"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
_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pierced To Our Depths With Zeal For The Salvation Of Others

Like a sharp sword all on fire, zeal for the salvation of others pierced the depths of Francis' heart in his burning love; wounded by grief of his compassion, he seemed to be on fire with eagerness, and it penetrated his whole being.

Bonaventure, Major Life
Chapter III


Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Poor Who Live Right Next Door To Us

Monroe County, Ohio:

Employed (2000): 5,891
Unemployed (2000): 428
Unemployment Rate (2009): 12.6%
Annual Payroll per Employee (2007): $25,250
Local Government Employment (2007): 752
Local Government Revenue (2007): $49,022 (thou. dol.)
Local Government Debt (2007): $5,540 (thou. dol.)

"It is too easy simply to talk or concern ourselves with the poor who are far away. It is much harder and, perhaps, more challenging to turn our attention and concern toward the poor who live right next door to us."

Mother Teresa of Calcutta


Neither You Nor I Are Generous Enough

Franciscan Sisters, TOR, run a Soup Kitchen in downtown Steubenville, Ohio

"If our poor die of hunger, it is not because God does not care for them. Rather, it is because neither you nor I are generous enough. It is because we are not instruments of love in the hands of God. We do not recognize Christ when once again He appears to us in the hungry man, in the lonely woman, in the child who is looking for a place to get warm."

Mother Teresa of Calcutta


Friday, July 22, 2011

The Miracle of St. Clare and the 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


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Holy Humility Is Like A Thunderbolt

"It seems to me that holy humility is like the thunderbolt; for, even as the tunderbolt strikes a terrible blow, crushing, breaking, and burning whereon it lights, yet can we never find the thunderbolt itself, so does humility stike and disperse, burn up and consume every evil and vice and sin, and yet itself can nowhere be seen."

Little Flowers of St. Francis
Brother Giles
Part Four, Chapter III


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thank God For Insults!

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
Chapter 9


Welcome To The Portiuncula Hermitage Healing Ministry

"Only say the word Lord, and I shall be healed"

We are a

Franciscan Prayer Ministry

located in Jerusalem, Ohio.

Through prayer and adoration before our Eucharistic Lord, we seek His awesome power, grace, and mercy, to bring His divine healing and peace into your life.

Simply e-mail your Prayer Requests to:

We encourage you to participate in our

Healing Services and Retreats

Thank you for visiting.

Pace e Bene!


Forgive Your Injuries And Abandon Your Hatred

Original Tunic worn by St. Francis at the time of his death - Assisi, Italy

At Celle, in the lordship of Perugia, blessed Francis met a poor man whom he had formerly known in the world, and asked him, 'Brother, how are things with you?' But the man began to utter angry curses on his master, saying, 'Thanks to my master - God curse him! - I have had nothing but misfortune, for he has stripped me of all I possess.'

Seeing him persist in mortal hatred, blessed Francis was filled with pity for his soul, and said, 'Brother, pardon your master for the love of God, and free your own soul; it is possible that he will restore to you whatever he has taken away. Otherwise, you have lost your goods and will lose your soul as well.' And the man said, 'I cannot fully forgive him unless he first restores to me what he has taken away.' Then blessed Francis said to him, 'Look, I will give you this cloak; I beg you to forgive your master for the love of God.' And at once his heart was melted and touched by this act of kindness, and he forgave his master his wongs.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 32


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dress And Manner Of Life

Piccoli V.V.

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


Monday, July 18, 2011

The Power To Heal Comes From True Humility

Sister Briege McKenna, OSC

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


Making The Demons Flee

"If we would despise the demons, our thoughts must always be of God and our souls always glad with hope, and we shall see the toys of the demons as smoke and themselves fleeing instead of pursuing, for they are, as I said, very cowardly, always expecting the fire that is prepared for them."

Saint Antony of the Desert
by St. Athanasius


Sunday, July 17, 2011

The San Damiano Cross

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 pray 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


O God, My Flesh Faints For You (Psalm 63)

Saint Padre Pio Consecrating the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ 

Once when Brother John was staying in the Place of Mogliano of the Custody of Fermo in the Province of the Marches...when he had proceeded as far as the Preface of the Blessed Virgin, the supernatural illumination and sweet consolation of God's love increased so much within him that when he reached the Qui pridie he could hardly endure such overwhelming sweetness. Finally, when he came to the Consecration itself and began to pronounce the words of the Consecration over the Host, he kept repeating the first of the formula - Hoc est - Hoc est - very often, and he was unable to go any further. And the reason why he could not go on was that e felt and saw the presence of Christ and of a throng of angels and saints, so that he almost fainted because of their grandeur which he felt in his soul.

St. Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis - 53


Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Franciscan Prayer


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 dreamer 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 Francis, make me mad.


Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

"Mary heard the word of God and kept it; she pondered it in her heart."
Luke 2:19

Sacred Scripture celebrated the beauty of Carmel where the propher Elijah defended the purity of Israel's faith in the living God. In the twelth century, hermits withdrew to the mountain and later founded the Carmelite Order devoted to the Contemplative life of prayer under the patronage of Mary, the holy MOther of God.


Friday, July 15, 2011

The Ladder of Four Rungs (the Ladder of Monks)

God is called and prayed as the dear spouce that is to come to this mourning soul that languishes in love. What does God then, whose help is ever upon the righteous and our ear at our prayer? He doesn't wait until the prayer is fully ended, but he pierces in the midst of the burning desire of that thirsty soul, and with a secret balm of heavenly sweetness softens the soul and comforts it, and makes it be so overcome with delight and joy that it forgets all earthly things for that hour, and he makes it to lose itself in wonder, as if it were dead from knowing ourself. And as in fleshly works we are so overcome that we lose the guidance of reason and so become all fleshly, right so in the ladder of contemplation our fleshly stirrings are so cancelled out that the flesh does not win over the spirit but is become all spiritual.

Guigo II - The Ladder of Four Rungs

Our Guiding Vows: Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience

St. Francis would always tell his followers that our profession was the book of life, the hope of salvation, the pledge of glory, the heart of the Gospel, the way of the Cross, the state of perfection, the key of paradise, and the compact of the eternal covenant. He wanted the Rule to be understood and accepted by all, and wished his followers to discuss it in their conferences, and meditate on it frequently by themselves, in order to remind them of their guiding vows (Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience.)

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 76


Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Fool And A Madman

An original tunic worn by St. Francis found in Cortuna, Italy

When St. Francis' relatives saw him, they covered him with insults, calling him a fool and a madman, and hurling stones and mud at him. Seeing him so changed, they thought he was out of his mind.

But God's servant paid no heed to all this; unmoved by insults, he thanked almighty God for everything.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Chapter VI


From A Hovel

"From a hovel one ascends more quickly to heaven than from a palace."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Becoming Ourselves A Prayer

Often, without moving his lips, Francis would meditate within himself and drawing external things within himself, he would lift his spirit to higher things. All his attention and affection he directed with his whole being to the one thing which he was asking of the Lord, not so much praying as becoming himself a prayer.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life - 95


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Puffed Up By Learning

Those who are preoccupied only with knowing and pointing out the way of salvation to others, and neglecting their own, will arrive naked and empty-handed before Christ's judgement seat...For those who are puffed up with learning prejudiced this truth by their empty words.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 72

Monday, July 11, 2011

Penetrating The Dwelling Places Of Heaven

Prayer was the chief comfort in this life of contemplation in which Francis became a fellow citizen of the angels, as he penetrated the dwelling places of heaven in his eager search for his Beloved, from whom he was separated only by a partition of flesh.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life


Sunday, July 10, 2011

How St. Francis Wanted His Followers To Be Subject To The Clergy

"Everyone will receive their just reward, not according to the authority they exercise, but according to the labor they perform. Know, brothers and sisters, the fruit of souls is most pleasing to God, and it can be better attained by peace with clerics than by disagreements with them. If they hinder the salvation of people, the revenge pertains to God and He will repay them in due time. Therefore, be subject to prelates, so that, in so far as you can help it, no jealousy will spring up. If you will be sons and daughters of peace, you will win the clergy and the people of the Lord, and the Lord judges this more acceptable than to win the people but scandalize the clergy. Hide their lapses, supply for their many defects; and when you have done this, be even more humble."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
Chapter CVII

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Be Careful Not To Be Angry Or Upset

We must be careful not to be angry or upset because a brother or sister has fallen into sin, because anger or annoyance in themselves or in others makes it difficult to be charitable.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Chapter 7


Abortion Destroys Peace

by Chris Dickson

(Revised - Originally published in September 2002)

Imagine waking up in the morning to the newspapers headlines, "Nine American cities completely wiped out! No one left alive in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Philladelphia, Detroit, St. Louis or Atlanta."

We saw America's reaction to 9/11 and its aftermath. It's hard to imagine how angry American's would be if these headlines were true. Men, women and children would be lining up to join the armed forces to strike back at the enemy. What enemy is that? Is it China, Afghanistan, or Iraq? What massive firepower must the enemy have employed to inflict such destruction, atomic bombs, biological warfare or perhaps nerve agents? It was none of these. It was abortion.

As of 1996, Americans had slaughtered 32 million innocents, the equivalent of nine major U.S. cities.

Mother Teresa said that If we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people that killing is wrong? After all, any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people love, but to use whatever violence necessary to get what they want.

Sure, everyone's concerned for the children of Indiana and Africa, where thousands of children are dying of hunger and disease every day. Many people are concerned with the violence in our streets and classrooms as well. These concerns are good, but all too often these same people aren't the least bit concerned by those being killed by the deliberate decisions of their own mothers. This is the greatest destroyer of peace today - abortion - which brings people to such blindness.

Does abortion destroy peace and cause blindness toward the sick, the hungry and the naked? Of course it does, when life is regarded so lightly and its disposal becomes so trivial, so clinical, so easy. After all, why should people or nations regard human life as noble or dignified if abortion flourishes? Why agonize over indiscriminate deaths in Bosnia when babies are being killed far more efficiently and out of sight of TV cameras?

Just imagine, the populations of all those major cities combined - all dead. Who is left to cry?


Friday, July 08, 2011

Rise Immediately To Pray !!!

"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."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
Chapter LXXXIX


Our Body Is Our Cell And Our Soul Is The Hermit Living In That Cell

Sacro Speco Fonte Colombo

Wherever we are, wherever we go, we bring our cell with us. Our brother body is our Cell and our soul is the hermit living in that cell in order to pray to God and meditate. If our soul does not live in peace and solitude within its cell, of what avail is it to live in a man-made cell?

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 80


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Brother Giles: The Perfection Of Contemplative Prayer

St. Francis said of Brother Giles that he more than any other had arrived at the perfection of contemplative prayer. And Brother Giles himself used to say, "The contemplative life is to leave behind all earthly things for the love of God, to seek only the things of heaven, to pray without tiring, to read often and with concentration, to praise God continually with hymns and canticles. To contemplate is to be seperated from all and to be united to God alone."

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Anonymous of Perugia - Chapter 3
The Mirror of Perfection - 85
The Golden Sayings of Brother Giles - Chapter XIII


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Intoxicated By Love For Christ

Intoxicated by love and compassion for Christ, blessed Francis sometimes used to act in ways like these. For the sweetest of spiritual melodies would often well up within him and found expression in French melodies, and the murmurs 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 to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 93


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Place Thy Mouth Where Thou Dost Set Thy Feet

A friar once said to Brother Giles, "Father, tell me, how can we avoid this pride?" To whom Brother Giles made this reply, "Rest assured, my brother, that thou canst never hope to be free from pride until thou hast first placed thy mouth where thou dost set thy feet; but if thou wilt well consider the gifts of God, thou wilt clearly see that thou hast reason to bow down thy head..."

Little Flowers of St. Francis

I was recently asked, “How do you become a good Franciscan?” I replied, “It's simple, the same way you become a good Catholic...let your nose hit the dirt!”

Humility is said to be the guardian of all virtues, and some believe the most lacking virtue in the Church today. In his letters, St. Paul tells us that it is only through humility and a contrite heart that we can dare to come face-to- face with our living God. The arrogant He will destroy! Yet many of us continue destroying ourselves through our selfish arrogance and pride.

Polls indicate that more and more people today view God and religion as irrelevant, disingenuous, and tiresome. Of grave concern to the Catholic Church is that many of its clerics and religious are now beginning to share these same views with the public (and in public), placing themselves in direct opposition to the teachings of the Pope, bishops, priests and Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. Some Catholic Theologians even tout the modern-day disciplines as being far more superior to the archaic early Doctors of the Church (most notably St. Thomas Aquinas), primarily due to our new, modernistic, open-minded approach. They have stamped the early church Fathers as obsolete and therefore irrelevant. Please show me the humility in that. St. Francis warned us all in his letter to St. Anthony, “I am pleased that you are teaching sacred theology to the brothers, so long as this kind of study, as our Rule has it, does not extinguish the spirit of prayer and devotion.”

Francis maintained constant vigilance in his pursuit of perfect humility, understanding that it is the singular virtue by which we learn to know our true selves. Only through the knowledge of his own sinful nature was Francis able to see himself as he really was in God's eyes; a vile and worthless sinner, saved only by God's merciful gift of grace. The Psalmist begs “Can we be anything else before the awesomeness of our God?” We are what we are in God's eyes, and nothing more! It is this self-realization that tore a hole large enough in Francis' heart to allow God to pour His graces into him. This is how God knocked Francis off his "High Horse" and brought him down low enough to care for lepers and sinners, to openly confess his faults in his sermons to the people, and to prefer insults and injury to vain and worthless praise and glory!

Society's quarrels lie not with the Church nor it's people, rather it's with what the Church represents: God! People simply don't want God telling us how we should think, believe, and especially not how we are to behave. It's been this way since Adam and Eve and remains so today as we continue reaching up to pull that fruit off the tree and devour it! Like water, human nature has never ceased following the path of least resistance.

So how do we find humility so that we too can open ourselves up to receiving God's love and mercy? For those who are unfamiliar with the Admonitions of St. Francis, they are twenty-eight observances or words of advice used as a model for the followers of St. Francis to imitate. Studying and observing these sublime exhortations will teach us how to achieve holy humility while still here on earth. They continue to instruct us how to “let your nose hit the dirt!”.

Pax Et Bonum!


Monday, July 04, 2011

Degenerate, Illegitimate Sons and Daughters

Jealousy and envy prove you are degenerate, and no less, ambition proves you are illegitimate sons and daughters. You bite and devour one another, and your conflicts and strifes arise only from your concupiscences. Your wrestiling is against the hosts of darkness, your battle is against the armies of devils, and you turn the points of your swords against each other; your fathers, filled with wisdom and their face being turned toward propitiatory, looked familiarly upon one another, while their sons and daughters, filled with envy, are grievoius even to behold.

...The fathers came to the kingdom by way of humility, not by the way of loftiness; the sons and daughters, walking about in the circle of their ambition, do not ask the way of a city for their Habitation.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
Chapter CIX


Saturday, July 02, 2011


Original Tunic, found in Assisi, Italy, that St. Francis was wearing at the time of his death.

More often than not, the bare earth was the only bed Francis had to lay his tired body on, and his pillow was a stone or a piece of wood. His clothes were simplicity itself - nothing more than a course, rough covering to protect him... He knew that expensive clothes only gave his lower nature, with all its passions, the courage to attack all the more fiercely.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
Chapter III


Friday, July 01, 2011

When A Pond Is Still And Quiet...

"The Pond"
 located at the
 Portiuncula Hermitage and Retreat Center
Jerusalem, Ohio

"God calls all of us to mental and emotional maturity. For instance, when, like a pond, our thoughts and emotions are turbulent, it is impossible to see what is on the bottom. Only when the pond is still and quiet are we able to see what's going on at the bottom. It is only when we can see clear through to the bottom that we can begin the process of purification. The simple act of calming the waters clears our soul of all turbulent thoughts and feelings. This calming and stilling of the soul can only be achieved through meditation."

Fra Chris