"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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Friday, September 30, 2011

Vividly Wounded By The Flaming Blade Of Divine Love!


The soul is singing about the fire of love. In this night of painful contemplation, the soul is ignited! Although the burning in some ways resembles what unfolded in the sensory part of the soul, in other ways it is as different as the soul is from the body. This is the love that blazes in the spirit! In the middle of her dark predicament, the soul feels herself vividly wounded by the flaming blade of divine love!

St. John of the Cross
Dark Night of the Soul


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Don't Look Back! God's Time Is Only In The Present...

"St. Antony himself gave no thought to the bygone time, but each day, as though then beginning his religious life, he made greater effort to advance, constantly repeating to himself St. Paul's saying: Forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching out to the things that are before (Phil. 3:13)"...

Saint Antony of the Desert
By St. Athanasius


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Honor St. Francis of Assisi - Order Your Very Own Franciscan Cincture from Monastery Greetings!


The Cincture, or White Cord, is a sign of chastity, and has been since the Church's beginning -- and before. Old Testament priests wore cinctures, Consecrated Virgins and religious wear cinctures, and the wearing of cinctures in honor of a particular saint is ancient, first spoken of in the life of St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, and carried on by St. Dominic, who wore the cincture in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Certain Confraternities and Archconfraternities (groups of faithful to a religious cause) also wear cinctures as signs of their affiliation and chastity. Franciscans wear a White Cincture called a 'Cintura Bianca' (pronounced Chin-Torah-Bee-Anka) which translated means 'White Rope.' The three knots on the Franciscan Cincture represent Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, the three Conerstones of the Franciscan Order.

To order your very own
White Cord of St. Francis
The Portiuncula Hermitage 
simply go to
Monastery Greetings 

St. Dominic once asked St. Francis of Assisi for his White Cord he wore over his tunic. Dominic, the Founder of the Dominican Order,  wore this White Cord under his habit for the remainder of his life in honor of St. Francis, whom he so greatly admired and respected. This White Cord can be worn inside trousers or under a dress without anyone having knowledge that you are doing so.


The Devil Exults!

St. Francis said, "The Devil exults when he can extinguish or impede the devotion and joy brought about by pure prayer or other good works in the heart of God's servant. If the Devil takes hold of a servant of God, and if the latter is not wise enough to eliminate this bond as soon as possible by confession, contrition, and satisfaction, it would be very easy for the Devil to take the slightest thing and turn it into a very heavy burden."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 96


Monday, September 26, 2011

Deep Union

In the inner wine cellar
I drank of my Beloved, when I went abroad
Through all this valley
I no longer know anything,
And lost the herd that I was following.

Now I occupy my soul
And all my energy in his service;
I no longer tend to the herd,
Nor have I any work
Now that my every act is LOVE.

Saint John of the Cross
Spiritual Canticle


Sunday, September 25, 2011

How We Are To Preach

All my brothers, whenever they wish, may proclaim to anyone and everyone, with the blessing of God, the following or a similar exhortation and prayer of praise:

Fear and honor, praise and bless,
give thanks and adore
the Lord God All-Powerful,
Triune and One,
Father and Son and Holy Spirit,
Creator of all things.
Repent! (Matthew 3:2)
Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance,
for you know how soon we die!
"Give, and there will be gifts for you" (Luke 6:38).
"Forgive, and you will be forgiven" (Luke 6:37).
And "if you do not forgive others, your Father will
not forgive your failings either" (Matthew 6:15).
"Confess your sins to another" (John 5:16).
Blessed are you who die in repentance,
for you will be in the kingdom of heaven.
Woe to those who do not die in repentance,
for you will be children of the devil
whose co-workers you are,
and you will go into fire everlasthing.
Guard yourselves and abstain
from every evil and persevere
in good unto the end.

St. Francis
Rule 1221
Chapter XXII


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Fire of Divine Love

"No human tongue could describe the passionate love with which Francis burned for Christ, his Spouce; he seemed to be completely absorbed by the fire of divine love like a glowing coal. The moment he heard the love of God being mentioned, he was aroused immediately and so deply moved and inflamed that it seemed as if the deepest chord in his heart had been plucked by the words."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
Chapter IX


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

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


Monday, September 19, 2011

Fasting and Abstinence for Lay Penitents

"For Penitents, all Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are days of abstinence (that is, meatless days) unless directed otherwise by a physician. Meat is allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. At all times, Penitents should be temperate in eating and drinking."

Saint Francis of Assisi
First Rule of the Third Order of 1221
Chapter II: Abstinence


Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 17 - Feast Day of St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata (The Wounds of Christ)

From the Legenda Minor of St. Bonaventure
(de Stigmatibus sacris, 1-4; ed. Quaracchi, 1941; pgg. 202-204)

Two years before Francis, the faithful servant of Christ, gave his soul back to God, he was alone on the top of Mt. Alverna. There he had begun a fast of forty days in honor of the archangel Michael and was immersed more deeply than usual in the delights of heavenly contemplation. His soul became aglow with the ardor of fervent longing for heaven as he experienced within himself the operations of grace.
As he was drawn aloft through ardent longing for God one morning near the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, and was praying on the mountainside, he saw what appeared as a seraph with six bright wings gleaming like a fire descending from the heights of heaven. As this figure approached in swift flight and came near the man of God it appeared not only winged but also crucified. The sight of it amazed Francis and his soul experienced joy mingled with pain. He was delighted with the sight of Christ appearing to him so graciously and intimately and yet the awe-inspiring vision of Christ nailed to the cross aroused in his soul a joy of compassionate love.
When the vision vanished after a mysterious and intimate conversation it left Francis aglow with seraphic love in his soul. Externally, however, it left marks on his body like those of the Crucified as if the impression of a seal had been left on heated wag. The figures of the nails appeared immediately on his hands and feet. The heads of the nails were inside his hands but on top of his feet with their points extending through to the opposite side. His right side too showed a blood-red wound as if it had been pierced by a lance, and blood flowed frequently from it.
Because of this new and astounding miracle unheard of in times past, Francis came down from the mountain a new man adorned with the sacred stigmata, bearing in his body the image of the Crucified not made by a craftsman in wood or stone , but fashioned in his members by the hand of the living God.


Monthly Gathering of Franciscans

"All the brothers and sisters of every city and place are to foregather every month at the time the ministers see fit, in a church which the ministers will make known, and there assist at Divine Services."

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Rule of Life of the Confraternity of Penitents
Chapter VI


Friday, September 16, 2011

We Are To Prefer Nothing To Saving Souls


Temptation of the Flesh

Sanctuario Rivitorto 

The bed upon which St. Francis of Assisi slept while at Rivo Torto

Blessed Francis betook himself with the rest of his brothers to a place near Assisi called Rivo Torto...were if, as happens, a temptation of the flesh at times assailed him, he would hurl himself into a ditch full of ice, when it was winter, and remain in it until all vestige of anything carnal had departed.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life
Chapter XVI


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

As Franciscans, We Are To Love One Another

High School Youth Conference at the Franciscan University of Steubenville

Let the brothers love one another, as the Lord says, "This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you" (John 15:12).

And let them show by their deeds the love they have for one another, as the Apostle says, "Our love must not be just words or mere talk, but something active and genuine" (1 John 3:18).

And they are "not to go slandering other people" (Titus 3:2); nor are they to grumble or speak evil, for it is written, "Libelers and slanderers are enemies of God" (Romans 1:30). And they are "to be peacable and gentle, and always polite to people of all kinds" (Titus 3:2).

St. Francis of Assisi
Rule 1221
Chapter XI


Monday, September 12, 2011

The Bridegroom's Touch

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

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Make My Heart A Dwelling Place!

A cave overlooking Assisi, Italy

In that love which is God (1 John 4:16), I entreat all my friars, ministers and subjects, to put away every attachment, all care and solicitude, and serve, love, honour, and adore our Lord and God with a pure heart and mind; this is what he seeks above all else. We should make a dwelling-place within ourselves where He can stay.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Chapter 21


Friday, September 09, 2011

Parresia: A Quality To Perform Miracles

Sister Briege McKenna, OSC, a nun with the gift of healing
Athanasius comments: "For Antony (St. Antony of the Desert) 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


Thursday, September 01, 2011

How Do I Treat Poor Strangers?

At length, coming to a certain cloister of monks, St. Francis spent several days there as a scullion, wearing a ragged shirt and being satisfied to be filled only with broth. But, when all pity was withdrawn from him and he could not get even an old garment, he left the place, not moved by anger, but forced by necessity; and he went to the city of Gubbio, where he obtained a small tunic from a certain man who once had been his friend. Then, after some time had elapsed, when the fame of the man of God was beginning to grow and his name was spread abroad among the people, the prior of the aforementioned monastery recalled and realized how the man of God had been treated and he came to him and begged pardon for himself and his monks out of reverence for the Savior.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life - 16