"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
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_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Vineyard Of Rieti


Rieti, Italy

Blessed Francis was staying near the church of St. Fabian in Rieti. A number of cardinals, accompanied by clerics, almost daily visited the saint out of respect and devotion.The church had a small vineyard and since the church had but one door, all those who came to visit passed through that one door, trampling the vineyard under foot. The priest was scandalized and disturbed: "This year," he said, "my vintage is lost. The vineyard is small but every year I harvest enough grapes for my needs."

St. Francis said to the priest: "Stop being disturbed and scandalized: nothing can be done about it. Place your trust in the Lord, because through me, his poor servant, he can repair the damage..."

The priest usually harvested thirteen loads of wine, but that year he harvested twenty from his destroyed vineyard.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 25

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Parresia: A Quality Of A Monk To Perform Miracles


Athanasius comments: "For Anthony [St. Anthony of Padua] did not heal by issuing commands, but by praying and calling upon the name of Christ, so that it was evident to everyone that it was not he who did this, but the Lord manifesting his compassion to men and, through Anthony, was healing those who suffered." (Matthew 17:19 and John 16:23-24)

Vita Antonii 83-84


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Speak Evil of No One


The friars are to speak evil of none (Tit. 3:2); there must be no complaining, no slander; it is written, "Whisperers and detractors are people hateful to God" (Rom. 1:29). And let them be moderate, showing all mildness to all men (Tit. 3:2), without a word of criticism or condemnation; as our Lord says, they must give no thought even to the slightest faults of others (Mt. 7:3; Lk. 6:41), but rather count over their own in the bitterness of their soul (Is. 38:15).

Saint Francis of Assisi
THE RULE OF 1221
Chapter 11

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Come To The Quiet" Men's Retreat September 18-20 At Portiuncula Hermitage in Jerusalem, Ohio


The Portiuncula Hermitage Pond


SIMPLICITY

There appears to be a growing interest in the monastic life among people of all lifestyles - and no wonder! For centuries, the monastic life has provided monks and nuns with disciplines and practices aimed at helping them maintain balanced, healthy and centered lifestyles while they "prefer nothing to Christ." Join us as we explore practices such as silence, prayer, work, simplicity, solitude, fasting, and celebration, and the benefits they have for all our lives.

What's exciting is that you can become a monastic without having to leave your day job!

Availability is extremely limited, so please reserve your weekend as soon as possible by e-mailing us at: hermitage@parallax.ws

Pax Et Bonum!


T


Vainglory


Assisi

While Francis was walking through the town of Assisi, a poor old woman asked alms of him for the love of God, and he immediately gave her the cloak from his back. And forthwith he confessed to those following him that he felt vainglory in doing so... blessed Francis's chief concern was that he should not be a hypocrite in the eyes of God.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 63

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Heirs And Kings Of The Kingdom Of Heaven


"Begging alms is the royal dignity which our Lord Jesus assumed when he became poor for our sake, so that he might make us rich by his poverty. It was his will to make us heirs and kings of the kingdom of heaven, if we are willing to become truly poor in spirit, and I refuse to relinquish this dignity for the sake of the deceptive wealth which has only been given you on loan for a short time."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER VII

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Friday, August 28, 2009

FINALLY! Catholic Bishops Speaking Out Against ObamAbortioncare


Finally, some leaders in the Catholic Church in America are speaking out against aspects of Obama's government-run health care plan.

To date, there haven't been many statements of disapproval coming from the Church. For the most part, there has just been support from groups like Catholic Charities USA, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and the Catholic Health Association.

Thankfully, that's changing a bit.

From the New York Times:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has been lobbying for three decades for the federal government to provide universal health insurance, especially for the poor. Now, as President Obama tries to rally Roman Catholics and other religious voters around his proposals to do just that, a growing number of bishops are speaking out against it.

As recently as July, the bishops’ conference had largely embraced the president’s goals, although with the caveat that any health care overhaul avoid new federal financing of abortions. But in the last two weeks some leaders of the conference, like Cardinal Justin Rigali, have concluded that Democrats’ efforts to carve out abortion coverage are so inadequate that lawmakers should block the entire effort.

Others, echoing the popular alarms about “rationing,” contend that the proposals could put a premium on efficacy that could penalize the chronically ill.

“No health care reform is better than the wrong sort of health care reform,” Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa, declared in a recent pastoral letter, urging the faithful to call their members of Congress.

In a diocesan newspaper column this week, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver agreed, saying the proposal was “not only imprudent; it’s also dangerous.”

The bishops’ opposition — published in diocesan newspapers, disseminated online by conservative activists, and reported in a Roman Catholic newspaper to be distributed this weekend at churches around the country — is another setback for Mr. Obama’s health care efforts. His administration has been counting on the support of Catholic leaders to help rally believers behind his health care plan. Just last week, he held a conference call with 140,000 religious voters to appeal to what he called their “moral convictions.”

I don't see how the bishops could support the bill, given that it clearly will cover killing the unborn under the guise of health "care."

Anti-abortion groups and pro-abortion groups agree: Abortion is covered. It seems that almost the only one unwilling to admit that abortion will be covered by the bill is Obama himself.

Is he still lying about that?

The bill does not promote a Culture of Life. H.R. 3200 would be a cornerstone of the Culture of Death, creating a lasting foundation for the assault on life in the United States.

It shouldn't be surprising that bishops would come out against it. What's surprising is that Catholic groups like Catholic Charities USA did not. It's disturbing that Catholic leaders haven't been more vocal and unified in their opposition to a national health care bill that funds abortion.

The audacity of Obama to try and frame the health care debate as "a core ethical and moral obligation" is sickening when you consider that Obama and the Democrats support and created a bill that includes abortion coverage and measures that will inevitably lead to the rationing and denial of health care services to the elderly and the terminally and chronically ill.

Unfortunately, the bishops' opposition to the bill is not a setback for Obama, as claimed in the New York Times.

Why would Obama care what leaders in the Catholic Church think about him and his health plan, at least in the short-term? Obama won't be needing the support of Catholic voters for quite a while.

Obama and the Dems can ram the legislation through. They can do whatever they want. I know Obama wants to be able to say that he brought all Americans together, blah, blah, blah, and accomplished the alleged great goal of government-run health care.

Bottom line: It would be a betrayal of fundamental Catholic values for Church leaders to support ObamaCare as it stands now.

If they're on board with Obama on this bill, then they are rejecting the belief in a consistent ethic of life, the "seamless garment."


Appearing Ignorant And Of No Account


"Do not be afraid to preach repentance even though we appear ignorant and of no account. Put your trust in God who overcame the world; hope steadfastly in him who, by the Holy Spirit, speaks through you to exhort all to be converted to him and to observe his commandments."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions
CHAPTER X

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Cleansing Ourselves Daily


In his present state of weakness man is incapable of imitating the crucified Lamb of God perfectly and avoiding all the stains of sin. And so Francis taught his friars by his own example that those who are trying to be perfect must cleanse themselves daily with tears of contrition.

Saint Francis of Assisi

Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER V


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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Devotion To Prayer


Francis regarded it as a serious fault if his mind wandered or was full of empty imaginings, when he was trying to pray. Whenever it happened, he confessed it without delay and atoned for his fault immediately. This careful attention had become a habit with him, so that he very seldom suffered troublesome distractions of this kind.

Saint Francis of Assisi

Bonaventure, Major Life

CHAPTER X

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We Ought To Be Ashamed Of Ourselves


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 honor and glory by recounting and making known what they have done.

Saint Francis of Assisi
THE ADMONITIONS
Admonition VI

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Please Help Build The Portiuncula Chapel

Photobucket

Photo of the Portiuncula Chapel at the
Franciscan University of Steubenville


To duplicate this Chapel, the Portiuncula Hermitage needs to raise $120,000


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It's times like these that tempt Catholics to throw in the towel and give up on the culture of despair.

Greed and corruption have wreaked havoc on our nation's economy. Euthanasia just received Washington State's stamp of approval. And all the pro-life victories of the past decade are now in jeopardy. It's the perfect storm for despair. But despair is the last thing we should do.

In troubled times, Christ calls us to pray, to trust in his perfect will, and to cooperate with his grace.

Ultimately, Christ calls us to hope. He calls us to remember that for Christians, peace does not rest on who wins an election or on the value of our stock portfolios, but in a loving God who “in everything...works for good.”

Of course, God doesn't just call us to hope. He gives us reasons to hope and signs of the good things to come.

I truly believe one of those reasons, one of those signs, is the Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center.

While many other Catholic institutions have sold out to the culture of death, the Portiuncula, along with a few others, has fought steadfastly for a culture of life. It has faithfully stood alongside the Church, forming men and women capable of true leadership and committed to bringing Christ to the culture.

But the "Portiuncula Chapel" can't be built alone. To continue building, we need your help! And that is why I'm writing you today: To invite you to join me in helping our culture through these troubled times by helping build the Portiuncula Chapel.

United in the Roman Catholic tradition and obedient to the Magisterium of the Church and the Bishop of Steubenville, we are committed to our Lord and Savior in the Scriptures, the Eucharist, the Sacraments of the Church and in our Brothers and Sisters.

With God's grace and your help, I believe past Portiuncula retreatants and those soon to follow in their footsteps will lead our culture and our country out of these troubled times.

That is why I invite you to share the work of these Catholics and the Portiuncula Hermitage that is forming them.

First, allow them to pray for you.

Prayer is the lifeblood of the Portiuncula Hermitage, and the Franciscan family would be honored to include you in their prayers. Please e-mail your most pressing intentions to: hermitage@parallax.ws

Everyone at the Portiuncula will pray for your intentions before the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and at Mass.

In turn, please pray for the Portiuncula, that it might continue to form leaders who can be salt and light to our world.

Finally, I would be grateful if you supported the work of building the Portiuncula Chapel with a generous financial contribution.

Your support of the Portiuncula will make it possible for the sons and daughters of the Church to grow in faith during their retreats, and become the courageous Catholic leaders the world desperately needs.

Today, I want to challenge you to become a partner in the Portiuncula's mission to build the Portiuncula Chapel by donating $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, or more.

PORTIUNCULA FRANCISCAN HERMITAGE/RETREAT CENTER

ON LINE DONATION




Please, become a part of the Portiuncula Hermitage's work today. Don't let this chance to turn the culture around pass you by.

Pax Et Bonum!





Fra Chris


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We Are In Exile


St. Francis felt like an exile, as long as he remained in this earthly life separated from God, and at the same time, his love of Christ had left him insensible to all earthly desires. Therefore, he tried to keep his spirit in the presence of God, by praying to him without intermission, so that he might not be without some comfort from his Beloved. Whether he was walking or sitting, at home or abroad, whether he was working or resting, he was so wholeheartedly intent on prayer that he seemed to have dedicated to it not only his heart and soul, but all his efforts and all his time.

Saint Francis of Assisi

Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER IV

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Gossipers Are "Biting Fleas"


Hating detractors deeply and more than any other kind of wicked men, Francis said that they carried poison on their tongues and infected others with their poison. Gossipers, therefore, those biting fleas, he avoided when they were speaking, and he averted his ears, as we ourselves have seen, lest they be defiled by hearing such things.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life

CHAPTER CXXXVIII

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Poverty, Chastity and Obedience

View from Inside the Fonte Colombo chapel outside of Rieti, Italy
where St. Francis received from God the Rule of 1223


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
Chapter I

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The Rule Was Dictated By God

Fonte Colombo Sanctuary

At 5.5 km from Rieti, it is the place where, according to tradition, San Francesco (St. Francis), during a stay of meditation lasting for forty days in 1223, received confirmation of the Franciscan Order by Jesus, which he dictated to Brother Leone.

Francis used to exhort the friars fervently to be faithful to the Rule, saying that he had dictated everything as it was revealed to him by God and that nothing he had prescribed came from himself. This was proved by God's own testimony only a short time afterwards when Francis received the stigmata of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the seal of Christ, the supreme High Priest, which he gave the Rule and its author his divine approval...

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER IV


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Monday, August 24, 2009

"Come To The Quiet" Men's Retreat September 18-20 At Portiuncula Hermitage


Portiuncula Hermitage pond

There appears to be a growing interest in the monastic life among people of all lifestyles - and no wonder! For centuries, the monastic life has provided monks and nuns with disciplines and practices aimed at helping them maintain balanced, healthy and centered lifestyles while they "prefer nothing to Christ." Join us as we explore practices such as silence, prayer, work, simplicity, solitude, fasting, and celebration, and the benefits they have for all our lives.

What's exciting is that you can become a monastic without having to leave your day job!

Availability is extremely limited, so please reserve your weekend as soon as possible by e-mailing us at: hermitage@parallax.ws

Pax Et Bonum!


T

We Crucify Christ Whenever We Sin

"The Walk" of St. Francis near Rieti, Italy

Even the devils were not solely responsible for crucifying God's beloved Son; it was you who crucified him with them and you continue to crucify him by taking pleasure in your vices and sins.

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Admonitions
Admonition V

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The Power To Heal Comes Through True Humility


In his love for true humility, St. Francis devoted himself to the lepers and lived with them, waiting on them all, for the love of God. He washed their feet and bound up their sores, drawing off the puss and wiping them clean. He was extraordinarily devoted to them and kissed their wounds, he who was soon to play a part of the worthy Good Samaritan in the Gospel. As a reward, God endowed him with such power to heal that his influence over ills of soul and body were miraculous.

Saint Francis of Assisi

Bonaventure, Major Life

CHAPTER II

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Brother Is Rebuked By Francis


St. Francis giving his cloak to a begger

Once it happened that a certain brother uttered a word of invective against a certain poor man who had asked for an alms, saying to him: "See, perhaps you are rich and pretending to be poor." Hearing this, the father of the poor, St. Francis, was greatly saddened, and he severely rebuked the brother who had said such a thing and commanded him to strip himself before the poor man and, kissing his feet, beg pardon of him. For, he was accustomed to say: "Who curses the poor man does an injury to Christ, whose noble image he wears, the image of him who made himself poor for us in this world."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life
CHAPTER XXVIII

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The Order Built On Deep Humility

Francis built the Order of Friars Minor on deep humility. That is why, from the very beginning, when the brothers began to multiply, he made it clear that they were to live in lazarets to serve the lepers.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 102

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pope Innocent III's Vision


Pope Innocent III had seen a vision from heaven and by divine inspiration he now testified that it would be fulfilled in Francis. As he himself described it, he had a dream in which he saw the Lateran basilica which was threatening to fall being held up by a poor beggerman who put his back to it. "This is certainly the man," he added. "By his work and teaching, he will uphold Christ's Church!"

Saint Francis of Assisi

Bonaventure, Major Life

CHAPTER III

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Blessed Are The Clean Of Heart

Father Gregory Bramlage

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God (Mt. 5:8). A man is really clean of heart when he has no time for the things of this world but is always searching for the things of heaven, never failing to keep God before his eyes and always adoring him with a pure heart and soul.

Saint Francis of Assisi

The Admonitions
Admonition XVII

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Friday, August 21, 2009

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

Fra Chris

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 meticulously 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 monks with all who seek a delightful cup of coffee.


Monks are passionate Perfectionists

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.

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:

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Rust In The Heart


St. Francis would say: "If the servant of God, as may happen, is disturbed in any way, he should rise immediately to pray and he 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

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You Who Have Chosen Poverty Should Rejoice!


Since the great and good Lord, on entering the Virgin's womb, chose to look despised, needy, and poor in this world, so that people in dire poverty and deprivation and in absolute need of heavenly nourishment might become rich in him by possessing the kingdom of heaven, then you who have chosen poverty should rejoice and be glad!

St. Clare of Assisi
First Letter of St. Clare to Blessed Agnes of Prague - 19

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Regarding Those Who Refuse You Alms


If people insult you and refuse to give you or your ministry alms, you should thank God for it, because you will be honoured before the judgment-seat of our Lord Jesus Christ for these insults. THE SHAME WILL BE IMPUTED TO THOSE WHO CAUSE IT, NOT TO THOSE WHO SUFFER IT! Alms are an inheritance and a right which is due to the poor because our Lord Jesus Christ acquired this inheritance for us.

Saint Francis of Assisi
THE RULE OF 1221
Chapter 9

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We Can Boast Of Our Humiliation

There is one thing of which we can all boast; we can boast of our humiliation (2 Cor. 12:15) and in taking up daily the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saint Francis of Assisi
THE ADMONITIONS
Admonition V

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We Are Bound To Give Sinners Spiritual Aid

All the friars, both the ministers, who are servants, and their subjects, should be careful not to be upset or angry when anyone falls into sin or gives bad example; the devil would be only too glad to ensnare many others through one man's sin. They are bound, on the contrary, to give the sinner spiritual aid, as best they can.

Saint Francis of Assisi
THE RULE OF 1221
Chapter 5

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We Can Glory In The Cross Of Tribulations



"...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 and afflictions, because that is ours, and so the Apostle says: 'I will not glory save the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!'"

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

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Exulting In Tribulations


The brothers suffered all this, hunger, thirst, cold, nakedness, and many immense tribulations, firmly and patiently, as St. Francis had bidden them. They were not dejected, they never cursed their tormentors; but like men whose faces are set to a great reward they exulted in tribulations and joyfully prayed to God for their persecutors.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions
CHAPTER X

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Franciscan Order Torn From His Hands

Tomb of St. Francis of Assisi

Once, when asked by one of the friars why he had abandoned his charge of the friars and entrusted them into the hands of others as they they did not belong to him at all, he replied, "My son, I love the brethren to the utmost of my power, but if they would follow in my footsteps I should love them still more, and would not make myself a stranger to them. For some of the superiors pull them in another direction, holding up to them as patterns the men of long ago, and disregarding my warnings. But what they are doing and the way in which they are now acting will appear more clearly in the end."

And shortly afterwards, when he was burdened with severe illness, he raised himself in bed, and cried out in vehemence of spirit, "Who are these who have torn my Order and my friars from out of my hands?"...

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 41

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Excessive Mortification

Fac-simile Copy of Signature of St. Francis of Assisi

Francis reproved his brothers when they were too harsh on themselves, wearing out their strength in excessive vigils, fasts, and corporal penance. Some of them mortified their bodies so severely in order to repress the natural human impulses that they appeared to be hating themselves. Francis being filled with the wisdom and grace of our Savior, reproacehed the brothers gently for all this and, using rational arguments, he forbade such excesses, binding up their wounds with bandages of sane precepts and directions.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions - 59

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Monday, August 17, 2009

The Power of Spiritual Joy



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 if joy of spirit fills the heart, the serpent shoots his deadly venom in vain."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER LXXXVIII

T

Please Help Build The Portiuncula Chapel

Photobucket

Photo of the Portiuncula Chapel at the
Franciscan University of Steubenville


To duplicate this Chapel, the Portiuncula Hermitage needs to raise $120,000


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It's times like these that tempt Catholics to throw in the towel and give up on the culture of despair.

Greed and corruption have wreaked havoc on our nation's economy. Euthanasia just received Washington State's stamp of approval. And all the pro-life victories of the past decade are now in jeopardy. It's the perfect storm for despair. But despair is the last thing we should do.

In troubled times, Christ calls us to pray, to trust in his perfect will, and to cooperate with his grace.

Ultimately, Christ calls us to hope. He calls us to remember that for Christians, peace does not rest on who wins an election or on the value of our stock portfolios, but in a loving God who “in everything...works for good.”

Of course, God doesn't just call us to hope. He gives us reasons to hope and signs of the good things to come.

I truly believe one of those reasons, one of those signs, is the Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center.

While many other Catholic institutions have sold out to the culture of death, the Portiuncula, along with a few others, has fought steadfastly for a culture of life. It has faithfully stood alongside the Church, forming men and women capable of true leadership and committed to bringing Christ to the culture.

But the "Portiuncula Chapel" can't be built alone. To continue building, we need your help! And that is why I'm writing you today: To invite you to join me in helping our culture through these troubled times by helping build the Portiuncula Chapel.

United in the Roman Catholic tradition and obedient to the Magisterium of the Church and the Bishop of Steubenville, we are committed to our Lord and Savior in the Scriptures, the Eucharist, the Sacraments of the Church and in our Brothers and Sisters.

With God's grace and your help, I believe past Portiuncula retreatants and those soon to follow in their footsteps will lead our culture and our country out of these troubled times.

That is why I invite you to share the work of these Catholics and the Portiuncula Hermitage that is forming them.

First, allow them to pray for you.

Prayer is the lifeblood of the Portiuncula Hermitage, and the Franciscan family would be honored to include you in their prayers. Please e-mail your most pressing intentions to: dicksoncorp@parallax.ws

Everyone at the Portiuncula will pray for your intentions before the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and at Mass.

In turn, please pray for the Portiuncula, that it might continue to form leaders who can be salt and light to our world.

Finally, I would be grateful if you supported the work of building the Portiuncula Chapel with a generous financial contribution.

Your support of the Portiuncula will make it possible for the sons and daughters of the Church to grow in faith during their retreats, and become the courageous Catholic leaders the world desperately needs.

Today, I want to challenge you to become a partner in the Portiuncula's mission to build the Portiuncula Chapel by donating $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, or more.

PORTIUNCULA FRANCISCAN HERMITAGE/RETREAT CENTER

ON LINE DONATION




Please, become a part of the Portiuncula Hermitage's work today. Don't let this chance to turn the culture around pass you by.

Pax Et Bonum!





Fra Chris


T

How St. Francis Freed The People Of Greccio

Greccio Sanctuario, Italy

"To the honor and glory of Almighty God, hear the truth I announce to you. If every one of you confesses his sins and brings forth fruits befitting repentance, I give you my word that every pestilence will depart and the Lord, looking kindly upon you, will grant you an increase of temporal goods. But hear this also; again I announce to you that if you are ungrateful for his gifts and return to your vomit, the plague will be renewed, your punishment will be doubled, and even greater wrath will be let loose against you."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER VII

T

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mark 16:20

Fra Volantino and Fra Giuseppe in Assisi, Italy

Francis, the herald of truth, cast out devils by the power of God's name and healed the sick. By the efficacy of his preaching he moved hearts which had become hardened to repentance - which is greater still - and restored health to bodies and souls.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER XII

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A Miracle Healing In Rieti

Rieti, Italy

Once, when Francis was passing through the diocese of Rieti, he came to a certain village where a woman, bathed in tears, brought an eight year old son in her arms and placed him before Francis. Already for four years the boy had lived enormously swollen, so that he could not see his legs. The saint picked him up kindly and place his most holy hands upon the boy's abdomen. At his touch, the swelling went down. he was immediately made whole again, and he gave abundant thanks to God and to his saint along with his mother who was happy again.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Miracles
CHAPTER XVII

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH


INSTRUCTION ON PRAYERS FOR HEALING


In sanctuaries, other celebrations are held frequently which may not be aimed per se at specifically asking God for graces of healing, but in which, in the intentions of the organizers and participants, the obtaining of healing has an important part. With this purpose in mind, both liturgical and non-liturgical services are held: liturgical celebrations (such as exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction) and non-liturgical expressions of popular piety encouraged by the Church (such as the solemn recitation of the Rosary). These celebrations are legitimate, as long as their authentic sense is not altered. For example, one could not place on the primary level the desire to obtain the healing of the sick, in a way which might cause Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to lose its specific finality, which is to «bring the faithful to recognize in the Eucharist the wonderful presence of Christ and to invite them to a spiritual union with him, a union which finds its culmination in sacramental Communion.»(26)

The «charism of healing» is not attributable to a specific class of faithful. It is quite clear that St. Paul, when referring to various charisms in 1 Corinthians 12, does not attribute the gift of «charisms of healing» to a particular group, whether apostles, prophets, teachers, those who govern, or any other. The logic which governs the distribution of such gifts is quite different: «All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who distributes to each one individually just as the Spirit choses» (1 Cor 12:11). Consequently, in prayer meetings organized for asking for healing, it would be completely arbitrary to attribute a «charism of healing» to any category of participants, for example, to the directors of the group; the only thing to do is to entrust oneself to the free decision of the Holy Spirit, who grants to some a special charism of healing in order to show the power of the grace of the Risen Christ. Yet not even the most intense prayer obtains the healing of all sicknesses. So it is that St. Paul had to learn from the Lord that «my grace is enough for you; my power is made perfect in weakness» (2 Cor 12:9), and that the meaning of the experience of suffering can be that «in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church» (Col 1:24).


The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved the present Instruction, adopted in Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered its publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, September 14, 2000, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.

+ Joseph Card. RATZINGER
Prefect

+ Tarcisio BERTONE, S.D.B. Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli
Secretary

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Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Pope John Paul II praying at St. Mary of the Portiuncula in Assisi

Toward the Mother of Jesus, St. Francis was filled with inexpressible love, because it was she who made the Lord of Majesty our brother. He composed and sang special Praises to her, poured out prayers to her, offered her his affections, so many and so great that the tongue of man cannot recount them. But what delights us most, he made her the advocate of the Order and placed under her wings the sons he was about to leave that she might cherish them and protect them to the end.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER CXLIX

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Flowers

Assisi
Francis told the brother gardener not to plant the whole garden with food, but to set aside a plot for those plants which in their season would bloom with Brother Flowers. He said the reason the brother gardener should plant this pretty little flower bed with its sweetly scented herbs and flowering plants was because it would invite all who saw it to praise God; for every creature says, "God made me for you, oh human!"

Saint Francis of Assisi

Writings of Leo, Rufino, and Angelo - 113


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Be On Guard

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 X

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Friday, August 14, 2009

A Franciscan Prayer


ENID DENNIS


When I am old and tutored by
The grim experience of days;
When I have proved men in their ways,
Oh, do not let the drummer die.

When I have learned aside to toss
The foolish things that wise men hate,
Lest Littleness should hold me great,
Be mine the folly of the Cross.

When comes detachment's strength to me,
Let mine the weakness be that wept
O'er Lazarus' grave and kept
Three comrades in Gethsemane.

When head bids heart herself forget,
When Reason's lure would love deceive,
May my poor foolish heart achieve
A few life-giving blunders yet.

When I have grown too sane, too sad,
To join the angels' faerie ring
And serve the playtime of the King,
Then, Sweet Saint Francis, make me mad.

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Penance Considered Folly

Francisco de Zurbaran's "St Francis of Assisi"
Before Francis preached sermons to the people they met, in passing through towns and castles he exhorted all men and women to fear God and to do penance for their sins, while brother Giles exhorted them to believe and to follow the excellent counsels of Francis.

When people heard them, they said: "Who are these men, and who do they speak like this?" They made this comment because at that time the fear and love of God had died out in the country and no one spoke of penance which indeed was considered a folly. This attitude was caused by the temptations of the flesh, the cupidity of the world, and the pride of life; the whole of mankind seemed engulfed in these evil forces.

Opinions varied about these men who were so obviously set on following the Gospel: some people declared that they were fools or drunk, but others maintained such words were those of folly.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions
CHAPTER IX


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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Voice of the Innocents "Healing of the Heart" Conference


Saturday, October 24,
East Central High School
St. Leon, Indiana


Voice of the Innocents, Inc., invites you to a conference on

"Healing of the Heart"
* Exposing the lies that bind us
* Breaking destructive soul ties
* Finding freedom from false judgments
* Healing from rejection and abuse
* Restoring lost innocence
* Living in the Father's love and blessing

Doors open at 7:30 a.m.

Speakers:

Deacon Ralph Poyo

Fr. Gregory Bramlage

Condensed Schedule of the Day:

* Why Are We Afraid to Walk in Faith by Deacon Ralph Poyo
* Holy Mass
* Recovering Your Stolen Identity by Fr. Gregory Bramlage
* Restoring Lost Innocence by Deacon Ralph Poyo
* Laying on of Hands
* Eucharistic Procession
* Miracle Hour



Call (812) 623-8007 for more information.

To download a full brochure/registration form, visit

www.HealingthroughthePowerofJesusChrist.org

<http://www.healingthroughthepowerofjesuschrist.org/>

This Is What My Whole Heart Desires To Accomplish!


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

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions
CHAPTER VIII

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Examples And Mirrors For Others

I love these sisters!
The Lord himself has not only placed us as examples and mirrors for others, but also for our own sisters whom the Lord has called to our way of life, so that they in their turn will be mirrors and examples to those living in the world.

Saint Clare of Assisi

The Testament of St. Clare - 6


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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rendering Glory To Our God

Vineyards outside of Assisi

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

Saint Francis of Assisi

Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER XCVII

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Healing Miracles

Sister Briege McKenna, OSC, the "Healing Nun," kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament

St. Francis had been famous during his life for the miracles which he worked, and from the time of his death until the present day, he has been glorified all over the world by the extraordinary prodigies which God performs in his honor. The blind, the deaf, the dumb, and the crippled; those suffering from dropsy or paralysis; the possessed and the lepers, the castaways and the captives, - all have found help through his merits. For every disease, every need and danger, there is a remedy.

Saint Francis of Assisi

Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER XV

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Healing Power Of Forgiveness



Lord Jesus Christ, I ask today to forgive everyone in my life. I know that You will give me strength to forgive and I thank You that You love me more than I love myself and want my happiness more than I desire it for myself.


Lord Jesus, I want to be free from the feelings of resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness toward You for the times I thought You sent death, hardships, financial difficulties, punishments and sickness into our family.


Lord, I forgive myself for my sins, faults and failings. For all that is truly bad in myself or all that I think is bad, I do forgive myself. For any delvings in the occult; Ouija boards, horoscopes, seances, fortune telling, lucky charms, Reiki, for taking Your name in vain, for not worshiping You, for hurting my parents, for getting drunk, for taking dope, for sins against my purity, for adultery, for abortion, for stealing, for lying. I am truly forgiving myself today. Thank you, Lord, for Your grace at this moment.


I truly forgive my mother. I forgive her for all the times she hurt me, resented me, was angry with me and for all the times she punished me. I forgive her for the times she preferred my brothers and sisters to me. I forgive her for the times she told me I was dumb, ugly, stupid, the worst of the children or that I cost the family a lot of money. For the times she told me I was unwanted, an accident, a mistake or not what she expected, I forgive her.


I forgive my father. I forgive him for any nonsupport, any lack of love, affection or attention. I forgive him for any lack of time, for not giving me his companionship, for his drinking or arguing and fighting with my mother or the other children. For his severe punishments, for desertion, for being away from home, for divorcing my mother or for any running around, I do forgive him.


Lord, I extend forgiveness to my sisters and brothers. I forgive those who rejected me, lied about me, hated me, resented me, and competed for my parents' love, those who hurt me, who physically harmed me. For those who were too severe on me, punished me or made my life unpleasant in any way, I do forgive them.


Lord, I forgive my spouse for lack of love, affection, consideration, support, attention, communications, for faults, failings, weaknesses and those other acts or words that hurt or disturb me.


Jesus, I forgive my children for their lack of respect, obedience, love, attention, support, warmth, understanding, their bad habits, falling away from the church and bad actions which disturb me.


My God, I forgive my in-laws, mother, father, son or daughter-in-law and other relatives by marriage. For their lack of love, words of criticism, thoughts, actions or omissions that injure and cause pain, I do forgive them.


Please help me to forgive my relatives, my grandmother and grandfather who may have interfered in our family, been possessive or my parents, who may have caused confusion or turned one parent against the other.


Jesus, help me to forgive my co-workers who are disagreeable or make life miserable for me. For those who push their work off on me, gossip about me, won't cooperate with me, try to take my job, I do forgive them.


My neighbors need to be forgiven, Lord. For all their noise, letting their property run down, not tying up their dogs who run through my yard, not taking in their trashcans, being prejudiced and running down the neighborhood, I do forgive them.


I now forgive my clergyman, my congregation and my church for all their lack of support, pettiness, bad sermons, lack of friendliness, not affirming me as they should, not providing me with inspiration, for not using me in a key position, for not inviting me to serve in a major capacity and for any other hurt they have inflicted. I do forgive them today.


Lord, I forgive all professional people who have hurt me in any way: doctors, lawyers, policemen, hospital workers, for the things that they did to me, I truly forgive them today.


Lord, I forgive my employer for not paying me enough money, for not appreciating my work, for being unkind and unreasonable with me, for being angry or unfriendly, for not promoting me and for not complimenting me on my work.


Lord, I forgive my schoolteachers and instructors of the past, as well as the present. For those who punished me, humiliated me, insulted me, treated me unjustly, made fun of me, called me dumb or stupid, made me stay after school.


Lord, I forgive my friends who have let me down, lost contact with me, do not support me, were not available when I needed help, borrowed money and did not return it, gossiped about me.


Lord Jesus, I especially pray for the grace of forgiveness for that one person in life who has hurt me the most. I ask to forgive anyone who I consider my greatest enemy; the one who is the hardest to forgive or the one who I said I would never forgive.


Thank You, Jesus, that I am free of the evil of unforgiveness. Let Your Holy Spirit fill me with light and let every dark area of my mind be enlightened.


Amen.

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Saint Clare Feast Day

St. Clare's Tunic and Mantle found in Assisi

Saint Clare was born in Assisi in 1193. She followed her fellow citizen, Saint Francis, in a life of poverty and became mother and foundress of an order of nuns. She led a life that was austere, yet rich in works of charity and piety. She died in 1253.


God of mercy,
you inspired Saint Clare with the love of poverty.
By the help of her prayers
may we follow Christ in poverty of spirit

and come to the joyful vision of your glory
in the kingdom of heaven.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.


Amen



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Nothing Is More Important Than The Salvation Of Souls


St. Francis used to say that nothing is more important than the salvation of souls, and he often offered as proof the fact that the Only-begotten of God deigned to hang on the cross for souls.

Saint Francis of Assisi

Celano, Second Life

CHAPTER CXXXI

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