"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
_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

Monday, November 29, 2021

Advent: A Time To Become Holy


A Time to Become Holy
by Christopher L. Dickson, F.L.A.

"To grow in holiness, we must first return to regularly receiving the Sacraments and the first step to returning to the Sacraments is an examination of conscience; the Sacrament of Reconciliation."

"Be Holy for I Am Holy."


Advent is a time for us to seek holiness. Holiness is not something that is meant to be had by the few. It is meant for you and me! It is meant for all of us! In 1 Peter, God tells us to “Be holy for I am holy.” Would God instruct us to be something that is impossible for us to accomplish?
Certainly not! We see in Psalm 51 how we are to become holy through a broken and contrite heart. So how do we obtain a broken and contrite heart? St. Francis of Assisi showed great insight here by telling his followers that he preferred absolutely nothing to preaching repentance and penance, which was considered folly at that time because the fear and love of the Lord had died out in the world. The same can be said of our modern, Post-Christian world as well.

So how do we grow in holiness? We grow in holiness by accepting the Father's love and seeking His forgiveness. The closer we grow with the Father, the more we become like Jesus, and like Jesus, our hearts must first truly burn with a desire to grow in holiness. This is impossible without first surrendering our lives to God just as Jesus surrendered his to the Father.

We are in the middle of a crisis of faith...

Advent is a time to reflect on our status as prodigal sons and daughters of the Most High. Just as the prodigal son, we too must eventually come to our senses. Today's modernist society too often justifies sin or else denies it completely. Rampant drug and alcohol abuse, disrespect for adults and for one another, malicious gossip, cheating on our income taxes, refusing to forgive others, sexual depravity and Abortion have become society's new norm. We are in the middle of a crisis of faith in Jesus Christ. It's very easy to allow ourselves to become discouraged by all the negativity, but we must realize that the people are hungry. The people are hungry for the truth. They desire more out of life than simply wandering aimlessly about, day in and day out, in total hopelessness. They want to find joy. But there can be no joy separate from holiness!

We should frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation...

To grow in holiness, we must first return to regularly receiving the Sacraments and the first step to returning to the Sacraments is an examination of conscience; the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Just as the prodigal son returned to his father and begged forgiveness for his sins, we must also return to the Father and beg his forgiveness for sinning against Him. St. Francis of Assisi tells us that we should frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a month. Why is that so important? Well, it helps us see our sins and seek God's mercy by experiencing His tender love for us. We can never hope to grow in holiness without the Sacrament of Reconciliation for if we are truly going to get serious about coming to our senses and receiving the Father’s love, then we will first go to Him with broken and contrite hearts and confess our sins to Him, not just during Advent, but at least once a month. Why is that? Because it helps us to see our sins, to seek God’s mercy, and to experience his tender love for us.

Don't expect holiness to happen overnight...

The second step in growing in holiness is by returning to the Eucharist. We must never separate the Eucharist from our daily lives or our daily lives from the Eucharist. Jesus satisfies our hunger for him by giving us his Body and Blood, just as we must satisfy His hunger for the souls of the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed by becoming Eucharistic for the people.

Don't expect holiness to happen overnight. Most of us become overwhelmed and discouraged if we don't see ourselves become holy right away. Remember, the saints were first sinners, some of them great sinners. It took many years for the saints to become holy as they were prone to the same trials and failures that we experience in today's world. The important thing is that we persevere, realizing that the Father loves us unconditionally.

Christopher L. Dickson, F.L.A.


Chris Dickson is the Servant General of the F.L.A., (Franciscan Lay Apostolate.) Located at the Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center in Jerusalem, Ohio, the F.L.A. follows the Medieval Penitential First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, dated 1221 A.D., placing themselves under Holy Obedience to the Bishop of Steubenville and Fr. Timothy Davison, of Monroe County, Ohio.


The Yoke Movement Mission Statement


Friday, November 26, 2021

The Demons Take Flight


Fr. Timothy Davison

In their pride the demons take flight at the sight of the sublime virtue practiced by those who are truly humble.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life


Thursday, November 25, 2021

A Thief Plunders The Riches Of Heaven


A thief climbs a ladder to break into the vault where treasures are stored. The soul, too, ascends the secret contemplation to plunder the riches of heaven.

Dark Night of the Soul
St. John of the Cross
Chapter 18


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

How To Act During A Rapture


"When the mind is ready to be introduced into that most glorious light of God's goodness, it should not add anything by presumption or take away anything by negligence, and it should love solitude as much as possible if it wishes that grace be preserved and increase.

Brother Giles
Little Flowers of St. Francis
Part Three - 9


Sunday, November 21, 2021

No Friar May Preach Contrary To Church Law

 (The Portiuncula's personal hero, Raymond Cardinal Burke)

No friar may preach contrary to Church law or without the permission of his minister. The minister, for his part, must be careful not to grant permission indiscriminately. All the friars, however, should preach by their example.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Rule of 1221
Chapter 17. Preachers


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Comparing A Dead Body To Perfect Obedience


Our tombstone at the Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Ozark, Ohio

Francis described true and perfect obedience under the simile of a dead body. 'Take up a dead body,' he said, 'and lay it where you will. You will see that it does not resist being removed, or complain of its position, or ask to be left alone. If it is lifted onto a chair, it does not look up, but down. If it is clothed in purple, it looks paler than ever. In the same way, one who is truly obedient does not question why he is moved, does not mind where he is placed, and does not demand to be transferred. If he is promoted to high office, he remains as humble as before, and the more he is honored, the more unworthy he considers himself.'

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of perfection - 48


The Bridegrooms 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


Sunday, November 14, 2021

The Highest Form Of Religious Life


While visiting Bologna, Brother Bernard put his hand in his bosom and brought out the Rule of St. Francis, which he bore in his heart and practiced in his deeds, and gave it to a learned judge to read.

And when that judge had read it through, reflecting on its lofty state of perfection, he was utterly amazed, for he was an intelligent man. And turning to his companions, he said with the greatest surprise and admiration: "This certainly is the highest form of religious life I have ever heard of! And therefore this man and his companions are some of the holiest men in the world. So those who insult him are committing a very great sin, for he should be given the highest honors rather than insults, as he is a great and true friend of God!"

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis - 5


Saturday, November 13, 2021

Words Of Peace, Comforting All

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 and 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


Friday, November 12, 2021

Bowing Your Head At The Names Of Jesus And Mary



Never Abandon The Portiuncula


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

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life


Sometimes Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction



Who Am I To Judge? Silly Question. Let's Ask St. Francis of Assisi


Francis, therefore, the most valiant knight of Christ, went about the towns and villages announcing the kingdom of God, preaching peace, teaching salvation and penance unto the remission of sins, not in the persuasive words of human wisdom, but with the learning and power of the Spirit. He acted boldly on all things, because of the apostolic authority granted him, using no words of flattery or seductive blandishments. He did not know how to make light of the faults of others, but he knew well how to cut them out; neither did he encourage the life of sinners, but he struck hard at them with sharp reproof, for he had first convinced himself by practicing himself what he wished to persuade others to do by his words...

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life


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


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

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Minor Life


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Chapel Veils



Via Caritatis (Through Charity)



The Religious Have Thrown Off Their Habits


The prophesies say that the day will come when the religious will throw off their habits and move from their poor hermitages in the woods into large houses in the cities, and that seculars will pick up their habits and move away from the materialism of the city back into the gospel poverty of the hermitages in the country. There is no doubt that this is again happening today.

John Michael Talbot
Chapter 12


Preach The Gospel At All Times


"Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words!"

Saint Francis of Assisi
Rule of 1221


Tuesday, November 09, 2021

The Idle Are Vomited From The Mouth Of The Lord


Francis used to say that the lukewarm who did not make themselves acquainted familiarly with work would be quickly vomited forth from the mouth of the Lord. No one could appear idle before him without being corrected by him with a sharp rebuke.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life


Friday, November 05, 2021

St. Francis Addresses Political Leaders


"Pause and reflect, for the day of death draws near. Accordingly, I beg you as respectfully as possible, do not let your cares and preoccupations with the world make you forget the Lord or turn aside from his commandments. For all those who forget him and turn away from his commands are cursed; they will be completely forgotten by him. And when the day of death does come, what you think you possess will be taken from you. And the more clever and powerful you have been in the world, so much greater will be the punishment of hell that you will have to endure."

Letter to the Rulers of the People


Thursday, November 04, 2021

Environmentalists Are Lost In Slavery To A False god


For created things are less than the human person. They are made for you, not you for them, and so they can never satisfy you. Only I can satisfy you...These souls in one way or another have identified with the earth in their love, and so they have in fact become earth themselves...Some lose me in their slavery to creatures...And the more disordered their love in possessing, the greater is their grief in loss....They suffer because they do not have what they long for.

Catherine of Siena

If through delight in the beauty of these things
men assumed them to be gods,
let them know how much better than these is the Lord,
for the author of beauty created them...
For from the greatness and beauty of created things
comes a corresponding perception of their Creator...
and they trust in what they see,
because the things that are seen are beautiful.
Yet again, not even they are to be excused;
for if they had the power to know so much
they could investigate the world,
how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?

Wisdom 13:3, 5, 7b-9

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Blessing Bags


Blessing Bags to keep in the car when you pass homeless people. Something special you can do with the kids to teach them about caring for others.


  • band aids
  • mouthwash
  • coins or predetermined dollar amount, say 5.00 (could be used to make a phone call, or purchase a food item)
  • hand wipes
  • you could also put in a warm pair of socks
  • a packet rain poncho
  • tampons (for women)
  •  Gallon size Ziplock bags
  • chap stick
  • packages of tissues
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • comb
  • soap
  • hotel size shampoos
  • trail mix
  • granola bars
  • crackers
  • pack of gum
The ideas could be endless!
 Assemble all the items in the bags, and maybe throw in a note of encouragement. Seal the bags and stow in your car for a moment of providence.


Fr. Sylvester's Vision


By divine inspiration, a priest named Sylvester began to reflect on Francis' action, and said to himself: "Am I not a miserable man, old as I am, to be avid for temporal goods, when this young man despises and hates them for love of God?" During the following night in a dream he saw an immense cross reaching to the sky, and its foot was planted in the mouth of Francis, while the arms spread from on end of the world to the other. On awakening, the priest realized and was convinced that blessed Francis was indeed the friend and servant of Jesus Christ and that the form of religion he was introducing would spread over the entire earth. Thus Sylvester was brought to fear God, and he began to do penance while still living in his own house. Before long, however, he entered the fraternity in which he lived perfectly and died gloriously.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions - 31

(Sylvester died in Assisi in 1240. He is one of Francis' four original companions who are buried near his tomb in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. The cause for his canonization was opened by the Friars Minor and has been accepted by the Holy See for further study.)


Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Repair The Foundation. Don't Tear It Down!


St. Francis did not build a church anew, but he repaired an old one, restored an ancient one. He did not tear out the foundation, but he built upon it, ever reserving to Christ his prerogative, though he was not aware of it, for other foundation no one can lay, but that which has been laid, which is Christ Jesus.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life


Monday, November 01, 2021

Global Warming Has Now Become More Important Than Saving Souls


There arose among us those who began to long miserably for the fleshpots of Egypt, which they had left behind; and what they had once despised with a generous heart, they now shamefully wanted. They were sad in walking in the way of the commandments of God, and they were arid of heart in following their injunctions. They grew faint under the burden, and from lack of spirit they could hardly breathe. Rarely did they feel compunction, never true sorrow. They obeyed only with murmuring. Their thoughts were carnal, their joys desolute. Their sorrow was feigned, their speech unguarded; their laughter came too easily. Gaiety filled their countenance; their gait was without modesty; their garments were soft and delicate; carefully cut, and even more carefully sewn. Their sleep was excessive, their food too abundant, their drink intemperate. They filled the air with trifling things, silly jokes, and idle words. They told stories, changed laws, did away with duties, and devoted themselves to administer diligently human affairs. They had no care for spiritual exercises, no interest in the salvation of souls. They spoke rarely of heavenly things, and there burned scarcely at all in them the desire for eternal things.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Sacrum Commercium - 47


Woe To Those Who Despise Priests


Fr. Timothy Davison

"Blessed is that servant of God who has confidence in priests who live according to the laws of the holy Roman Church. Woe to those who despise them."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Admonition XXVI