"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
_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

Saturday, February 28, 2009

All God Asks Of Us Is That We Keep Our Sneakers Laced

When St. Francis went to preach at Celano after his return from overseas, a knight begged him insistently to come to dinner, Francis was reluctant, but his host almost forced him to come, in his devotion to him. Before they sat to eat, the saint offered praise and prayers to God as usual, like the truly spiritual man he was. There he learned in the spirit that his host must die in the very near future, and he remained standing with his mind fixed of God and his eyes raised to heaven. When he had finished praying, he drew his host aside and told him that he was going to die soon, advising him to go to confession and encouraging him to do what good he could. The knight took his advice and confessed all his sins to the saint's companion. He put his affairs in order and entrusted himself to God's mercy, doing everything he could to prepare for death. They were all beginning their meal when the knight, who seemed quite strong and well, suddenly passed away, as the saint had foretold.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Minor Life

Where Virtue Has Been Perfected

"Temptation overcome," Francis said, "is in a way a wedding ring with which the Lord espouses the soul of his servant to himself. There are many who flatter themselves over their long-standing merits and are happy because they have had to undergo no temptations. But because fright itself would crush them even before the struggle, they should know that their weakness has been taken into consideration by the Lord. For difficult struggles are hardly ever put the way of anyone, except where virtue has been perfected."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life

Friday, February 27, 2009

I Confess All My Sins

I confess all my sins to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; to blessed Mary ever Virgin and all the saints in heaven and on earth; to the Minister General of our Order, my reverend superior; to all the priests of the Order and all my other friars. I have sinned in many ways, through my own most grevous fault, and in particular by not keeping the Rule which I promised to God, and by not saying the Office, as the Rule prescribes, through carelessness or sickness, or because I am ignorant and have never studied.

Saint Francis of Assisi

Above All Else

Above everything else, Francis thought that the faith of the holy Roman Church was by all means to be preserved, honored, and imitated, that faith in which alone is found salvation of all who are to be saved. He revered priests and he had a great affection for every ecclesiastical order.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nowhere To Lay His Head

After St. Francis had lived and prayed in a particular cell for some time, one day when he had gone out and was near the friary of the brothers, came up to him. "Where do you is a from?" blessed Fracis asked. "From your cell," the brother answered. Blessed Francis immediately responded: "Since you have called it my cell, someone else will occupy it from now on, not I!"

We who loved with him often heard him repeat the saying of the gospel: "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 14

Mystic Monk Coffee - Helping the Portiuncula Hermitage and Birthright

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:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Hands Of The Priest

St. Francis wanted great reverence shown to the hands of the priests, for to these has been given authority from God over the consecrated bread and wine.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life

Setting A Bad Example

If anyone is lost through our fault or bad example, we must account for it before our Lord Jesus Christ on the day of Judgement.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Admonitions
Admonition 4

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Despising And Disregarding The Principle Foundations Of Our Order

Many friars have become so blind as to imagine that people will be edified and turned to devotion by their present ways rather then by the former, and they imagine that they are living more sensibly this way. They despise and disregard the way of holy simplicity and poverty, which is the first principle and foundation of the Order.

How St. Clare Miraculously Imprinted the Cross on Some Loaves of Bread

St. Clare, a most devout disciple of the Cross of Christ and a noble little plant of St. Francis, was so holy that not only bishops and cardinals but also the Pope strongly desired to see and hear her, and often visited her in person.

At one time among others the Pope went to St. Clare's monastery in order to listen to her heavenly and divine conversation, for she was a shrine of the Holy Spirit...St. Clare meanwhile ordered loaves of bread to be set out on the tables for all the Sisters, for she wished to keep those loaves after they had been blessed by the Vicar of Christ.

The Pope answered: "Very faithful Sister Clare, I want you to bless those loaves of bread and to make over them the Sign of the Cross of Christ to whom you have offered yourself completely as a spotless sacrifice."

Then St. Clare, as a truly obedient daughter, very devoutly made the Sign of the Cross over those loaves of bread and blessed them. And a marvelous thing happened: all of a sudden a very beautiful and clearly marked cross appeared on all the loaves.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis - 33

Monday, February 23, 2009

Intoxicated With Love For Christ

Intoxicated with love and compassion for Christ, blessed Francis sometimes used to act in a way like these. For the sweetest of spiritual melodies would often well up within him and found expression in French melodies, and the murmors of God's voice, heard by him alone, would joyfully pour forth in the French tongue.

Sometimes he would pick up a stick from the ground, and laying it on his left arm, he would draw another stick across it with his right hand like a bow, as though he were playing a viol or some other instrument; and he would imitate the movements of a musician and sing in French of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 93

Laxist Praxis

...the brothers today are less fervent in prayer and other good works, more inclined to useless conversation and even to communicating the news of the world. This is why this place (the friary of the Portiuncula) is no longer treated by the brothers who live there and by others with the respect and devotion befitting it and which I would like to see reign there.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 8

Friday, February 20, 2009

Preaching Conversion And Penance

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 on all things, because of the apostolic authority granted 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

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The San Damiano Cross

While Francis was walking near the church of San Damiano, an inner voice bade him go in and pray. He obeyed, and kneeling before an image of the crucified Savior, he began to pry most devoutly. A tender, compassionate voice then spoke to him: "Francis, do you not see that my house is falling into ruin? Go, and repair it for me."

From that hour 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.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions

Being Honored By Insults

If people insult you and refuse to give you alms, you should thank God for it, because you will be honoured before the judgement-seat of our Lord Jesus Christ for these insults.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Rule of 1221
Chapter 9

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Our Lord says in the Gospel, 'Love your enemies' (Matthew 5:44). A man really loves his enemy when he is not offended by the injury done to himself, but for love of God feels burning sorrow for the sin his enemy has brought on his own soul, and proves his love in a practical way.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Admonitions
Admonition IX

In the name of the Lord begins the life of the Friars Minor

The Rule and life of the Friars Minor is this, namely, to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by living in obedience, without property, and in chastity. Brother Francis promises obedience and reverence to his holiness Pope Honorius and his lawfully elected successors and to the Church of Rome. The other friars are bound to obey Brother Francis and his successors.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Rule of 1223

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

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

Among other words used in ordinary conversation, Francis could never hear 'for the love of God' without a kind of transformation within himself. For immediately upon hearing '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 - 196

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mystic Monk Coffee : "Standing on Holy Grounds!"

Mystic Monk Coffee - The Portiuncula Hermitage Is Offering Fair Trade/Organic Coffee

Please remember that when you buy Mystic Monk Coffee through the Portiuncula Hermitage, ten percent of all their commission sales is donated to Birthright (a loving alternative to abortion.)

Mystic Monk Coffee is pleased to offer the socially conscious consumer a coffee that respects the value of every human life. Fair Trade/Organic is a decision to act with social justice. With the silky rich garnish of chocolate, Guatemalan has an acidity that is enjoyable with or without cream. From a distant land of beauty, enjoy a coffee that many consider to be one of the finest.

To order, simply scroll down left side of this page and click on the


You can order:

Breakfast Blend
Carmel (reg. or decaf.)
Chocolate Cherry (reg. or decaf.)
Chocolate Mint (reg. or decaf.)
Cowboy Blend
Dark Roast Colombian
Decaffeinated Colombian
Espresso Blend
Fair Trade Organic Decaffeinated Mexican
Fair Trade Organic Ethiopian
Fair Trade Organic Guatemalan
French Vanilla (reg. or decaf.)
Hazelnut (reg. or decaf.)
Hermits' Bold Blend
Irish Cream (reg. or decaf.)
Midnight Vigils Blend
Mystic Monk Blend
Royal Rum Pecan (reg. or decaf.)

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

A Lukewarm Spirit

"When the spirit becomes lukewarm and inward grace grows cold, it follows that flesh and blood seek their own pleasures."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 15

Never Abandon The Portiuncula

"See to it, my sons, that you never abandon the Portiuncula. If you are driven out from one side, go back in at the door. For this place is truly holy and is the dwelling place of God..."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Begging: Servile Work Serves As A Good Example

Blessed Francis often said that no brother should spend a long time without going out to beg. The more noble and great a brother was in the world the more the holy father was delighted and edified to see him go on the quest and perform servile work to give good example.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 62

The Portiuncula: No Poorer Church Could Be Found

The Abbot of the monastery of St. Benedict of Mount Subasio took counsel with his brothers and they gave blessed Francis and his brothers the church of St. Mary of the Portiuncula, the poorest church they owned. No poorer church could be found in the whole territory of the city of Assisi. This was what blessed Francis had long desired. The Abbot said to blessed Francis: "Brother, we have granted your request. But it is our wish that, if the Lord multiplies your Order, this friary will be the head of all those that you will found." These words were approved by blessed Francis and by all his brothers.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 8

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Love Of Him

May the power of your love, O Lord, fiery and sweet as honey, wean my heart from all that is under heaven, so that I may die for love of your love, you who were so good as to die for love of my love.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Prayer Absorbeat

Proper Respect For The Eucharist

In all your sermons you shall tell the people of the need to do penance, impressing on them that no one can be saved unless he receives the Body and Blood of our Lord. When the priest is offering sacrifice at the altar or the Blessed Sacrament is being carried about, everyone should kneel down and give praise, glory, and honour to our Lord and God, living and true.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Letter To All Custodes Of The Friars Minor

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Imitation of Christ

Look at the Good Shepherd, my brothers. To save his sheep he endured the agony of the cross. They followed him in trials and persecutions, in ignominy, hunger, and thirst, in humiliations and temptations, and so on. And for this God rewarded them with eternal life. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves; the saints endured all that, 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 VI

Not Claiming Ownership Of Any Place

No matter where they are, in hermitages or elsewhere, the friars must be careful not to claim the 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

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Against Calumny And Arguing

And all the brothers are to guard against speaking falsely of anyone and are to avoid verbal disputes. Rather, let them seek to keep silent whenever God gives them the grace to do so. And they are not to argue among themselves, nor with others, but they are to strive to respond with humility, saying, "We are useless servants" (Luke 17:10).

Saint Francis of Assisi
Rule of 1221

True Estimation Of Oneself

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.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Admonitions
Admonition 19

Being Thought Insignificant And Unbalanced

Have no fear of being thought insignificant or unbalanced, but preach repentance with courage and simplicity. Have faith in the Lord, who has overcome the world. His Spirit speaks in you and through you, calling men and women to turn to him and observe his precepts. You will encounter some who are faithful, meek, and well disposed; they will joyfully receive you and your words. But there will be more who are skeptical, proud, and blasphemous, and who will insult you and resist your message. Prepare yourselves, therefore, to bear everything with patience and humility.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions - 36

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"The Fulfillment Of All Desire" by Ralph Martin

I just wanted to let you know about some interesting developments in the work we are doing, mainly through television, so you can note them on your calendars.

First of all, EWTN commissioned a film crew to do a half-hour “profile in faith” on my journey in following the Lord—something I’ve never done before. They will be broadcasting this program tongiht--Thursday, February 5--at 6:30 pm EST. In this interview, I share at a depth of personal detail that I’ve never shared before. Among other things, it even includes photos of my Irish relatives! Those who have seen it say it has great potential to draw people to Christ as I was drawn to him. Thanks be to God!

This program will serve as an “introduction” to the 13 week series on The Fulfillment of All Desire that I taped almost a year ago down in Alabama. Editing on this series has been completed and it is ready to launch. It will run for 13 weeks beginning Monday, March 2 at 5:00 am EST and Thursday, March 5 at 10:30 pm EST. I felt inspired doing this series and I’m looking forward to seeing how it helps people on their journey of faith. So, be sure to tune in on one of those days during the first week of March and every week thereafter for the remainder of the series.

During the first week of March we will be launching a new series of programs of The Choices We Face. Watch it on EWTN every Tuesday or Friday beginning Tuesday, March 3 at 6:00 pm or Friday, March 6 at 6:30 am. (Program times for other networks and stations can be found on our website at www.renewalministries.net and you can also view the program any time by accessing our website.) We have an exciting line-up of guests this year, including Bert Ghezzi, Gerry Faust, Patti Mansfield, Fr. Frank Pavone, Dr. Janet Smith and Fr. John Riccardo.

Finally, be sure to check out the new EWTN series called Crossing the Goal with Danny Abramowicz and our own Peter Herbeck. It is specifically geared toward men and has been well received and highly acclaimed. You can watch it at three different times: Fridays at 6:00 pm EST, Sundays at 6:30 pm EST and Mondays at 6:30 am EST.

Make sure you note these times in your calendar. Also, let your friends know about all these programs and consider inviting them over to watch them with you. As always, we are united in prayer with you. May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Your brother in Christ,

Ralph Martin

Please note: I have read and re-read Ralph Martin's book "The Fulfillment of all Desire" eight times! The only book I have read more often than that is
the Bible. This is an absolute 'must read' for every Christian wishing to dive deeply into the mystical love of Jesus!

Chris Dickson

Mystic Monk Coffee: Order Through Portiuncula And Donate To Birthright (a loving alternative to Abortion)

The Carmelite Monks of Wyoming

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.

The Monk Master Roaster

Br. Java is the master roaster who meticoulosly roasts beans in small batches. His philosophy is that each roast must be not only the labor of his hands, but a master roast of the highest quality. Br. Java is passionate about obtaining the perfect roasts for you. He carefully roasts only the finest gourmet beans under conditions that will make each roast consistent and smooth with a taste that will make your taste buds tingle. With experience and perfection, Mystic Monk Coffee is a coffee to savor and enjoy – with or without cream.

The Legend of the First Mystic Monk

Coffee is a product perfected and loved by monks from its beginning. When a monk of old heard the anguished tale of a shepherd who had sleepless goats, he himself discovered growing on shrubs the berries, which had such a wonderful affect. Delighted at his find, the ingenious monk boiled the beans in water and drank the resulting coffee. He found in his discovery a hot drink that could keep his eyes awake even amidst the midnight vigils and unceasing prayers of the monastic life.

The secret of coffee continues to keep monks ever alert and vigilant for their prayers, but now Mystic Monk Coffee shares the hidden, master roasts of m ...
Please remember that when you buy Mystic Monk Coffee through the Portiuncula Hermitage, ten percent of all their commission sales is donated to Birthright (a loving alternative to abortion.)

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:

The Lord Shows St. Francis How To Live The Gospel

Therefore, Francis and his brothers besought God that He would show them his will the first time they opened the book. When their prayer was ended, blessed Francis, kneeling before the altar, took the closed book, opened it and saw written: "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven" (Matthew 19:21). At this Blessed Francs gave thanks to God with great joy; but because of his devotion to the blessed Trinity, he desired a threefold confirmation of the words and opened the book of the Gospel a second and third time. At the second opening he read: "Take nothing for your journey" (Luke 9:3), and at the third: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself" (Matthew 16:24). Each time he opened the book blessed Francis gave thanks to God for this threefold confirmation...

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions - 29

Praise God In His Creatures

Saint Francis taught the brothers to join with all creation and praise God in his creatures, while venerating priests with special reverence and holding fast to the true faith which is professed and taught by the Catholic Church. This they were to believe firmly and profess with all simplicity. The friars obeyed his teaching perfection, and whenever they saw a church or crucifix, even from a distance, they knelt down humbly and prayed the way he had taught them.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Blessed Francis himself said that true obedience consists not only in doing things that are commanded in word, but even those merely thought of; not only in doing things commanded, but even things desired; for "If a brother, subject to a brother superior, not only hears his voice, but even understands his will, he must immediately give himself entirely to obedience and do what he understands him to will by some sign or other."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life

Be Careful Not To Be Angry Or Upset

If any of the friars, at the instigation of the enemy, fall into mortal sin, they must have recourse as soon as possible, without delay, to their provincial ministers, if it is a sin for which recourse to them has been prescribed for the friars. If the ministers are priests, they should impose a moderate penance on such friars; if they are not priests,they should see that a penance is imposed by some priest of the Order, as seems best to them before God. They must be careful not to be angry or upset because a friar has fallen into sin, because anger or annoyance in themselves or in others makes it difficult to be charitable.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Rule of 1223
Chapter 7

Monday, February 09, 2009

Satisfy Bodily Needs, Lest Prayer Be Lost Through Sickness

'In eating, sleeping, and satisfying the other needs of the body, the servant of God should make sensible provision for his Brother Body so that he may not have cause to complain and say, "I cannot stand upright and continue at prayer, nor can I be cheerful in my troubles or do other good things, because you do not provide for my needs." But if the servant of God satisfies his body wisely, adequately, and suitably, Brother Body wants to be careless, fat, and sleepy in prayer, vigils, and other good works, then he mustpunish him like a fat and idle beast of burden, because he wants to eat but not be useful and carry his load.'

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 97

Protecting Our Possessions With Guns

The early brothers often asked the advice of the Bishop, who received Francis with kindness, but said: "It seems to me that it is very hard and difficult to possess nothing in the world." To this blessed Francis replied: "My Lord, if we had any possessions we should also be forced to have arms to protect them, since possessions are the cause of disputes and strife, and in many ways we should be hindered from loving God and our neighbor..."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Of Being Humble Toward Everyone

There must be no quarrelling among the friars or with others, and they should be content to answer everyone humbly, saying, 'We are unprofitable servants' (Luke 17:10).

Saint Francis of Assisi
Chapter 11

We Are Not To Add Or Subtact Words From The Rule

The friars should not say, this is another Rule. For this is a reminder, admonition, exhortation, and my testament whi I, Brother Francis, worthless as I am, leave you, my brothers, that we may observe in a more Catholic way the Rule we have promised to God. The Minister General and all the other ministers and custodes are bound in virtue of obedience not to add anything to these words or subtract from them.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Testament of St. Francis

Friday, February 06, 2009

Large Buildings Provoke Criticism

Friars often raise large buildings, and violate our holy poverty, and by so doing provoke criticism and set a bad examplt. And sometimes, in order to obtain a better or holier place, or a larger congregation, they abandon their own houses out of covetousness and greed; or they pull them down and build others that are large and pretentious. Consequently, those who have contributed to their coswt, and others who see it, are greatly offended and distressed. So it is better for the friars to erect humble little buildings, remaining loyal to their profession and setting a good example to their neighbors, rather than to act contrary to their profession and set a bad example to others.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 11

A Sack Full Of Manure

Thus one time it happened that while Brother Bernard of Quintavalle was attending Mass in a church and 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.

But after none he came back to himself and went through the Place shouting in aq voice filled with wonder: "Oh, Brothers! Oh, Brothers! Oh, Brothers! There is no man in all this country, no matter how great and noble he is, who, if he were promised a very beautiful palace of gold, wouled not willingly carry a sack full of the most filthy manure in order to obtain that very noble treasure!"

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

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Woe To Those Who Die Unrepentant

It is well for those who die repentant; they shall have a place in the kingdom of heaven. Woe to those who die unrepentant; they shall be children of the devil whose work they do, and they shall go into everlasting fire. Be on your guard and keep clear of all evil, standing firm to the last.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Chapter 21

Repentance and Penance

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, will all the cares and anxieties of this life; in spirit they are slaves of the devil.

Saint Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Hermitage

Not more than three or at most four friars should go together to a hermitage to lead a religious life there. Two of these should act as mothers, with the other two, or the other one, as their children. The mothers are to lead the life of Martha; the other two, the life of Mary Magdalen...

The friars who are mothers must be careful to stay away from outsiders and in obedience to their custos keep their sons away from them, so that no one can speak to them. The friars who are sons are not to speak to anyone except their mother or their custos, when he chooses to visit them, with God's blessing.

Saint Francis of Assisi

The Blood Of The Covenant

A man despises, defiles, and tramples under foot the Lamb of God(Heb. 10:29), as St. Paul says, he sees no difference between the bread which is Christ and other food (1 Cor. 11:29), or receives it unworthily.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

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

The Rich Are To Be Received Kindly

When people who were rich in worldly goods came to the brothers, the latter received them gladly and kindly and sought to draw them away from sin and to bring them to penance.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions - 45

Monday, February 02, 2009

God Has Chosen The Foolish Of This World

...God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the base things of the world and the despised, so that all excellence in virtue may be from God 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
Part One - 10

Straying From The Holy Vocation Of Humility And Holy Prayer

There are many brethren who devote all their energy and zeal to the acquisition of learning, neglecting their holy vocation, and straying from the way of humility and holy prayer both in mind and body. When they have preached to the people, and learn that some have been helped or moved to penitence, they grow conceited and congratulate themselves as though the others' gain were their own. But they will have preached rather to their own condemnation and hurt, and have really achieved nothing except as the instruments of those through whom God has obtained this result. For those whom they imagined they were edifying and converting through their own learning and preaching have been edified and converted by God Himself through the prayers and tears of holy, poor, humble and simple brethren, although these holy men are not aware of it. For it is the will of God that they should know nothing of it, lest they become proud.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 72

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Rapt In God In Contemplation

Once at St. Mary of the Angles in Assisi, when it was time to eat, St. Francis and St. Clare, and all the 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 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 the 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 that 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 believed that everything was burning up.

But when they reached the Place, they saw 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 in contemplation and invested with power from on high.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis - 15

Chariot Of Fire

While St. Francis and his companions were still loving in a hut near Assisi, Francis went to Assisi one Saturday because he was to preach as usual in the cathedral the following morning. There he spent the night praying in a shelter in the garden belonging to the canons of the cathedral, as was his cuastom. In person he separated from the fr4iars, but then about midnight, as some of them were praying and others slept, a fiery chariot of extraordinary brilliance came in the door of the hut and turned here and there three times about the room. It was surmounted by a globe of light which looked like the sun and lit up the darkness. Those who were awake were dumbfounded, while the others woke up terrified; they could feel the light penetrating their hearts just as it lit up the room, and their consciences were laid bare to one another by the force of the brightness. As they read one another's hearts, they all realized simultaneously that their father who was absent from them in person was present with them in spirit under the appearance of this vision.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life