"Feast of St. Francis, Oct 4"
September 27, 2023, 6:00 AM

Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. Hebrews 5:11

We often think of the Feast of St. Francis only as a day for the blessing of animals and the rest of creation. However, St. Francis shared with us many lessons that he learned in his life following Christ. Below is a list of some of his most direct expressions of faith and related exhortations. Take time to slowly read the following, and see which ones speak to you on your journey as a “Follower of the Way” (Christ):

Honoring Relationships with Animals

“Ask the beasts and they will teach you the beauty of this earth.”

“All things of creation are children of the Father and thus brothers of man. God requires us to help animals if they need help. Every creature in distress has the same right to be protected.”

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”

“A cat purring on your lap is more healing than any drug in the world, as the vibrations you are receiving are of pure love and contentment.”

“You call it a sin, that I love the dog above all else? The dog stayed with me in the storm, the man, not even in the wind.”

Overcoming Fear and Self-Centeredness:

“What do you have to fear? Nothing. Whom do you have to fear? No one. Why? Because whoever has joined forces with God obtains three great privileges: omnipotence without power; intoxication without wine; and life without death.”

“Above all, the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to His beloved is that of overcoming self (the ego).”

Loving Others

“You can show your love to others by not wishing they were better Christians.”

“You should never praise anyone until you see how he turns out in the end!”

“Blessed is the servant who loves his brother as much when he is sick and useless as when he is well and be of service to him. And blessed is he who loves his brother as well when he is a far off as when he is by his side, and who would say nothing behind his back he might not, in love, say before his face.”

“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.”

“You cannot all abandon your possessions, but at least you can change your attitude about them. All ‘getting’ separates you from others; all ‘giving’ unites to others.”

Joyful Living

“Do few things but do them well, simple joys are holy.”

“Spiritual joy arises from purity of the heart and perseverance in prayer.”

“Our actions are our own; their consequences belong to Heaven.”

“What is it that stands higher than words? Action. What is it that stands higher than action? SILENCE.”

“It was easy to love God in all that was beautiful. The lessons of deeper knowledge, though, instructed me to embrace God in all things.”

“Do all you can to preach the gospel and, if necessary, use words!”

Simplicity in Prayer

“Great and glorious God, and Thou Lord Jesus, I pray you shed abroad your light in the darkness of my mind.”

“Lord, help me to live this day, quietly, easily. To lean upon Thy great strength, trustfully, restfully. To wait for the unfolding of Thy will, patiently, serenely. To meet others, peacefully, joyously. To face tomorrow, confidently, courageously.”

“O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

May the wisdom and direction revealed in the life of St. Francis be yours this day.

Prayers and Blessings,

Fr. John