Archive for the ‘Saint Francis’ Category

A First Date   Leave a comment

francis3Francis of Assisi did some amazing things during his life, but it wasn’t the extraordinary things that made him a saint and still revered today. Most of Francis’s life was lived simply and ordinarily. How he did those ordinary things, the embrace of a marginalized person outside the Assisi walls, the conversation with a leader of another faith, the nonviolent being-in-the-world, the love of all creation, the simplicity of his needs and desires—this is what made him a saint. The way we live our lives, striving to make our whole lives our prayer, is what will make us saints too. Our lives of Gospel living, our living the Franciscan tradition in the world, deeply in love with God, begins as so many amazing love stories do: with a first date.

—from Daniel P. Horan, OFM,  Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis (2012).

Posted January 17, 2017 by ouidaofs in Franciscan, Saint Francis

Francis of Assisi   Leave a comment

Source: Francis of Assisi

Francis of Assisi – An Introduction

Francis of Assisi – The Young Man

Francis of Assisi – Military Adventures

Francis of Assisi – Period of Crisis: San Damiano

Francis of Assisi – Period of Crisis: Leaving the World

Francis of Assisi – Period of Crisis: Embracing the Leper

Francis of Assisi – “And the Lord gave me brothers…”

Francis of Assisi – The Fraternity Grows and Someone Has to Lead

Francis of Assisi – An Exhortation to the Brothers

Francis of Assisi – The Itinerant Life of the Brothers

Francis of Assisi – The Disposal of Worldly Goods

Francis of Assisi – The Conversion of Clare

Francis of Assisi – A Reputation for Holiness and Miracles

Francis of Assisi – The Problems of New Growth

Francis of Assisi – Francis and Nature: Part I

Francis of Assisi – Francis and Nature: Part II

Francis of Assisi – A Sacramental View of Nature

Francis of Assisi – Francis and The Eucharist

Francis of Assisi – Integrating Into the Church

Francis of Assisi – The Word of God

Francis of Assisi – The First Missions

Francis of Assisi – The Crusades (Part 1)

Francis of Assisi – The Crusades (Part 2)

Francis of Assisi – The Crusades (Part 3)

Francis of Assisi – While He Was Away

Francis of Assisi:  Charism of the Founder – Vocation of the Friars

Francis of Assisi: Hierarchy of Authority – Hierarchy of Example

Francis of Assisi: Franciscan Rules

Francis of Assisi: An Approved Rule of Franciscan Life

Francis of Assisi: Up to Now….

Francis of Assisi: A Time of Doubt

Francis of Assisi: The Stigmata

Francis of Assisi: Almsgiving

Francis of Assisi: Prayer

Francis of Assisi: Fasting

 

Posted January 9, 2016 by ouidaofs in Saint Francis

Post-Traumatic Stress & St. Francis   Leave a comment

Do you know anyone suffering from post-traumatic stress? Perhaps reading a biography of St. Francis of Assisi might be healing and of comfort. Post-traumatic stress is a prime factor leading to the conversion of St. Francis of Assisi. He experienced the horror of war in the Battle of Collestrada in 1202 between Assisi and Perugia. Assisi lost. It was a massacre, and the hills were said to be covered in blood. Francis was wounded and became a prisoner of war for a year in Perugia.

When released from prison, Francis was ill for a long time. He experienced the embarrassment and shame when he rejected the soldier life. He also rejected the lifestyle and values of his wealthy family when he gave up all to become a little poor man, following in the footsteps of Jesus. He lost his relationships with his father and, we assume, his mother and siblings. He lost most of his childhood friends. He had nothing except the rags he wore.

For your assistance, I suggest two books (1) St. Francis of Assisi: A Biography by Omer Englebert and (2) The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo, a prose poem, best for slow reading and meditation. Other biographical books are listed on amazon.com. I have many.

Footsteps of Saint Francis

See also “A Suffering Servant,” https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/suffering-saint .

Posted January 9, 2016 by ouidaofs in Saint Francis

Permeated with the Goodness of God   Leave a comment

Bonaventure highlights the idea that the one who dwells in Christ dwells in the other, because the fullness of who we are in Christ can only be found in the other. The difference of the other, therefore, was not an obstacle for Francis in his search for God but rather a celebration of God. For he found his own identity in God and he found God in the fragile, wounded flesh of his brothers and sisters. It is prayer, according to Bonaventure, that impelled Francis to see the world with new vision, a contemplative vision that penetrated the depths of reality. The world became Francis’ cloister because he found it to be permeated with the goodness of God.

~ Ilia Delio, Franciscan Prayer

Posted December 31, 2014 by ouidaofs in Bonaventure, God, Saint Francis

True and Perfect Joy   Leave a comment

“True and perfect joy means enduring even painful circumstances, failure, and rejection with patience and love, without losing heart. This has been the lesson of Christian spiritual teachers from the apostles onward. The ground of this joy-inducing love remains what it always has been: Jesus alone, to whom we must look with attentiveness, gladness, and hope.” ~David Rensberger
http://weavings.upperroom.org/2012/08/true-and-perfect-joy/

Saint Francis and the Leper

 

Posted December 6, 2014 by ouidaofs in Joy, Saint Francis

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Alter Christus   Leave a comment

Where Francis begins to differ from other saints/founders, is in his approach to Jesus. Where most seek to emulate one or more aspects of Jesus’ life, Francis becomes totally immersed in the reality of “all” of Jesus. Ultimately, the spiritual goal of a Franciscan is to struggle to become a total imitator of Jesus, to become “alter Christus” (another Christ) touching all of God’s creation as Jesus did. This is no small goal or challenge, but a path that will ask you to look deeply into how you set your life’s priorities, and how you live them out day to day.

~ Bob Fitzsimmons, OFS, “St. Francis and His Approach to Divinity” (FUN Manual)

Posted September 29, 2014 by ouidaofs in Franciscan, Saint Francis

Lady Poverty   Leave a comment

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:3.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.  When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”  Matthew 13:44-46.

“Now someone approached him and said, ‘Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?’  He answered him, ‘Why do you ask me about the good?  There is only One who is good.  If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’  He asked him, ‘Which ones?’  And Jesus replied,  ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother’; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  The young man said to him, ‘All of these I have observed.  What do I still lack?’  Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.’  When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”  Matthew 19:16-22.

For Francis, Lady Poverty was symbolic of the poor Christ.  She was the symbol of the paradoxes of the Gospel, such as richness in poverty, life in death, strength in weakness, peace in temptation, fullness in emptiness and love in detachment and deprivation.  Lady Poverty made everything hard soft, and everything difficult easy.

For Francis, Lady Poverty also was a means to the indwelling of God and a way of life that makes present the kingdom of God here and now.  (“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”)  God takes up his dwelling among us only when we are poor in spirit, emptied and detached from all that prevents Him from filling us with himself. Lady Poverty involves simple living, an attitude of love, thankfulness and giving and using our gifts as they were intended.  It brings freedom and true joy and, above all, requires humility.  It involves cleaning out the clutter of our hearts and surroundings to make room for God and surrendering to His holy will.

The way to Lady Poverty takes us through the Garden of Eden where we must slay the dragons of pride, pleasure and possessions, those same dragons encountered by our first parents and by Jesus in the desert and again in the other garden, the Garden of Gethsemane.  This is the struggle that Francis went through, especially during his early days.  There, in Eden or the desert or Gethsemane, like Francis, we learn that Christ alone is the fullness of life and our priority is to seek first the kingdom of God.  We repent and choose to follow the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.  We join Jesus on the cross and die to self.

Francis and His Father

Lady Poverty was a pearl of great price for which Francis gave up everything when he stripped himself of his clothes before his father and the bishop.  Earlier that day he had been begging in the streets.  The crowds were more abusive and louder than usual when Francis passed his father’s shop.  Bernardone was livid with shame and heartbreak.

Bernardone dragged Francis before the Bishop of Assisi, asking for the return of his money.  During this encounter and before all the people, Francis removed his clothes and placed them at the feet of his father.  He declared, “Until now I have called Peter di Bernardone my father.  Now I return his gold and the clothes I have received from him.  From now on I shall no longer say:  ‘My father, Peter di Bernardone,’ but ‘Our Father who art in heaven!’”

Many could not hold back their tears.  Even the bishop was emotional as he covered Francis with his own cloak.  Some castoff clothes of the gardener were found for him.

The rich young man in Matthew went away from Jesus sad.  His possessions were a barrier between himself and God.  He could not detach himself from those things that separated him from the Lord.  He could not surrender his heart nor deny himself.  No doubt Francis felt sadness too at the loss of his father, but he went away with the joy of  having bought a pearl of great price.  Francis went away poor, but he embraced Lady Poverty – he embraced the poor Christ – and became rich.  The kingdom of heaven was his.

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”  Matthew 16:24.

The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order, Article 11

Trusting in the Father, Christ chose for himself and his mother a poor and humble life, even though he valued created things attentively and lovingly.  Let the Secular Franciscans seek a proper spirit of detachment from temporal goods by simplifying their own material needs.  Let them be mindful that according to the gospel they are stewards of the goods received for the benefit of God’s children.

Thus, in the spirit of “the Beatitudes,” and as pilgrims and strangers on their way to the home of the Father, they should strive to purify their hearts from every tendency and yearning for possession and power.

(Sources:  The New American Bible; The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo; Saint Francis of Assisi by Leon Cristiani; The Way of St. Francis by Murray Bodo; The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order.)

Posted September 5, 2013 by ouidaofs in Beatitudes, Poverty, Rule of the OFS, Saint Francis

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