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Second Thoughts for the Day – 4 October – Celebrating St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

Second Thoughts for the Day – 4 October – Celebrating St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

His name was Francis…

He used to praise God the Artist in every one of God’s works.   Whatever joy he found in things made he referred to their maker.   He rejoiced in all the works of God’s hands. Everything cried out to him, “He who made us is infinitely good!’

He called animals “brother” or “sister” and he exhorted them to praise God.   He would go through the streets, inviting everyone to sing with hi  m. And one time when he came upon an almond tree, he said, ‘Brother Almond, speak to me of God.”   And the almond tree blossomed.

That is what Saint Francis of Assisi did and that is what he does for us once we are caught up in his life and teachings.  He makes us blossom, wherever and whoever we are.   We blossom because we see in Francis what could happen to us if we were to embrace the overflowing goodness of God revealed in everything that exists and let that embrace change us.…Murray Bodo, OFM

St Francis of Assisi, Pray for us!st francis of assisi pray for us - 4 oct 2018

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

Thought for the Day – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

Dear friends, Francis was a great Saint and a joyful man.   His simplicity, his humility, his faith, his love for Christ, his goodness towards every man and every woman, brought him gladness in every circumstance.   Indeed, there subsists an intimate and indissoluble relationship between holiness and joy.   A French writer once wrote that there is only one sorrow in the world – not to be saints, that is, not to be near to God.   Looking at the testimony of St Francis, we understand that this is the secret of true happiness: -to become saints, close to God!

May the Virgin, so tenderly loved by Francis, obtain this gift for us.   Let us entrust ourselves to her with the words of the Poverello of Assisi himself:

“Blessed Virgin Mary, no one like you among women has ever been born in the world, daughter and handmaid of the Most High King and heavenly Father, Mother of our Most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, spouse of the Holy Spirit.

Pray for us… to your most blessed and beloved Son, Lord and Master”

(Francesco di Assisi, Scritti, 163)….Excerpt from Pope Benedict XV’s Catechesis on St Francis – General Audience, 27 January 2010

Blessed Virgin, Holy Mother, Pray for us!blessed virgin holy mother pray for us
St Francis of Assisi, Pray for us!st francis pray for us - 4 oct 2018

St Francis leaves us with his blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you
and give you peace.

st-francis-prayer-may-the-lord-bless-you-and-keep-you- no 2

 

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 10:1-12- The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 10:1-12 – Thursday of the Twenty-sixth week in Ordinary Time – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

“Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals and salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’”...Luke 10:4-5

REFLECTION – “Three times Christ on the Cross came to life and told him:  “Go, Francis, and repair my Church in ruins”.   This simple occurrence of the word of God heard in the Church of St Damian, contains a profound symbolism.   At that moment, St Francis was called to repair the small church but the ruinous state of the building, was a symbol of the dramatic and disquieting situation of the Church herself…. it is important to note that St Francis does not renew the Church without, or in opposition, to the Pope but only in communion with him.   Authentic renewal grew from these together….
Francis, standing before the Bishop of Assisi, in a symbolic gesture, stripped off his clothes, thus showing he renounced his paternal inheritance.   Just as at the moment of creation, Francis had nothing, only the life that God gave him, into whose hands he delivered himself….
The truth is that St Francis really did have an extremely intimate relationship with Jesus and with the word of God, that he wanted to pursue sine glossa just as it is, in all its radicality and truth.   It is also true, that initially he did not intend to create an Order with the necessary canonical forms.   Rather he simply wanted, through the word of God and the presence of the Lord, to renew the People of God, to call them back to listening to the word and to literal obedience to Christ.”…Pope Benedict XVI – Catechesis on St Francis – General Audience, 27 January 2010luke 10 4-5 - st francis really did have - pope benedict - 4 oct 2018

“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received—only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”….St Francis of Assisiremember-that-when-you-leave-st-francis-4-oct-2017

PRAYER – Lord God, You made St Francis of Assisi, Christ-like in his poverty and humility, his gentleness and charity, his love and courage.   Help us to walk in his ways that, with joy and love, we may follow Christ Your Son and be united with You.   May the intercession of St Francis, be an assistance on our journey.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st-francis-pray for us - 4-oct-2018

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

Our Morning Offering – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

Prayer of Self-Giving
By St Francis of Assisi

I beg You, Lord,
let the fiery, gentle power
of Your love
take possession of my soul,
and snatch it away
from everything under heaven,
that I may die
for love of Your love
as You saw fit to die
for love of mine.
Ameni beg you lord let the fiery gentle power of your love - st francis prayer - 4 oct 2018

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 October – St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226) “The Brother of Jesus”

Saint of the Day – 4 October – St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226) – born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco (1181/1182 – 3 October 1226), was an Italian Friar, Deacon, the First known Stigmatist, Founder, Mystic, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist, of the Blessed Virgin, of Charity, Confessor, Missionary, Writer, Poet, Miracle-Worker, Preacher.   He founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land.   Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.header-CNS-ST-FRANCIS.jpg

Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who astounded and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally—not in a narrow fundamentalist sense but by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit and without a sense of self-importance.Master_of_the_bardi_saint_francis_._St._Francis_and_scenes_from_his_life_13_cent_Santa_croce

Serious illness brought the young Francis to see the emptiness of his frolicking life as leader of Assisi’s youth.   Prayer—lengthy and difficult—led him to a self-emptying like that of Christ, climaxed by embracing a leper he met on the road.   It symbolised his complete obedience to what he had heard in prayer:   “Francis! Everything you have loved and desired in the flesh it is your duty to despise and hate, if you wish to know my will.   And when you have begun this, all that now seems sweet and lovely to you will become intolerable and bitter but all that you used to avoid will turn itself to great sweetness and exceeding joy.”

From the cross in the neglected field-chapel of San Damiano, Christ told him, “Francis, go out and build up my house, for it is nearly falling down.”   Francis became the totally poor and humble workman.Flemish School; St Francis of Assisi

He must have suspected a deeper meaning to “build up my house.”   But he would have been content to be for the rest of his life the poor “nothing” man actually putting brick on brick in abandoned chapels.   He gave up all his possessions, piling even his clothes before his earthly father—who was demanding restitution for Francis’ “gifts” to the poor—so that he would be totally free to say, “Our Father in heaven.”   He was, for a time, considered to be a religious fanatic, begging from door to door when he could not get money for his work, evoking sadness or disgust to the hearts of his former friends, ridicule from the unthinking.

But genuineness will tell.   A few people began to realise that this man was actually trying to be Christian.   He really believed what Jesus said : “Announce the kingdom! Possess no gold or silver or copper in your purses, no travelling bag, no sandals, no staff” (Luke 9:1-3).

Francis’ first rule for his followers was a collection of texts from the Gospels.   He had no intention of founding an order but once it began he protected it and accepted all the legal structures needed to support it.   His devotion and loyalty to the Church were absolute and highly exemplary at a time when various movements of reform tended to break the Church’s unity.beautiful-francis-2

Francis was torn between a life devoted entirely to prayer and a life of active preaching of the Good News.   He decided in favour of the latter but always returned to solitude when he could.   He wanted to be a missionary in Syria or in Africa but was prevented by shipwreck and illness in both cases.   He did try to convert the sultan of Egypt during the Fifth Crusade.

During the last years of his relatively short life, he died at 44, Francis was half blind and seriously ill.   Two years before his death he received the stigmata, the real and painful wounds of Christ in his hands, feet and side.bellini-saint-francis-saint

On his deathbed, Francis said over and over again the last addition to his Canticle of the Sun, “Be praised, O Lord, for our Sister Death.”   He sang Psalm 141, and at the end asked his superior’s permission to have his clothes removed when the last hour came in order that he could expire lying naked on the earth, in imitation of his Lord. (via Franciscan media)

Detailed biography here:  Biography: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/10/04/saint-of-the-day-4-october-st-francis-of-assisi-o-f-m-1181-1226/st-francis-of-assisi_1St-Francis-Stained-Glass-Window-880x550beeautiful-francis-2

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 September 2018 – The Memorial of Stigmata of St Francis of Assisi & St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621)

Thought for the Day – 17 September 2018 – The Memorial of Stigmata of St Francis of Assisi & St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621)

The glory of the Saints and of the Church never ceases to amaze me in every finer detail of the arrangement of our communal life together with them, thus confirming the presence of the Holy Spirit and the Divinity of this Mystical Body of Christ!

St Robert Bellarmine had a great devotion to St Francis of Assisi and was especially devoted to honouring Francis’ stigmata.   Bellarmine urged that there be a special feast in honour of the five stigmata of St Francis.   Bellarmine had an important position in the Vatican and he made sure that the feast was introduced in the Church, despite strong opposition.

As Providence arranged, Robert Bellarmine died on the feast of the Stigmata of St Francis, 17 September.   And in the revised liturgical calendar St Bellarmine’s feast, which used to be celebrated on 13 May, has been moved to 17 September.   In the Universal Church today is the feast of both!

St Francis of Assisi and St Robert Bellarmine, pray for us, your family here on earth and in great need of your prayers!st francis of assisi - pray for us - 17 sept 2018st-robert-bellarmine-pray-for-us-17-sept-2017

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, Lady POVERTY, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The WORD, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 2 July – “The poverty that makes rich.”

Thought for the Day – 2 July – Monday of the Thirteenth Week, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 8:18-22

“The poverty that makes rich.”

Excerpt from the “Sacrum Commercium” – “The Sacred Exchange between St Francis and Lady Poverty”

“And when He had fulfilled all those
Things of which you have spoken,
and desired to return to the Father Who had sent Him,
He made me a Testament to His Elect
and confirmed it by irrefragable Decrees :

Lay not up Gold nor Silver, nor Money.
Carry neither Purse, nor Scrip, nor Bread, nor a Staff, nor Shoes, nor two Coats.
And if any Man will contend with thee and take away thy Coat,
let go thy Cloak also. And whoever shall compel thee to go a mile,
go with him other twain.
Lay not up unto yourselves Treasures upon Earth,
where Rust and Moth doth corrupt
and where Thieves break through and steal.
Take no thought, saying:
What shall we eat, or what shall we drink,
or wherewithal shall we be clothed?
And take no thought of the morrow,
for the morrow will take thought for itself.
Sufficient unto the Day is the Evil thereof.
Whosoever doth not renounce
all that he hath, cannot be my
disciple . . . And many the
like sayings, which are all to
be found in the Gospels.”st francis - sacrum commercium - lady poverty no 1- 2 july 2018

The Sacred Exchange between Saint Francis and Lady Poverty, is one of the richest texts of the early Franciscan movement, “the single most brilliant example of the simple but lapidary allegory which was to become a major mode of spiritual writing in the later Middle Ages.”   An allegory offering insights into Francis’s vision of poverty, the Sacred Exchange weaves a luxuriant tapestry of images held together by the strong threads of a biblical theology.   For all of its richness, however, no text of these first hundred and fifty years is more mysterious.   Like the weaver of an undated tapestry, the author of the Sacred Exchange is content to hide obscurely making sure that the ends and threads are in their proper place that the beauty and exactness of his work may be seen.   Although there are many names suggested, the author of the Sacred Exchange still remains unknown.   The same holds true for the date of its composition though it is believed by solid historical explorations, to date from late 13th century.

The allegory is an exhortation written to encourage Francis’s followers to live in the authentic way of the saint’s biblical vision of poverty.   The central figure of the work is Lady Poverty, the personification of biblical Wisdom and, at times, of the Church.
The Passage above is one of the most profound, as each word is taken from scripture and bound together into a poem of immense richness.
This is a lesson we now need to embrace, as difficult as it would seem in the world in which we live, the world led only by riches.   For this is a true desire for sanctity, with Christ alone as our riches!

St Francis, Pray for us!st francis pray for us - 2 july 2018