic Monk Coffee" through the Portiuncula Hermitage and Retreat Center in their Outlet Store located in Indiana at Exit 145 on I-70 (Centerville, Indiana Exit).

Please remember: when you order Mystic Monk Coffee Through The Portiuncula (the Little Portion), ten percent of our sales are donated to Birthright (a loving alternative to abortion!)


FAIR TRADE / ORGANIC

Mystic Monk Coffee is pleased to offer the socially conscious consumer a coffee that respects the value of every human life and the right and dignity of every person, especially the unborn. Fair Trade Organic is a decision to act with social justice.

The monastic life is one of ordered perfection, which you will taste in every bag of Mystic Monk Coffee. Passionate about perfection, no challenge is too great for Br. Java and the monks, if it will result in a Mystic Monk brew suited for the most discriminating coffee drinker. The Carmelite monks have mastered the ancient art of roasting coffee, laboring with steadfast determination to make each cup of coffee simply superb. Taste the monastic perfection in each brew, which makes all the difference.


The Portiuncula Hermitage is committed to tithing all Mystic Monk Coffee Sales to Birthright!

Please remember to keep our pre-born in your daily prayers!

To order direct, simply click on the Mystic Monk Coffee Icon on the left side of this page:

People Who Return To Their Own Vomit Are Murderers

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 (return to their own vomit) that they have given up (Proverbs 26:11). People like that are murderers, and by their bad exqample they cause many to lose their souls.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Admonition III

Jacob's Ladder

St. Francis never failed to keep himself occupied doing good; like the angels Jacob saw on the ladder (Genesis 28:12), he was always busy, either raising his heart to God in prayer, or descending to his neighbor. He had learned how to distribute the time in which he could gain merit wisely, devoting part of it to his neighbor by doing good, and part to the restful ecstacy of contemplation.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER XIII

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Everyone Can Become Holy!

"Our interactions with the Father and our acceptance of his love and forgiveness help us to grow in holiness. The more we turn to the Father and receive his love for us, the more we become like Jesus. We must have a true desire to grow in holiness, to receive the virtues, to surrender our lives as Jesus surrendered his life to the Father. We must have a true desire to grow in charity.

"Like the prodigal son, we too must come to our senses. Too often today we justify sin, deny sin, or think of an evil as a good. We see this in the abuse of drugs and alcohol, in the lack of respect for others, in the gossip and talking behind another person’s back, in cheating to get ahead, in the holding of grudges, in the refusal to forgive, in the objectification of women, in the misuse of our sexuality, and in the taking of innocent human life.

"The sacrament of reconciliation is essential for growth in holiness. One of the reasons today for a lack of holiness is that we do not celebrate regularly the sacrament. If we are truly serious about coming to our senses and receiving the Father’s love for us then we will go to Confession not just during Lent and Advent, but at least every month. The sacrament of reconciliation helps us to see our sins, to seek God’s mercy, and to experience his tender love for us.

"Lent and Advent is a time for us to examine our lives in the light of the Father’s love for us. The prodigal son comes to his senses as he remembers all that he had at his home, most especially the love of his father. Our true home is in the heart of the Father, and only in remembering that truth will we be able to recognize our sin, seek God’s forgiveness, and grow in holiness.

As we grow in holiness we grow in charity. In receiving the Father’s love for us we will learn to love our neighbor as God loves our neighbor. We will desire to exercise charity in our homes, workplaces, society and world. We will grow in the fruits, virtues, of the Holy Spirit, “charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity” (Gal. 5:22-23). We will be willing to forgive as our Father forgives us (Mt. 6:14-15), and we will be merciful as the Father is merciful with us (Lk. 6:36). We will keep the commandments, live the beatitudes, and 'feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those who are sick and in prison, welcome the stranger' (Mt. 25:31-46).

"Conversion and growth in holiness do not happen overnight. We can become overwhelmed and discouraged if we think we must have all of these signs of holiness. We must remember that every saint, save the Blessed Mother, was a sinner. Some were great sinners and others less. For most saints it took many years to become holy, it was not achieved overnight nor without trials and failures. Perseverance was a must. And what every saint realized was that they were loved unconditionally by the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit – that God was truly for them and desired only the good for them. Today we too must recognize the same if we are to become saints. My prayer for every Catholic is that each one of us will respond to the call of Jesus and grow in holiness during the Lenten and Advent seasons."

Rev. Samual J. Aquila

No Creature Should Glory Before God

God chose me, for He has chosen the foolish things of the world and the to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the base things of the world and the despised, to bring to naught the noble and great and not from the creature, in order that no creature should glory before Him, but 'let him who takes pride, take pride in the Lord,' that honor and glory may be only God's forever.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis - 11

Be On Guard Against Pride, Boasting, Envy, And Greed

With all my heart, I beg the friars in our Lord Jesus Christ to be on their guard against pride, boasting, envy, and greed, against the cares and anxieties of this world, against detraction and complaining.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Rule of 1223
Chapter 10

Sweet-Smelling Perfume

St. Francis was ablaze with fervid eagerness and he longed for the salvation of souls with heartfelt compassion. He used to say that it was like a sweet-smelling perfume to him or a soothing balm, when he heard that people were being converted to the way of truth as a result of the good name holy friars had won for themselves all over the world.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER VIII

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Vatican prefect praises traditional manner of receiving Holy Communion

Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, whom Pope Benedict appointed last Tuesday as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has praised the traditional manner of receiving Holy Communion. The comments, which were made during a telephone interview, were published Sunday in a Madrid newspaper.

During the interview, in which Cardinal Canizares Llovera is characterized as a man who combines commitment to principle with “exquisite tact and gentleness,” the prefect said, “What does it mean to receive Communion in the mouth? What does it mean to kneel before the Most Holy Sacrament? What does it mean to kneel during the consecration at Mass? It means adoration, it means recognizing the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist; it means respect and an attitude of faith of a man who prostrates before God because he knows that everything comes from Him, and we feel speechless, dumbfounded, before the wondrousness, His goodness, and His mercy. That is why it is not the same to place the hand, and to receive Communion in any fashion, than doing it in a respectful way; it is not the same to receive Communion kneeling or standing up, because all these signs indicate a profound meaning. What we have to grasp is that profound attitude of the man who prostrates himself before God, and that is what the Pope wants.”

http://www.catholicculture.org/

Mystic Monk Coffee: Give A Pro-Life Christmas Gift!

Mystic Monk Coffee: Order Through The Portiuncula and Donate to Birthright!


The Portiuncula Hermitage is committed to giving ten percent of their Mystic Monk Coffee Commissions to Birthright (a loving alternative to abortion)!

FAIR TRADE / ORGANIC

Mystic Monk Coffee is pleased to offer the socially conscious consumer a coffee that respects the value of every human life and the right and dignity of every person, especially the unborn. Fair Trade Organic is a decision to act with social justice.

The monastic life is one of ordered perfection, which you will taste in every bag of Mystic Monk Coffee. Passionate about perfection, no challenge is too great for Br. Java and the monks, if it will result in a Mystic Monk brew suited for the most discriminating coffee drinker. The Carmelite monks have mastered the ancient art of roasting coffee, laboring with steadfast determination to make each cup of coffee simply superb. Taste the monastic perfection in each brew, which makes all the difference.


The Portiuncula Hermitage is committed to giving ten percent of their Mystic Monk Coffee Commissions to Birthright!

Please remember to keep our pre-born in your daily prayers!

To order, simply scroll down and click on the Mystic Monk Coffee Icon on the left side of this page:

Order of the Brothers of Penance

Carried away by the force of his preaching, great numbers of people adopted the new rule of penance according to the form instituted by St. Francis which he called the "Order of the Brothers of Penance." The way of penance is common to all those who are on the road to heaven and so this way of life includes members of both sexes, clerics and lay folks, married and single. How meritorious it is in the eyes of God is clear from the numerous miracles worked by some of those who followed it.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER IV

The Bridegroom's Touch

St. Francis always sought a hidden place where he could adapt not only his soul but also 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 bystander, lest they should become aware of the bridegroom's touch.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER LXI

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Faithfully Observe The Holy Gospel And The Rule

St. Francis admonished the brothers faithfully to observe the holy Gospel and the rule to which they had bound themselves; to bear themselves reverently and devoutly towards the services of the Church and all ecclesiastical observances; to hear Mass and adore the Body of the Lord with devotion and worship. He also taught the brothers to honor with special respect all priests who were ministers of the sacraments; and wherever they might happen to meet such a priest they should bow before him, and not only kiss his hands, but, if he were riding, even the hooves of his horse, out of reverence for his priestly authority.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions - 58

Having An Innocent And Prayerful Heart

"Therefore, my brothers, since this spiritual joy springs from cleanness of heart and the purity of constant prayer, it must be your first concern to acquire and preserve these two virtues, so as to possess this inward joy that I so greatly desire and love to both in you and myself, and which edify our neighbor and reproach our enemy. For it is the lot of the Devil and his minions to be sorrowful, but ours always to be happy and rejoice in the Lord."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 95

Monday, December 15, 2008

At The Name Of Jesus

O how often, when he sat down to eat, hearing or speaking of Jesus, St. Francis forgot bodily food, as we read of the holy one, "Seeing, he did not see, and hearing he did not hear." Indeed, many times, as he went along the way meditating on and singing of Jesus, he would forget his journey and invite all the elements to praise Jesus.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life
CHAPTER IX

Guard Against Exterior Signs Of Holiness

We must all be on our guard against pride and empty boasting and beware of worldly or natural wisdom. A worldly spirit loves to talk a lot but do nothing, striving for the exterior signs of holiness that people can see, with no desire for true piety and interior holiness of spirit.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Rule of 1221
Chapter 17

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Catholic / Quaker Reunion Meeting

This Sunday, December 14th, the Richmond Catholic Community will hold their Advent Reunion Meeting with First Friends Meeting and the Quaker community of Richmond, Indiana. Gathering is at 6:00 P.M. in Father Hillman Hall for dinner and at 7:00 P.M. everyone will assemble in St. Andrew Church for prayer and reflection. Please plan on joining us for a very special meeting with "Friends" in preparation for Christmas.

Alms Are The Inheritance Of The Poor

Blessed Francis often repeated the words: "I was never a robber: by that I mean that for the alms which are the inheritance of the poor, I have always accepted less than I needed so that I could not defraud the other poor. To act otherwise would be to steal."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 111

Going Through The World As Pilgrims And Strangers

Because St. Francis and his companions had been called by God and chosen to bear the Cross of Christ in their hearts and in their actions and to preach it by their words, they appeared to be and they were crucified men, both in their habit and their austere life and their deeds and their actions. Therefore, they had a greater desire to receive shame and insults for the love of Christ than the vain honors or respect or praise of the world. On the contrary, they rejoiced in being insulted, and they were made sad by being honored. And so they went through the world as pilgrims and strangers, taking with them nothing but Christ Crucified.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis
Chapter 5

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mystic Monk Coffee - Helping the Portiuncula: the Little Portion and Birthright

Mystic Monk Coffee is roasted by the Carmelite Monks, a Roman Catholic monastery in the silence and solitude of the Rocky Mountains of northern Wyoming. The monks live a hidden life of prayer and contemplation in the pursuit of God. The monastery is inundated with young men who seek to leave everything to pray for the world, in a tradition at least a thousand years old. It is the monks’ great joy and privilege to share the fruit of their life with you in every cup of Mystic Monk Coffee.

What is the Carmelite Monks' goals in roasting Mystic Monk Coffee? They hope that this new monastic industry will help them to establish their Catholic monastery in the mountains of Wyoming. Catholics everywhere love coffee and why not buy their coffee from Catholic monks who are laboring to take vocations?

Every Catholic monastery has its own manual labor, a way to support itself by its own hands. Then it usually sells what it makes as its monastery gift item. Coffee is unique in that Catholics everywhere drink coffee daily. So this is a monastery gift for every day of the year. Catholics should find this as another way to integrate the church into their daily lives, through Catholic coffee. Every morning as they sip their coffee, why not think of the church and say a morning offering to Christ?

Mystic Monk Coffee is pleased to offer the socially conscious consumer a coffee that respects the value of every human life and the right and dignity of every person, especially the unborn. Fair Trade Organic is a decision to act with social justice.

The monastic life is one of ordered perfection, which you will taste in every bag of Mystic Monk Coffee. Passionate about perfection, no challenge is too great for Br. Java and the monks, if it will result in a Mystic Monk brew suited for the most discriminating coffee drinker. The Carmelite monks have mastered the ancient art of roasting coffee, laboring with steadfast determination to make each cup of coffee simply superb. Taste the monastic perfection in each brew, which makes all the difference.


The Portiuncula Hermitage is committed to tithing ten percent of their Mystic Monk Coffee Sales Commissions to Birthright (a loving alternative to abortion)!

Please remember to keep the pre-born in your prayers!

To order direct, simply click on the Mystic Monk Coffee Icon on the left side of this page:

Become Hidden In The Wounds Of The Savior

Saint Francis made himself insensible to all external noise, and, bridling his external senses with all his strength and repressing the movements of his nature, he occupied himself with God alone....With fruitful devotion he frequented only heavenly dwellings, and he who had totally emptied himself remained so much the longer hidden in the wounds of the Savior.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life
CHAPTER XXVII

Desire To Depart And Be With Christ

The man of God, Francis, had been taught not to seek his own, but to seek especially what in his eyes would be helpful toward the salvation of others; but above everything else he desired to depart and to be with Christ. Therefore, his greatest concern was to be free from everything in this world, lest the serenity of his mind be disturbed even for an hour by the taint of anything that was mere dust.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life
CHAPTER XXVII

Count Orlando of Chiusi Gave Mount Alverna to St. Francis

Among the noblemen who had come to a meeting in the village of Montefrelto was a great and wealthy Count from Tuscany named Orlando of Chiusi in Casentino, who said to St. Francis: "Brother Francis, I have a mountain in Tuscany which is very solitary and wild and perfectly suited for someone who wants to do penance in a place far from people or who wants to live a solitary life. It is called Mount Alverna. If that mountain should please you and your companions, I would gladly give it to you for the salvation of my soul."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis
Part 2

Friday, December 12, 2008

Spiritual Joy

Saint Francis would say: "If the servant of God, as may happen, is disturbed in any way, he should rise immediately to pray and should remain in the presence of the heavenly Father until he restores unto him the joy of salvation. For if he remains stupified in sadness, the Babylonian stuff will increase, so that, unless it be at length driven out by tears, it will generate an abiding rust in the heart."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER LXXXVIII

Do Not Argue

And all the brothers are to guard against speaking falsely of anyone and are to avoid verbal disputes. Rather, let them seek to keep quiet 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" (Luke 17:10).

Saint Francis of Assisi
Rule of 1221
Chapter 11

Thursday, December 11, 2008

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 Personal 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.

Strict Self-Discipline

As a loyal follower of Jesus crucified, St. Francis crucified his lower nature with all its passions, from the very beginning of his religious life, by practicing strict self-discipline; he retrained his impulses of sensuality with such rigid self-control that he scarcely took enough food or drink to keep himself alive.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER III

For The Love Of God

Among other words used in ordinary conversation, St. Francis could never hear 'for the love of God' without a kind of transformation within himself. For immediately upon hearint 'for the love of God,' he would become excited, 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
CHAPTER CXLVIII

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

St. Francis Did Not Preach Mamby-Pamby Wishy-Washy Sermons Of "Tolerance" or "Sensitivity"

Francis, therefore, the most valiant knight of Christ, went about the towns and villages announcing the kingdom of God, preaching peace, teaching salvation and penance unto the remission of sins, not in the persuasive words of human wisdom, but with the learning and power of the Spirit. He acted boldly in all things, because of the apostolic authority granted to him, using no words of flattery or seductive blandishments. He did not know how to make light of the faults of others, but he knew well how to cut them out; neither did he encourage the life of sinners, but he struck hard at them with sharp reproof, for he had first convinced himself by practicing himself what he wished to persuade others to do by his words...

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life
CHAPTER XV

We Can Glory In The Cross

Above all the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit which Christ gives to His friends is that of conquering oneself and willingly enduring sufferings, insults, humiliations, and hardships for the love of Christ. For we cannot glory in all those other marvelous gifts of God, as they are not ours but God's, as the Apostle says: "What have you that you have not received?"

But we can glory in the cross of tribulations ans afflictions, because that is ours, and so the Apostle says: "I will not glory save in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ!"

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis
Part One - 9

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

When You Are Too Sure Of Yourself

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.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER V

Self Adulation

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 becase we can recite what they did.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Admonition 6

Monday, December 08, 2008

Tha Store Cafe in Sunman, Indiana Now Serving Mystic Monk Coffee

Tha Store Cafe in Sunman, Indiana is now selling Mystic Monk Coffee

The Store Cafe in Sunman, Indiana is now selling "Mystic Monk Coffee" through the Portiuncula Hermitage and Retreat Center in their Outlet Store located at 104 S. Meridian Street Sunman, Indiana.

Please remember that The Portiuncula Hermitage is committed to tithing all Mystic Monk Coffee Sales to Birthright (a loving alternative to abortion)!

FAIR TRADE ORGANIC

Mystic Monk Coffee is pleased to offer the socially conscious consumer a coffee that respects the value of every human life and the right and dignity of every person, especially the unborn. Fair Trade Organic is a decision to act with social justice.

The monastic life is one of ordered perfection, which you will taste in every bag of Mystic Monk Coffee. Passionate about perfection, no challenge is too great for Br. Java and the monks, if it will result in a Mystic Monk brew suited for the most discriminating coffee drinker. The Carmelite monks have mastered the ancient art of roasting coffee, laboring with steadfast determination to make each cup of coffee simply superb. Taste the monastic perfection in each brew, which makes all the difference.


The Portiuncula Hermitage is committed to tithing all Mystic Monk Coffee Sales to Birthright!

Please remember to keep our pre-born in your daily prayers!

To order, simply click on the Mystic Monk Coffee Icon on the left side of this page:

When We Are Considered Insignificant Or Unbalanced

Have no fear of being thought insignificant or unbalanced, but preach repentance with courage and simplicity. 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.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions
CHAPTER X

When Spiritual Joy Fills Hearts

St. Francis was sure that spiritual joy is the safest remedy against the thousand snares and wiles of the enemy. He used to say: "The devil is most happy when he can snatch from a servant of God true joy of spirit. He carries dust with him to throw into the smallest chinks of conscience and thus soil one's mental candor and purity of life. But when spiritual fills hearts, the serpent shoots his deadly venom in vain."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER LXXXVIII

Living Out The Rule Of 1221

In the name of God I entreat the friars to grasp the meaning of all that is written in this Rule for the salvation of our souls, and recall it to mind again and again. I beg Almighty God, Three and One, to bless those who teach, learn, or have by them this Rule, keeping it fresh in their memory and putting it into practice, as they repeat and perform what is written in it for our salvation.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Rule of 1221
CHAPTER XXIII

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Richmond Catholic Community Charismatic Prayer Group Meeting December 21, 2008

The monthly meeting of the Richmond Catholic Community Charismatic Prayer Group will meet on December 21, 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 e-mail Chris Dickson at: dicksoncorp@parallax.ws

We Take Our Cells With Us

Wherever we are or wherever we are going, we have our cell with us. For Brother Body is the cell, and the soul is the hermit who dwells in it, meditating there and praying to God. Therefore, if the soul does not preserve quiet and solitude in its own cell, of what profit is a cell made by hands?

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 80

We Should Make A Dwelling Place Within Ourselves

I entreat all my friars, ministers and subjects, to put away every attachment, all care and solicitude, and serve, love, honour, and adore our Lord and God with a pure heart and mind; this is what he seeks above all wlse. We should make a dewlling place within ourselves where he can stay, he who is Lord God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Rule of 1221
Chapter 22

St. Francis And The Swallows

St. Francis preached in the neighboring villages, and eventually he came to Alvanio. Here he sumoned the whole poplulation and called for silence, but he could scarcely be heard above the cries of the swallows which were nesting there and making a lot of noise. He spoke to them, while the whole crown listened, and said, "My sisters, it is my turn to speak now. Youhave said enough already. Listen to God's word and be quiet until the sermon is over." Immediately they all became silent, just as if they understood, and they never moved until the whole sermon was finished. The onlookers were amazed and gave glory to God. The story of the miracle was told far and wide, so that people had great reverence for the saint and were moved to greater faith.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER XII

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Seeking Alms

Saint Francis would say that shame in begging is the enemy of salvation, and he affirmed that that kind of shame in begging which does not withdraw the foot is holy.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER XLI

How A Great Tyrant Was Converted and Became a Friar Minor

"And as I have seen and heard, all of you are hastening and running toward all that evil, for no good appears in your deeds or words. So I advise and warn you, my dear friends, not to lose those highest heavenly good things that will last forever, on account of the vile things this world and the delights of the flesh, and not to hasten and run this way to such great and bitter sufferings!"

Little Flowers of St. Francis
Part Three - 11

Living A Life According To The Gospel

One of the cardinals, His Eminence John of St. Paul, Bishop of Santa Sabina, was a man who loved holiness and was dedicated to Christ's poor. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he addressed the Pope Innocent III and his conferes saying: "We must be careful. If we refuse this beggarman's request [for a new Rule] because it is new or too difficult, we may be sinning against Christ's Gospel, because he is only asking us to approve a form of Gospel life. Anyone who says that a vow to live according to the perfection of the Gospel contains something new or unreasonable or too difficult to be observed, is guilty of blasphemy against Christ, the Author of the Gospel."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER III

Friday, December 05, 2008

Padre Nostro (Our Father in Italian)

Padre nostro, che sei nei cieli!
Sia santificato il tuo nome.
Venga il tuo regno.
Sia fatta la tua volontá.
Come in cielo cosí in terra.
Dacci oggi il nostro pane quotidiano,
E rimetti a noi i nostri debiti,
Come noi li rimettiamo ai nostri debitori.
E non ci indurre in tentazione,
Ma liberaci dal male.
(MATTHEW 6:9-13)

Tuo il regno, Tua la potenza e la gloria nei secoli dei secoli.

Amen.

Holidays Under The Spires in Oldenburg Serving Up Mystic Monk Coffee

Holidays Under the Spires takes place in Oldenburg Saturday, Dec. 6. Three shops (Schwestern Gallery of Art, Christian’s Kinder Laden and Guten Tag Mercantile) will be open in the quaint town extended hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Attendees can get tokens from merchants for carriage rides with Santa from 2 to 5 p.m. Folks can also test their woodworking skills to win prizes at The Village Workshop and sample wine at Selkirk’s from 1 to 6 p.m. There also will be a youth group cookie walk and baked goods sale and 5:30 p.m. public Advent Christmas Mass at Holy Family Catholic Church. After Mass you can go downstairs at Holy Family Catholic Church and enjoy a piping hot cup of Mystic Monk Coffee. Those who stop at the Sisters of St. Francis Convent between 3 and 6 p.m. will hear a variety of music and learn about holiday traditions during tours.

The Portiuncula Hermitage is committed to giving ten percent of their Mystic Monk Coffee Commissions to Birthright (a loving alternative to abortion)! Besides, it's the best coffee you will ever taste in your life!

FAIR TRADE / ORGANIC

Mystic Monk Coffee is pleased to offer the socially conscious consumer a coffee that respects the value of every human life and the right and dignity of every person, especially the unborn. Fair Trade Organic is a decision to act with social justice.

The monastic life is one of ordered perfection, which you will taste in every bag of Mystic Monk Coffee. Passionate about perfection, no challenge is too great for Br. Java and the monks, if it will result in a Mystic Monk brew suited for the most discriminating coffee drinker. The Carmelite monks have mastered the ancient art of roasting coffee, laboring with steadfast determination to make each cup of coffee simply superb. Taste the monastic perfection in each brew, which makes all the difference.


The Portiuncula Hermitage is committed to giving ten percent of their Mystic Monk Coffee Commissions to Birthright!

Please remember to keep our pre-born in your daily prayers!

To order, simply scroll down and click on the Mystic Monk Coffee Icon on the left side of this page:

Mystic Monk Coffee Offering A Special "Christmas Blend"

Order Mystic Monk Coffee Through The Portiuncula: the Little Portion and we will Donate Ten Percent of our Commissions to Birthright (a loving alternative to Abortion)!


FAIR TRADE / ORGANIC

Mystic Monk Coffee is pleased to offer the socially conscious consumer a coffee that respects the value of every human life and the right and dignity of every person, especially the unborn. Fair Trade Organic is a decision to act with social justice.

The monastic life is one of ordered perfection, which you will taste in every bag of Mystic Monk Coffee. Passionate about perfection, no challenge is too great for Br. Java and the monks, if it will result in a Mystic Monk brew suited for the most discriminating coffee drinker. The Carmelite monks have mastered the ancient art of roasting coffee, laboring with steadfast determination to make each cup of coffee simply superb. Taste the monastic perfection in each brew, which makes all the difference.


The Portiuncula Hermitage is committed to tithing ten percent of all Mystic Monk Coffee Commissions to Birthright!

Please remember to keep our pre-born in your daily prayers!

To order, simply scroll down and click on the Mystic Monk Coffee Icon on the left side of this page:

Saint Mary of the Portiuncula

Francis brought his little flock of twelve friars to St. Mary of the Portiuncula. It was there that the Order of the Friars Minor had been founded by the merits of the Mother of God, and it was there, too, that it would grow to maturity by her intercession.

From the Portiuncula, Francis set out as a herald of the Gospel to preach the kingdom of God in the towns and villages in the vicinity, "not in such words as human wisdom teaches, but in words taught him by the Spirit" (1 Cor 2:13).

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER IV

Thinking Too Highly Of One's Self

For a man who is joined with Christ by the gift of a special grace it is not something great if he does things similar to the things that have been done by other saints.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER XVII

Humble Ourselves At Every Opportunity

The ministers and preachers must remember that they do not have the right to the office of serving the friars or of preaching, and they must be prepared to lay it aside without objection the moment they are told to do so. In that love which is God (1 John 4:8), I entreat all my friars, whether they are given to preaching, praying, or manual labour, to do their best to humble themselves at every opportunity; not to boast or be self-satisfied, or take pride in any good which God says or does or accomplishes in them or by them...

Saint Francis of Assisi
Rule of 1221
Chapter 17

Thursday, December 04, 2008

il Cantico del Sole (The Canticle of Brother Sun)

The Original Italian (Umbrian)

Altissimu, omnipotente, bonsignore,
tue sono le laude
la gloria elhonore
et omne benedictione.

Ad te solo, Altissimo, se Konfano
et nulu homo enne dignu
te mentovare.

Laudato sie, misignore, cum tucte le tue creature,
spetialmente messor lo frate sole,
loquale iorno et allumini noie par loi.

Et ellu ebellu eradeante cum grande splendore:
de te, Altissimo, porta signicatione.

Laudato si, misignore, per sora luna ele stelle:
in celu lai formate clarite
et pretiose et belle.

Laudate si, misignore, per frate vento,
et per aere et nubilo
et sereno et omne tempo
per loquale a le tue creature
dai sustentamento.

Laudato, si, misignore, per sor aqua,
laquale e multo utile et humile
et presiosa et casta.

Laudato, misignore, per frate focu,
per loquale ennalumini la nocte:
edello ebello et iocundo
et robustoso et forte.

Laudato si, misignore, per sora nostra matre terra,
laquale ne sustenta et governa,
et produce diversi fructi
con coloriti flori et herba.

Laudato si, misignore, per quelli ke perdonano
per lo tuo amore
et sostengo infirmitate
et tribulatione.

Beate quelli kel sosterrano in pace,
ka da te, Altissimo,
sirano tribulatione.

Laudato si, misignore, per sora nostra
morte corporale,
da laquale nullu homo
vivente poskappare.

Gai acquelli ke morrano
ne le peccata mortali!

Beati quelli ke trovarane
le tue santissime voluntati,
ka la morte secunda
nol farra male.

Laudate et benedicite, misignore,
et rengratiate et servaite li
cum grande humilitate.

Rapt In Ecstasy

One day when he was in a lonely place by himself, weeping for his misspent years in the bitterness of his heart, the joy of the Holy Spirit was infused into him and he was assured that all his sins had been forgiven. He was rapt in ecstasy and completely absorbed in a wonderful light, so that the depths of his soul were enlightened and he saw what the future held in store for himself and his sons.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER III

The Most Vile Among Men

He (St. Francis) was honored by all and extolled by all, with praiseworthy judgement; and he alone considered himself the most vile among men, he alone despised himself most severely. For often, when he was honored by all, he suffered the deepest sorrow; and rejecting the favor of men, he would see to it that he be rebuked by someone.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life
CHAPTER XIX

Lisbeth Scott Releases Christmas Album

Hi Chris!

Hope you're doing well. I just wanted to let you know I have a new Holiday recording out called "Peace on Earth" available on Amazon & Itunes now. Just type in Lisbeth Scott, then Peace on Earth and you'll find it. It's got new versions of some classics and a couple of new tunes as well. Also, shot a video for one of the songs that I'll be posting on Myspace soon. I'm trying to spread the word about this new release the grass roots way. So, if you can spread the word to everyone you know...I'd LOVE it! You can listen to the music at www. lisbethscottmusic. com.

Peace and Love to you and have a beautiful Holiday season!

Lisbeth

Note: Lisbeth Scott was the female vocalist on John Debney's musical score of Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of Christ." Both she and John were frequent guests on my former Talk Show.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Brother Ass and Saint Francis

JOHN BANISTER TABB

It came to pass
That "Brother Ass"
(As he his Body named)
Unto the Saint
Thus made complaint:
"I am unjustly blamed.

"Whatever I do,
Like Balaam you
Requite me with a blow,
As for offense
To recompense
An ignominious foe.

"God made us one,
And I have done
No wickedness alone;
Nor can I do
Apart, as you,
An evil all my own.

"If Passion stir,
'Tis you that spur
My frenzy to the goal;
Then be the blame
Where sits the shame,
Upon the goading soul.

"Should one or both
Be blind or loath
Our brotherhood to see,
Remember this,
You needs must miss
Or enter heaven through me."

To this complaint
The lowly Saint
In tears replied, "Alas,
If so it be,
God punish me
And bless thee, Brother Ass."

Purity

We must keep a close watch over ourselves and let nothing tarnish the purity of our senses, because the Lord says: "Anyone who so much as looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).

Saint Francis of Assisi
Writings of St. Francis
Chapter 12

Sinners Are Led Back To God By Holy Meekness

St. Francis came back to the Place, carrying a sack of bread and a little jug of wine which he had begged with his companions. And when the guardian told him how he had driven some robbers away, St. Francis scolded him severely, saying: "You acted in a cruel way, because sinners are led back to God by holy meekness better than by cruel scolding. For our Master Jesus Christ, whose Gospel we have promised to observe, says that the doctor is not needed by those who are well but by the sick, and 'I have come to call not the just but sinners to penance,' and therefore He often ate with them.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis
Part 3 - 26

Strip The Altar Bare For The Needy!

Once the Saint's vicar, Brother Peter Catani, seeing that St. Mary of the Portiuncula was crowded with friars from other Places and that there were not enough alms to provide them with what they needed, said to St. Francis: "Father, I don't know what to do with so many friars arriving from everywhere! I haven't supplies enough to provide for them. Please allow some of the property of the novices entering the Order to be set aside for our exenses when necessary."

But Francis answered: "Dear Brother, put away that kind of piety which impiously goes against the Rule for the sake of anyone whatsoever!"

And Peter said: "What shall we do?"

St. Francis replied: "Strip the altar of the Virgin and take away its various ornaments, since you canot provide for the needy in any other way. Believe me, the Mother of God would rather have the Gospel of her Son observed and he altar stripped than have the altar adorned and her Son scorned. The Lord will send someone who will restore to His Mother what He has loaned us."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis
Part Three - 13

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

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 Little Poor Man of Assisi stands,
As Giotto painted him upon a friese.

I know 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 dethless master of his race
Inscribed a sudden message on his face.

The Brothers Are To Keep The Rule

Saint Francis taught the brothers to keep the Rule ever before their eyes as a reminder of the life they are to live, and, what is more, that they should die with it.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER CLVIII

Become Hidden In The Wounds Of The Savior

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.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life

The Correction Of Friars Who Have Fallen Into Sin

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hads of the living God (Hebrews 10:31), and so the ministers must keep close watch over their own souls and those of their friars. A friar is not bound to obey if a minister commands anything that is contrary to our life for his own conscience, because there can be no obligation to obey if it means committing sin.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Rule of 1221
Chapter 5

Monday, December 01, 2008

Holy Simplicity

For holy simplicity had so filled them, innocence of life was so instructing 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, the practice of virtues, conformity of minds, and piety of actions.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life
CHAPTER XVII

I Do Not Want To Be A Thief

Another time, when Francis was returning from Siena, he met a poor man and said to him companion: "Brother, we must return this mantle to that poor man to whom it belongs. We borrowed it from him until we should meet someone poorer than ourselves." His companion, thinking about his father's need, obstinately refused, lest Francis provide for another by neglecting himself. The saint said to him: "I do not want to be a thief; for it would be considered a theft in us if we did not give to someone who is in greater need than we."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER LIV

The Friars Are Called Minors (Lesser Brothers)

When the bishop of Ostia, the protector and foremost champion of the Order, who was afterwards to become pope with the name of Gregory IX as Francis prophesied, asked him if he would allow his friars to be promoted to various offices in the Church, the saint replied, "My lord, my friars are called Minors so that they will never think of becoming superiors. If you want them to bear fruit in the Church, keep them strictly to their vocation and never let them take an office in the Church."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER VI