Thoughts for the Day by Father Francis Sariego, OFM Cap November 2020

November 2020

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord, 

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. 


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


Following are excerpts taken from The Legend of the Three Companions 


Chapter X 




Calling together the six brothers, Saint Francis, since he was full of the grace of the Holy Spirit, predicted to them what was about to happen. “Dearest brothers,” he said, “let us consider our vocation, to which God has mercifully called us, not only for our own good, but for the salvation of many. – With your very wounds God will heal you.


We are to go throughout the world, encouraging everyone, more by deed than by word, to do penance for their sins and to recall the commandments of God. – All we have seen teaches us to trust the creator for all we have not seen.


Do not be afraid that you seem few and uneducated. With confidence, simply proclaim penance, trusting in the Lord, who conquered the world. Because by his Spirit, He is speaking through and in you, encouraging everyone to be converted to him and to observe his commandments. – Give me faith, Lord, and let me help others find it.


You will find some faithful people, meek and kind, who will receive you and your words with joy. You will find many others, faithless, proud, and blasphemous, who will resist and reject you and what you say. Therefore, resolve in your hearts to bear these things with patience and humility. – Turn to the Lord and pray for He is always near.


When the brothers heard this, they began to be afraid. The saint told them: “Do not fear, because after not much time many learned and noble men will come to us, and will be with us preaching to kings and rulers and great crowds. Many people will be converted to the Lord, Who will multiply and increase His family throughout the entire world.” – Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s light shining somewhere nearby.


And when he had said these things and blessed them, the men of God went on their way devoutly observing his warnings. Whenever they came upon a church or a cross, they bowed in prayer and said with devotion: “We adore you, Christ, and we bless you in all your churches throughout the whole world, because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.” – May the Lord teach us to be generous and serve Him as He deserves.


For they believed they would find a place of God wherever they found a cross or a church. Those who saw them, however, were greatly amazed that they differed from all others by their habit and life and seemed almost like wild men. – Give and don’t count the cost. Labor without seeking a reward except to know you are doing God’s will. 


In fact, whenever they entered especially a city, estate, town, or home, they announced peace, encouraging everyone to fear and love the Creator of heaven and earth and to observe the commandments. – A sure way to God is a humble knowledge of yourself than a search for learning.


Some people listened to them willingly; others, on the other hand, mocked them; and many tired them out with questions by saying to them: “Where do you come from?” Others wanted to know which was their Order. Although it was tiresome answering so many questions, they responded simply that they were penitents originally from the city of Assisi. – If we saw ourselves as our friends and other people see us, we would need an introduction.


At that time their religion was not yet called an order. In fact, many judged them impostors or fools, and were unwilling to receive them into their homes lest, as thieves, they might slyly take their belongings. – Under the false, overloaded, glittering masquerade, there is in every person a noble nature.


Therefore, in many places, after they had suffered a number of insults, they sought lodging in the porticos of churches and homes. About this time, there were two of them in Florence, unable to find lodging as they were begging throughout the city. – It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream.


came upon a house having a portico and, in the portico, a bread-oven, they told each other: “We can stay here.” Therefore, asking the lady of the house to accept them into her home and having her make an excuse, they humbly said that she at least might let them spend that night near the oven. – In the twilight of life, God will not judge us on our earthly possessions and human successes, but on how well we have loved.


She allowed them to do this. When her husband came and found them in the portico, he called his wife and told her: “Why did you offer lodging to those two scoundrels in our portico?” She answered that she did not want them inside the house, but she did let them stay outside in the portico where they could steal nothing but firewood. – It is better to be patient than powerful. 


Considering them scoundrels and thieves, he was opposed to giving them any kind of shelter, although the weather was bitterly cold. That night, they rested near the oven in a sound sleep, warmed only by the glow of divine love and covered with the blanket of Lady Poverty. In the morning they went to the nearest church to hear the office of matins. – It is better to win control over yourself than over whole cities.


When morning came, the woman went to the same church and, seeing those brothers devoutly steadfast in prayer, she said to herself: “If these men were scoundrels and thieves, as my husband claimed, they would not be persevering in prayer so reverently.” While she was thinking these things, a man, named Guido, was distributing alms to the poor who were in the church. When he came to the brothers and wanted to give money to each one of them, as he had done to the others, they refused the money and did not want to accept it. – Thank God for the handicaps of life that help you find yourself, your work, and your God.


But he said to them: “Since you are poor, why don’t you accept the coins like the others?” Brother Bernard answered: “While it is true that we are poor, poverty is not burdensome for us as it is for other poor people. For, by the grace of God, we have willingly made ourselves poor. It is His counsel we fulfilled.” – Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the things that turn out.


Astonished at these things and asking if they had ever possessed anything, he heard from them that they had indeed possessed much. For the love of God, though, they had given everything to the poor. – Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting.


The one who answered in this way was Brother Bernard, the first disciple of blessed Francis, whom today we truly believe to be a most holy father. He was the first to run after the holy one of God, embracing the delegation of peace and penance. –  Happy are those who are not sad for what they do not have, but are grateful for what they do have.


Selling everything he possessed and giving to the poor, according to the counsel of Gospel perfection, he persevered to the end in most holy poverty. When that woman reflected that the brothers did not want the coins, she approached them and told them that she would gladly receive them into her home if they wanted lodging there. – Each is given a bag of tools, a shapeless mass, a book of rules. Each must make in life either a stumbling block or a stepping stone.


The brothers answered humbly: “May the Lord reward you for your good will.” That man, however, hearing that the brothers were unable to find lodging, took them to his house, saying: “Look, this is the lodging the Lord has prepared for you. Stay in it according to your pleasure.” – Our lives are songs. God writes the word and we set them to music at pleasure.  


Giving thanks to God, they stayed with him several days, edifying him in the fear of the Lord, more by example than by word. Afterwards, he gave much to the poor. – Make sure the things that you are living for is worth dying for.


Although they were treated kindly by that man, they were considered good-for-nothings, so that many, the small and the great, abused and harmed them, at times taking away from them even the cheapest clothing they had. – Nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see. On the contrary, everything is sacred.


Whenever the servants of God remained naked, because they wore only one tunic, according to the pattern of the Gospel, they did not demand back what had been taken from them. – You can’t turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again.


If some, moved by piety, did want to return what was taken from them, they willingly accepted. They did these and similar things to them, regarding them as so worthless that they brazenly afflicted them as they chose. – While it is well enough to leave footprints on the sands of time, it is even more important to make sure they point in a commendable direction. 


In addition, they endured immense hardship and suffering from hunger and thirst, from cold and nakedness. Suffering all these things steadfastly and patiently, as blessed Francis had admonished them, they did not become dejected or disturbed, nor did they curse those who brought evil upon them. – Times like these demand strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands!


On the contrary, as perfectly evangelical men, placed at a great advantage, they greatly exulted in the Lord, considering it pure joy when they fell into temptations and trials of this sort. – Earth is crammed with heaven.


According to the word of the Gospel, they prayed carefully and enthusiastically for their persecutors. – God’s presence is not discerned at the time it is upon us, but afterwards when we look back. 


Chapter XI 





People then saw that the brothers rejoiced in their tribulations, persisted in prayer with eagerness and devotion, neither accepted nor carried money, and possessed a great love for one another; and through this they were known to be really the Lord’s disciples. – God exists within us even more intimately than we exist in ourselves.


Many came to them with heartfelt sorrow, asking pardon for the offenses they had committed against them. – God is an unutterable sigh, lying in the depths of the heart. 


They forgave them from their hearts, saying: “May the Lord forgive you,” and encouraged them soundly about their eternal salvation. – The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is God’s name.





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