Fr. Francis' Reflections - November, 2014

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,St_Francis Canticle

Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing,

To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no human is worthy to mention Your name.

Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, … Sister Moon and the stars, …Brother Wind, …

Sister Water, … Brother Fire, … our Sister Mother Earth, …

Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love, …

Praised be you, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no one living can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin.

Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will, for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks and serve Him with great humility.  Amen.

(Canticle of the Creatures [abbreviated] by Saint Francis of Assisi)

Following are excerpts taken from The Admonitions; Daily reflections are taken from Days of Reflection of Pope Saint John XXIII, OFS


Our Lord Jesus Christ told his disciples, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me … He who sees me sees also the Father (John 13: 6-9). … Because God is a spirit he can be seen only in spirit; it is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing (John 6: 64). – It is more profitable for our souls to place ourselves in the presence of God … and to entrust ourselves to his grace.


It is really the Spirit of God who dwells in his faithful who receive the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord. Anyone who does not have the Spirit and presumes to receive him eats and drinks judgement to himself (1 Corinthians 11:29). – We are all bound to examine the past, reflect upon the failures ever to be found, and seek a remedy…


Every day he humbles himself just as he did when he came from his heavenly throne (Wisdom 18: 15) into the Virgin’s womb; every day he comes to us … when he descends from the bosom of the Father into the hands of the priest at the altar. – We must all strive to revive our spiritual lives, to pray better and to make progress in the essential virtues: patience, generosity and the joyful acceptance of sacrifice.


We, too, with our own eyes, see only bread and wine, but we must see further and firmly believe that this is his most holy Body and Blood, living and true. – Old and young alike are called … to be born again in Christ and with Christ.


(In the sacrament of his most holy Body and Blood) our Lord remains continually with his followers, as he promised, Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world (Matthew 28: 20). – Let us imitate the angels, and on the wings of faith and prayer rise ever nearer to God.


God told Adam: … but from the tree of good and evil you must not eat (Genesis 2: 16-17). Adam, then, could eat his fill of all the trees in the garden, and as long as he did not act against obedience, he did not sin. – Looking to heaven, may (we) be able to say that we can trust ourselves to the grace, the power and the blessing of God.


A man eats of the tree that brings knowledge of good when he claims that his good will comes from himself alone and prides himself on the good that God says and does in him … this the fruit becomes for him the fruit that brings knowledge of evil … – Peace on earth, the profound desire of human beings in all ages, can be won and maintained only in complete harmony with the order established by God.


A man takes leave of all that he possesses and loses both his body and his life when he gives himself up completely to obedience in the hands of his superior. Any good that he says and does which he knows is not against the will of his superior is true obedience. – Scientific progress and technical inventions reveal the infinite greatness of God who has created the world and man.


A subject may realize that there are many courses of action that would be better … In that case he should make an offering of his own will to God, and do his best to carry out what the superior has enjoined. – (God) created man in his own image and likeness, intelligent and free, setting him as lord over the universe.


A religious who prefers to suffer persecution rather than be separated from his confreres certainly perseveres in true obedience, because he lays down his life for his brethren (cf. John 15:13). – The Son of God became man, and in so doing he redeemed not merely mankind as a whole, but the individual man too.


There are many religious who under the pretext of doing something more perfect than what their superior commands look behind and go back to their own will that they have given up (cf. Proverbs 26:11). People like that … by their bad example cause the loss of many souls. – If God has loved man so much (cfr. Galatians 2:20) it means that man belongs to him, and that the human person must be treated with the greatest respect.


I did not come to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:28), our Lord tells us. Those who are put in charge of others should be no prouder of their office than if they had been appointed to wash the feet of their confreres. – Peace can have no solid foundations unless our hearts are filled with brotherly love.


(An appointed superior) should be no more upset at the loss of their authority than they would be if they were deprived of the task of washing feet. The more they are upset, the greater the risk they incur to their souls. – (Brotherly love) must unite all who have the same origins and are called to the same destiny.


No one should give way to pride but boast only in the cross of the Lord. – Awareness of belonging to the same family liberates the heart from covetousness, greed, pride and the will to dominate, which are the sources of all disputes and wars…


Try to realize the dignity God has conferred on you. He created and formed your body in the image of his beloved Son, and your soul in his own likeness (cfr. Genesis 1: 26). – (Awareness of belonging to the same family) unites all in a noble bond of generous solidarity.


Every creature under heaven serves and acknowledges and obeys its Creator in its own way better than you do. Even the devils were not solely responsible for crucifying him; it was you who crucified him with them and you continue to crucify him by taking pleasure in your vices and sins. – The primary foundation of international peace is truth, for in international relations also the Christian saying holds good: the truth will make you free (John 8:32).


There is one thing of which we can all boast; we can boast of our humiliations (cfr. 2 Corinthians 12: 15) and in taking up daily the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Peaceful co-existence must be based on moral principles, according to the demands of right reason and Christian doctrine.


Look at the Good Shepherd … To save his sheep he endured the agony of the cross. – Together with peace, and in the light of truth, there must be justice.


We ought to be ashamed of ourselves; the saints endured all that, but we who are servants of God try to win honor and glory by recounting and making known what they have done. – Justice must be integrated and upheld by Christian charity.


Good works must follow knowledge. – Unity and peace … continue to inspire the world …They express the beneficent and life-giving radiance of the grace of Christ, Son of God and redeemer and savior of mankind.


A man has been killed by the letter when he wants to know quotations only so that people will think he is very learned and he can make money to give to his relatives and friends. – We must admire … all who are endowed with worldly goods and other advantages, and use them according to the holy inspirations they receive from on high.


A religious has been killed by the letter when he has no desire to follow the spirit of Sacred Scripture, but wants to know what it says only so that he can explain it to others. – We must all strive our utmost to ensure that this heavenly gift (peace) which Jesus called his own – I give you my peace – may be the fruit of genuinely Christian conduct …


Those have received life from the spirit of Sacred Scripture who, by their words and example, refer to the most high God, to whom belongs all good, all that they know or wish to know, and do not allow their knowledge to become a source of self-complacency. – O Lord Jesus, save your people and bless your inheritance, and make known to this beloved portion of your flock the purest and most lofty truths contained in your Gospel…


Beware of the sin of envy. – We shall continue to praise you all the days of our life, in the certainty of your mercy and the sweetness of your blessings …


When a man envies his brother for what the good God says or does through him, it is like committing a sin of blasphemy, because he is really envying God, who is the only source of every good. – Strengthen the waverers, console the afflicted, arouse enthusiasm for the Catholic apostolate and enable the beatitudes of the Gospel to bloom forever on this earth.


A man really loves his enemy when he is not offended by the injury done him, but for love of God feels burning sorrow for the sin his enemy has brought on his own soul, and proves his love in a practical way. – Peaceable folks, those whom the Gospel calls blessed, do not stand idly by; they are indeed the active builders of peace … they are the peace-makers (cfr. Matthew 5:9).


Many people blame the devil or their neighbor when they fall into sin or are offended. But that is not right. – So man must first pray for (peace); and then he must learn to live in peace…


Everyone has his own enemy in his power and this enemy is his lower nature which leads him into sin. – Christian peace is rooted in the theological virtues: faith, hope and charity.


Blessed the religious who keeps this enemy a prisoner under his control and protects himself against it. As long as he does this no other enemy, visible or invisible, can harm him. – (Christian peace) is strengthened and extended through the loyal and willing exercise of the other virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance.


No one should be scandalized at another’s fall. – True peace can come from God alone; it has but one name, the peace of Christ …

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