"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
_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Canticle of the Creatures in its Original Umbrian Dialect


Altissimu, onnipotente, bon Signore,
tue so' le laude, la gloria e l'honore et onne benedictione.
Ad te solo, Altissimo, se konfano,
et nullu homo ène dignu te mentovare.

Laudato sie, mi' Signore, cum tucte le tue creature,
spetialmente messor lo frate sole,
lo qual'è iorno, et allumini noi per lui.
Et ellu è bellu e radiante cum grande splendore:
de te, Altissimo, porta significatione.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per sora luna e le stelle:
in celu l'ài formate clarite et pretiose et belle.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per frate vento
et per aere et nubilo et sereno et onne tempo,
per lo quale a le tue creature dài sustentamento.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per sor'aqua,
la quale è multo utile et humile et pretiosa et casta.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per frate focu,
per lo quale ennallumini la nocte:
ed ello è bello et iocundo et robustoso et forte.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per sora nostra matre terra,
la quale ne sustenta et governa,
et produce diversi fructi con coloriti flori et herba.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per quelli ke perdonano per lo tuo amore
et sostengo infirmitate et tribulatione.
Beati quelli ke 'l sosterrano in pace,
ka da te, Altissimo, sirano incoronati.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per sora nostra morte corporale,
da la quale nullu homo vivente pò skappare:
guai a quelli ke morrano ne le peccata mortali;
beati quelli ke trovarà ne le tue sanctissime voluntati,
ka la morte secunda no 'l farrà male.

Laudate e benedicete mi' Signore et rengratiate
e serviateli cum grande humilitate.

In translation:

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, the honor, and all blessing.
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no man is worthy to mention Your name.

Praised be You, my Lord, with all your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather
through which You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no living man can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.

Saint Francis of Assisi wrote The Canticle of the Sun one year before his death and shortly after receiving the "Stigmata"


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hail, Queen Wisdom!

Giotto fresco "Francis Marries Lady Poverty"
Hail, Queen Wisdom! The Lord save you,
with your sister, pure, holy Simplicity.
Lady Holy Poverty, God keep you,
with your sister, holy Humility.
Lady Holy Love, God keep you,
with your sister, holy Obedience

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Praises of Virtues


Holy Simplicity

"Saint Francis was zealous with more than usual care to show forth in himself, and he loved in others, holy simplicity, the daughter of grace, the sister of wisdom, the mother of justice."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life


Do Not Be Afraid To Preach Penance

"Do not be afraid to preach penance even though we appear ignorant and of no account"..."You will find some men to be faithful and kind and they will receive you gladly; but you will also find many who are unfaithful, proud, and blasphemous, and they will insult and injure you and your words."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions


The Blessing of the White Cincture

The cincture, like the one priests wear at Mass, 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 cinc...tures 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 a cincture in honor of St. Francis. Certain Confraternities and Archconfraternities (groups of faithful devoted 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 be-anka) which translated means "White Rope." The three knots on the Franciscan Cincture represent Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, the three vows every Franciscan makes.

The priest, vested in surplice and white stole, says:

V: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R: Who made heaven and earth.
V: The Lord be with you.
R: May He also be with you.
V: Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, who inculcated the counsel and love of virginity, and gave the precept of chastity, we appeal to Thy kindness, asking that Thou bless and hallow this cincture as a token of purity. Let all who gird themselves with it as a safeguard of chastity be enabled, by the prayers of Saint Joseph, spouse of Thy holy Mother, to practice that continence which is so pleasing to Thee, and to live in obedience to Thy commandments. May they also obtain pardon of their sins, health in mind and body, and finally attain everlasting life. We ask this of Thee who lives and reigns with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, forever and ever.

R: Amen.
V: Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, grant, we pray, that those who revere the inviolate virginity of the most pure Virgin Mary and of Saint Joseph, her spouse, may by their prayers be pure in mind and body; through Christ our Lord.

R: Amen

Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, who committed the boy Jesus and the most pure Mary, ever a Virgin, to the care of the chaste man Saint Joseph, we humbly entreat Thee that those who are girded with this cincture in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi and under his patronage may, by Thy help and his prayers, persevere in holy chastity for all time; through Christ our Lord.

R: Amen.

Let us pray.

God, the lover and restorer of innocence, we pray that Thy faithful who are to wear this cincture may, by the prayers of Saint Joseph, spouse of Thy holy Mother, have their loins girded and hold burning lamps in their hands, and thus be likened to men who wait for their Lord when He shall return for a wedding, that when He comes and knocks they may open to Him, and be found worthy of being taken into everlasting joys; through Thee who lives and reigns forever and ever.

R: Amen

Then the priest puts incense into the censer, sprinkles the cincture with holy water, and says:

Sprinkle me with hyssop, Lord, and I shall be clean of sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

After this he incenses the cincture, and continues:

V: Save Thy servants.
R: Who trust in Thee, my God.
V: Lord, send them aid from Thy holy place.
R: And watch over them from Sion.
V: Lord, heed my prayer.
R: And let my cry be heard by Thee.
V: The Lord be with you.
R: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

O God of mercy, God of goodness, Thou art pleased with all good things, and without whom no good work is begun, no good work is finished; kindly hear our prayers, and defend Thy faithful, who are to wear this blessed cincture in honour of Saint Francis and under his protection, from the snares of this world and all its lusts. Help them to persist in their holy resolution and to obtain pardon of their sins, and thus merit to be numbered amongst Thy elect; through Christ our Lord.

R: Amen.

The Spirit That Works On Unbelievers

"Let not the spirit which now works on the unbelievers find anything in you gratifying unto himself, nothing wavering, nothing diffident, lest he find ground in you for working his wickedness against you. For he is exceedingly proud, and his pride and his arrogancy is more than his strength..."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Sacrum Commercium


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Unconcerned With Our Own Suffering

"Every day Francis meditated on the humility and example of the Son of God; he experienced much compassion and much sweetness from this, and in the end, what was bitter to his body had changed to sweetness. The sufferings and bitterness which Christ endured for us were a constant subject of affliction to him and a cause for interior and exterior mortification; consequently, he was totally unconcerned with his own sufferings." ~
Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia

Erect Humble Buildings

Francis said, 'Friars often raise large buildings, and violate our holy poverty, and by so doing provoke criticism and set a bad example. 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 cost, and others who see it, are greatly offended and distressed. So it is better for friars to erect humble little buildings, remaining loyal to their profession and setting a good example for their neighbors, rather than to act contrary to their profession and set a bad example to others'... ~
Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection

Brother Fly

In the early days of the Order, when the brothers lived at Rivo Torto, there was a brother who prayed little and did no work, who never went begging, for he was ashamed, but he ate well. Considering his behavior, Blessed Francis was warned by the Holy Spirit that this brother was a sensual man. One day he said to him: "Go your way, Brother Fly, for you wish to eat the fruit of the labor of your brothers, while you remain idle in the vineyard of God. You resemble Brother Drone who gathers nothing, does no work, but eats the fruit of the activity of the working bees." He left without asking forgiveness, for he was a sensual man.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia

When You Think, Speak, and Do Holy Things

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

Honor Priests

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

Pride And Empty Boasting

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

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Rule of 1221


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Indulging In Vices And Sins

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

Saint Francis of Assisi


Friday, February 17, 2012

"Do Not Be Afraid To Put On My Crown Of Thorns!"

The Crown of Thorns is a "Helmut of Salvation" a "Crown of Glory"
I would like to share with everyone a vision that was received by one of the F.L.A. Brothers that should be appropriate not just for himself alone, but for all God's children:

At one time I was in an area of complete and utter darkness.

Then a mist appeared, through which two hands appeared that were handing me a crown of thorns.

I took the crown of thorns from the outstretched hands and placed it upon my head. As the crown was being seated upon my head, I prematurely winced, fully expecting searing pain from those thorns to shoot through my head and throughout my entire body.

But instead of pain, a warm and wonderful feeling of joy and peace settled over me. I was being bathed in God’s love.

Simultaneously with the crown of thorns being placed upon my head, a vision appeared before me of a glass mirror “unfurling” like a window shade, even though it was made of solid glass.

Jesus then appeared in the glass before me.

I was immediately filled with shame because my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, had caught me, a grave sinner, wearing his crown of thorns, and I immediately pulled it from my head.

As I did, the solid glass mirror rolled up and Jesus disappeared.

I then placed the crown back onto my head.

As I did, the glass again unfurled before me...and once again Jesus was standing before me.

At that very moment it hit me and I realized that I was looking into a mirror and seeing my own reflection, and that reflection was my Savior and my Lord! And me! One and the same!

I was scared to death! After all, who did I think I was, anyway? Am I so vain as to think of myself as being equal to Jesus? GOD FORBID! For a long time the vision continued to frighten me with a sickening fear that my attitude was sinful and deplorable in the sight of Almighty God…that is, until Jesus spoke these words to me:

“Do not be afraid to put on my crown of thorns.
It is My crown of glory!
Wear it as I did.
I will bear the pain so that you have none.
Then, and only then, will you see Me in glory.
Then we shall meet face to face.
You in me, and I in you.
People will see me in your image.
Give yourselves to Me fully,
And I will come to you in glory…”

Pace e Bene!

Adopting The Rule Of Penance

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

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life

"A Kiss On The Mouth" From Jesus

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

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

Everyone Can Become Holy!

Saint Padre Pio hearing Confessions
Everyone Can Become Holy!

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

"Like the prodigal son, we too must come to our senses. Too often today we justify sin, deny sin, or think of an evil as a good. We see this in the abuse of drugs and alcohol, in the lack of respect for others, in the gossip and talking behind another person’s back, in cheating to get ahead, in the holding of grudges, in the refusal to forgive, in the objectification of women, in the misuse of our sexuality, and in the taking of innocent human life.
"The sacrament of reconciliation is essential for growth in holiness. One of the reasons today for a lack of holiness is that we do not celebrate regularly the sacrament. If we are truly serious about coming to our senses and receiving the Father’s love for us then we will go to Confession not just during Lent and Advent, but at least every month. The sacrament of reconciliation helps us to see our sins, to seek God’s mercy, and to experience his tender love for us.

"Lent and Advent is a time for us to examine our lives in the light of the Father’s love for us. The prodigal son comes to his senses as he remembers all that he had at his home, most especially the love of his father. Our true home is in the heart of the Father, and only in remembering that truth will we be able to recognize our sin, seek God’s forgiveness, and grow in holiness.
As we grow in holiness we grow in charity. In receiving the Father’s love for us we will learn to love our neighbor as God loves our neighbor. We will desire to exercise charity in our homes, workplaces, society and world. We will grow in the fruits, virtues, of the Holy Spirit, “charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity” (Gal. 5:22-23). We will be willing to forgive as our Father forgives us (Mt. 6:14-15), and we will be merciful as the Father is merciful with us (Lk. 6:36). We will keep the commandments, live the beatitudes, and 'feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those who are sick and in prison, welcome the stranger' (Mt. 25:31-46).
"Conversion and growth in holiness do not happen overnight. We can become overwhelmed and discouraged if we think we must have all of these signs of holiness. We must remember that every saint, save the Blessed Mother, was a sinner. Some were great sinners and others less. For most saints it took many years to become holy, it was not achieved overnight nor without trials and failures. Perseverance was a must. And what every saint realized was that they were loved unconditionally by the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit – that God was truly for them and desired only the good for them. Today we too must recognize the same if we are to become saints. My prayer for every Catholic is that each one of us will respond to the call of Jesus and grow in holiness during the Lenten and Advent seasons."

Rev. Samual J. Aquila

When You Think, Speak, And Do Holy Things

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

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life

Mocked As A Madman

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

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions

Dress and Manner of Life

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

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Are You "Searching" For Jesus?


We need to raise $120,000 to duplicate this Portiuncula Chapel
at the Franciscan University of Steubenville

What if the Portiuncula Hermitage earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? Or what if a percentage of every purchase you made on-line went to support our cause? Well, now it can!

GoodSearch.com is a new Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half of its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations add up!

Although this may not sound like a lot of money, if only 1000 of our supporters use GoodSearch.com just 5 times per day for the year, the Portiuncula Hermitage would receive over $18,000 towards its mission of spreading God's love!

It's easy. Just Click on the GoodSearch Icon below and download the GoodSearch Toolbar – Then type "Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center" into the toolbar:
GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!

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So please, make a commitment to browsing the Internet with GoodSearch.com with the Portiuncula Hermitage as your designated charity. Set it as your homepage, or bookmark it so using it becomes a habit.

As well, you can earn money for the Portiuncula Hermitage by doing your online shopping through GoodShop.com. It is a new online shopping mall which will donate up to 37 percent of each purchase to the Portiuncula Hermitage. Hundreds of popular stores, including Amazon, Target, Gap, Best Buy, Macy's and Barnes & Noble have teamed up with GoodShop.com and every time you place an order, you'll be supporting our valuable mission.

By simply surfing the web with GoodSearch.com and shopping with GoodShop.com you can raise much-needed funds for the Portiuncula Hermitage!


Pax Et Bonum!


Vita Consecrata by Pope John Paul II

Vita Consecrata
Pope John Paul II

New forms of the evangelical life

62. The Spirit, who at different times has inspired numerous forms of consecrated life, does not cease to assist the Church, whether by fostering in already existing Institutes a commitment to renewed faithfulness to the founding charism, or by giving new charisms to men and women of our own day so that they can start institutions responding to the challenges of our times. A sign of this divine intervention is to be found in the so-called new Foundations, which display new characteristics compared to those of traditional Foundations.

The originality of the new communities often consists in the fact that they are composed of mixed groups of men and women, of clerics and lay persons, of married couples and celibates, all of whom pursue a particular style of life. These communities are sometimes inspired by one or other traditional form adapted to the needs of modern society. Their commitment to the evangelical life also takes on different forms, while, as a general rule, they are all characterized by an intense aspiration to community life, poverty and prayer. Both clerics and lay persons share in the duties of governing according to the responsibilities assigned to them, and the apostolate focuses on the demands of the new evangelization. If, on one hand, there is reason to rejoice at the Holy Spirit's action, there is, on the other, a need for discernment regarding these charisms. A fundamental principle, when speaking of the consecrated life, is that the specific features of the new communities and their styles of life must be founded on the essential theological and canonical elements proper to the consecrated life.This discernment is necessary at both the local and universal level, in order to manifest a common obedience to the one Spirit. In dioceses, Bishops should examine the witness of life and the orthodoxy of the founders of such communities, their spirituality, the ecclesial awareness shown in carrying out their mission, the methods of formation and the manner of incorporation into the community. They should wisely evaluate possible weaknesses, watching patiently for the sign of results (cf. Mt 7:16), so that they may acknowledge the authenticity of the charism.In a special way, Bishops are required to determine, according to clearly established criteria, the suitability of any members of these communities who wish to receive Holy Orders. Worthy of praise are those forms of commitment which some Christian married couples assume in certain associations and movements. They confirm by means of a vow the obligation of chastity proper to the married state and, without neglecting their duties towards their children, profess poverty and obedience.They do so with the intention of bringing to the perfection of chariry their love, already "consecrated" in the Sacrament of Matrimony.However, by reason of the above-mentioned principle of discernment, these forms of commitment cannot be included in the specific category of the consecrated life.



"Silence is God's first language, everything else is a poor translation. In order to hear that language, we must learn to be still and to rest in God."

Thomas Keating
Invitation to Love


Separated Only By A Partition Of Flesh

"St. Francis always sought to keep his spirit in union with God through uninterrupted prayer, so that he would not be without consolations of the Beloved. In his dedication to contemplation, prayer was the comfort of his life; and as if he were already a citizen of heaven and a fellow citizen of the angels, he went in ardent search of the Beloved, from whom he was separated only by a partition of flesh."
Saint Francis of Assisi
St. Bonaventure, Major Life

Wash The Stone

When St. Francis was speaking with Brother Leo on Mount Lavernia, he said to him: "Brother little lamb, wash this stone with water." Then Brother Leo went forth and washed it with water. Then said St. Francis, with great joy and gladness: "Wash it with wine"; and it was done. "Wash it," said St. Francis again, "with oil"; and Brother Leo did so. Then said St. Francis: "Brother little lamb, wash this stone with balm." And Brother Leo answered: "O sweet father, how am I to get balm in the wilderness?" Then St. Francis replied: "Know, Brother little lamb, that this is the stone on which Christ once was seated when he appeared to me in this place, and therefore did I bid thee wash it four times, and no more, because Jesus Christ then promised me four singular graces for my Order. The first, that all those who shall cordially love my Order, and all the friars who shall perservere therein, shall die a good death. The second, that those who persecute this holy Religion shall be notably punished. The third, that no evil-doer, continuing in his perversity, shall be able to perservere long in this Order. The fourth, that this Religion shall endure until the day of judgement."

Saint Francis of Assisi
The Little Flowers of St. Francis
Part II, Chapter XV

At Dawn We Should Praise The Lord!

"At dawn, when the sun rises, everyone should praise God who has created Brother Sun for our service, for through him our eyes light up the day; in the evening, when night descends, everyone should praise God through Brother Fire, for through him our eyes light up the night. We are all, as it were, blind, and it is through these two brothers that the Lord gives light to our eyes. We should praise the Lord, then, in a special way for these creatures and for the others, too, who serve us day by day."
Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Man Who Had Become A Living Prayer

Often, without moving his lips, St. Francis would meditate for a long time, and, concentrating, centering his external powers, he would rise in spirit to heaven. Thus, he directed his whole mind and affections to the one thing he was asking of God. He was not so much a man who prayed, as a man who had become a living prayer.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life


2012 "Come to the Quiet" Retreat Schedule


2012 "Come to the Quiet" Retreat Schedule:
May 4-6 – Men Only
June 1-3 – Women Only
July 6-8 – Men Only
August 3-5 – Women Only
September TBA – Men Only
October 5-7 – Women Only

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.” But these practices are not only for monks! Join us as we explore practices such as silence,prayer, simplicity, solitude and celebration, and the benefits they have for all our lives.

Fee $120.00 per person which includes meals, and lodging.

To register, or for additional information, please contact Fra Chris Dickson Cell phone: 765-220-1623 or email us at hermitage@parallax.ws


Consider Our Vocation

"Let us, beloved brethren, consider our vocation, to which by the mercy of God we have been called, not for ourselves only, but for the salvation of many; that we may go through the world, exhorting all, more by our example than by our words, to do penance for their sins, and to remember the commandments of God."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Admonitions to the Brethren


Who Ought Not Fear the Spouce Of Christ?

The companion of the saint once asked him why he did not look at a certain noble virgin who charitably and humbly visited the sick and ministered to them, to which Saint Francis replied, "Who ought not to fear the spouce of Christ? If we preach to her by the modesty of our eyes, she will be the more confirmed in her chastity. Let her look at me, but I will not look at her."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Miscellaneous Writings

Abortion Is Primarily A Spiritual Problem

Sister Diane Carollo, Director of the Archdiocesan Office for Pro-Life Ministry, has invited all parishes to join in a new effort to support the cause of life. In a letter to all pastors, Sister Diane writes:

"Abortion requires more than a...
legal or constitutional fix. Abortion is primarily a spiritual problem that must be addressed. The spiritual remedy for abortion is, of course, conversion, repentance and healing through Christ. Everyone associated with the sin of abortion, including abortionists and those who conspire against life in organizations such as Planned Parenthood, must be embraced by our prayers that flow from Christian charity. We must desire that our neighbors, even those who are pro-abortion, be brought to eternal life in God."

In Christian charity we pray for all of God's people. Where there is darkness we pray for light.

Father Todd Riebe
Richmond Catholic Community
— with Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center and F.L.A. (Franciscan Lay Apostolate).

Purity of Heart

"In the language of the monastic fathers, all prayer, reading, meditation and all the activities of the monastic life are aimed at purity of heart, an unconditional and totally humble surrender to God, a total acceptance of ourselves and of our situation as willed by Him."

Thomas Merton
"Contemplative Prayer"


The Two Beams of the Cross

"His [Jesus] appearance in our midst has made it undeniably clear that changing the human heart and changing human society are not seperate tasks, but are as interconnected as the two beams of the cross."

Henri J. M. Nouwen
"The Wounded Healer"


Thursday, February 09, 2012

Portiuncula Hermitage's Daily Prayer


"Lord God we have set aside this place for an assembly of your people. We ask your blessings on this place that it might serve effectively as an area to promote unity, peace and the furthering of your kingdom. We command in the name of Jesus all spirits of discord or evil of any sort to depart and we ask, O God, that you send your angels to guard and protect this place and all who participate in the events held here. We pray through the intercession of Holy Mother Mary and the Saints and in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen"

Father Michael Scanlan, TOR
Prayers and Blessings for Daily Life in Christ


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

2012 "Come to the Quiet" Retreat Schedule


2012 "Come to the Quiet"  Retreat Schedule:

May 4-6 – Men Only
June 1-3 – Women Only
July 6-8 – Men Only
August 3-5 – Women Only
September TBA – Men Only
October 5-7 – Women Only

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.” But these practices are not only for monks! Join us as we explore practices such as silence,prayer, simplicity, solitude and celebration, and the benefits they have for all our lives.

Fee $120.00 per person which includes meals, and lodging.

To register, or for additional information, please contact Fra Chris Dickson Cell phone: 765-220-1623 or email us at hermitage@parallax.ws


Friday, February 03, 2012

The Franciscan Friars Minor Alcantarines or Discalced (Barefoot)

The Spanish reform was born before the division of the Order in 1517. In 1480 Juan de la Puebla had began an effort at reform, followed by Juan de Guadalupe in 1495. At this time this reform was under the obedience of the Minister General, and developed independently of the Observant Vicars General. In 1496 the Minister General Francesco Nanni gave him permission to live the Rule in the most strict observance. In 1499 the group of friars formed the Custody of the Holy Gospel.

7.30. The famous reformer Cardinal Cisneros, with the approval of the Spanish monarchs Fernando and Isabella, wanted to eradicate from Spain all religious who wanted to start reforms outside the Regular Observance. So in 1502 the permission given to Juan de Guadalupe was revoked, and the friars were asked to join the Observance in the houses of recollection which the Order in Spain had instituted for the purpose. But these reformed friars did not accept and declared their obedience to the Minister General of the Order. In 1515 these friars were known as "fratres de caputio", or "Discalced" Friars Minor and were given the Custody of Estremadura. They were also known as Reformed Conventuals, because of their obedience to the Minister General.

7.31. The "Ite vos" of 1517 commanded them to join the Order of Friars Minor, made up of the Observants and the other reformed groups. The Custody of Estremadura became the Province of St. Gabriel in 1520.

7.32. In 1515 Juan Pascual joined these friars. Later on he would ask to be left under the obedience of the Friars Minor Conventuals. Paul III gave him permission to accept novices and other Observants who would like to join the reform. When Juan Pascual died in 1554 he had laid the foundations for the Custody of San Josè.

7.33. A key figure in this Custody and a great reformer in Spain was St. Peter of Alcantara. He was a Minister Provincial of the province of St. Gabriel of the Reformed Conventuals. In 1557 the Minister General of the Conventuals gave him permission to become General Commissary of the Reformed Conventuals in Spain. Peter founded the hermitage of Pedroso. In 1559 the Custody of San Josè became a Province. The Alcanatarine reform was one of the strictest in the history of the Order. The same year in which Peter of Alcantara died, in 1562, the Province of San Josè left the Conventual obedience and entered the Observant family. Peter of Alcantara was instrumental in helping St. Theresa of Avila in the reform of the Carmelite Order, when she founded the Discalced Carmelites.

7.34. The Alcanatarine family was very intransigent in its sense of autonomy from the Observant mainstream and way of life. In 1621 the Alcantarines were given a General Commissary and a Procurator General.

7.35. By the end of the 18th century the Discalced or Alcantarine family of the Order of Friars Minor had spread to Italy (Naples and Lecce), Brazil, Mexico, East Indies, Japan and the Philippines. The Alcantarines were also a school of sanctity, with eminent figures such as St. Paschal Baylon, St. John Joseph of the Cross.


The F.L.A. (Franciscan Lay Apostolate)

Following in the footsteps of the great Gregorian Reform movements of the 10th and 11th Centuries, and in the spirit of the Alcantarines, the F.L.A. is an attempt to return to the original purity of the Franciscan life as it had been lived in the little mountain hermitages; we are not in favor of causing divisions within the Order of the Church.

The F.L.A. seeks a moderate and balanced approach to a reformed lifestyle, never seeking the rigid poverty and exclusive solitude of the "Spiritual's" hermitage. On the contrary, the importance is felt to balance solitude and apostolic work and preaching. However, if simple Franciscans are to preach the truth well, we hope to establish a firm bond with the T.O.R.'s (Third Order Regular) from the Franciscan University of Steubenville as our Custos, to help us humbly preach and counsel to the humblest people of our day.

The Penitential Movement follows the example of our Seraphic Father, Saint Francis of Assisi. Entrance into the Penitential State is a formal ecclesiastical act involving the full approval of the bishop, a change of external garb to a penitent's habit, and a committment to a radically changed lifestyle.

Eremitical colonies often require an informal committment of the three evangelical councils of obedience, chastity, and poverty in a way similar to the commitment of the first hermits of the Eastern deserts. As such, these penitent hermits were no longer seculars nor were they vowed monks, but they constituted an informal religious, eremitical expression with a distinct Order in the Church that was both authentic and unique. Yet, like the first hermits of the desert, the F.L.A. hermits are still lay people.

We hold that only the clerics may preach to the people regarding "deeper" theological topics such as church structure and the sacraments. As Fratres Conversi, our only goal is to preach Repentance and Penance to all God's children.

Chris Dickson, F.L.A.
General Commissary