Monday, March 18, 2013

Saint Francis of Assisi

Yesterday, I was blessed to see one of my faithful readers.  The visit was much too short, but sweet just the same.  As I was leaving, she commented, “So which Saint Francis did the pope pick?  You didn’t put it in your post.”  Now, I know she is a faithful reader, but in the lonely hours I spend at home with just the cat and my keyboard to keep me company, I don’t “know” I have faithful readers.  My heart rejoiced when she asked.  Later I realized I let down my readers by not informing them.

For those who haven’t heard, it is said that Pope Francis took the name from Saint Francis of Assisi.  I am delighted.  The first saint, other than Mary, that I ever studied was Saint Francis of Assisi.  The main reason was because it was the first book I found in my library.  I fell in love with his humbleness, his love of nature, his love of animals, and his striving to live with less.  I keep his statue in my front flowerbed where he greets all my guests whether they like him or not. 

Saint Francis was never a priest.  He was a simple friar (deacon) who preached the gospel and took a vow of poverty.  I love his ideas of want verses need and try to apply it to my life when contemplating buying things.  It is said he preached to the animals which some people say he was a crazy old coot.  I find it enduring.  I talk to my cat and the neighborhood meadowlark.  Of course, I am probably crazy as well, so be it.  God spoke to Saint Francis and asked him to repair his church.  I find this interesting in this may be one of the reasons Pope Francis picked this name.  What course this will take is impossible for me to speculate, but I ponder.

There have been many books written about Saint Francis of Assisi.  He is beloved by many Catholics around the world.  I will leave you with some quotes that I have always enjoyed.

 “We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.” ― St. Francis of Assisi  Many Catholics have left the faith which I think is true fall all generations.  I hope more will be able to come home with the guidance of our church leaders and lay people.

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” ― St. Francis of Assisi  This is part of a song that I absolutely love.

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
St. Francis of Assisi, The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi  This quote brings to mine a song we sang at Search back home.  I love candles.

“Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” ― St. Francis of Assisi  Amen.

“The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today” ― St. Francis of Assisi  I think I have written about this one before.  It is so very true.  Many people give up on church because our actions are not Christ like. 

 “I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, He can work through anyone.”― St. Francis of Assisi  I love this.  None of us are holy until the day we are cleansed and enter heaven.  Yet, God can still work through us if we are open to the Holy Spirit.  The flip side of this is that we need to remember those who offend us in the church are also unholy.  They are doing their best.  I am doing my best.  Pray for us.

Blessings to you all.


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