Thoughts for the Day – April 2021 – Father Francis Sariego, OFM Cap

April 2021 

Wherever we are, in every place, at every hour, at every time of the day, every day and continually, 

let all of us truly and humbly believe, hold in our heart and love, honor, adore, serve, 

praise and bless, glorify and exalt, magnify and give thanks 

to the Most High and Supreme Eternal God, Trinity and Unity, 

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 

Creator of all, Savior of all who believe and hope in Him, and love Him, Who, 

without beginning and end, is unchangeable, invisible, indescribable, ineffable, 

incomprehensible, unfathomable, blessed, praiseworthy, glorious, exalted, 

sublime, most high, gentle, lovable, delightful, 

and totally desirable above all else for ever. 


(Prayer of Saint Francis taken from the Earlier Rule, chapter 23)

The next few months daily excerpts of the Franciscan story are taken from the


Daily spiritual quotes are from various sources





Servants of the Lord should not be ignorant of the lives and teachings of saints through which they can come to God. Therefore, for the honor of God and the edification of readers and listeners, I, who saw their deeds, listened to their words, and also became their disciple, have compiled and recounted, as the Lord inspired me, some deeds of our most blessed Father Francis and of a few of the brothers who lived at the beginning of the religion. – Walk with simplicity in the ways of the Lord. 

Chapter I 



On the sixteenth of April, after one thousand two hundred and seven years had been completed since the Incarnation of the Lord, God … enlightened a man who was in the city of Assisi, Francis by name, a merchant by trade, and a very vain spendthrift of worldly wealth. One day he was in the shop where he customarily sold cloth, totally absorbed in business, when a poor man came in, begging alms for the Lord’s sake. – Hate your faults, but with a quiet hate, not troublesome and restless. 


Preoccupied with thoughts of wealth and care of the business, Francis sent him away without giving him alms. After the poor man left, touched by divine grace, he began to accuse himself of great rudeness, a saying: “If the poor man had asked in the name of a count or a powerful baron, you would have granted him his request. How much more should you have done this for the King of Kings and the Lord of all?” – Be patient with your faults and gain from them holy humility.


Because of this incident, he resolved in his heart, from then on, never to refuse a request from anyone asking in the name of so great a Lord. He called the poor man back and gave him a generous alms.  After a while, a marvelous thing happened to this blessed man which in my estimation should not be passed over in silence. – What soul to whom Jesus has given himself as its inheritance can be unhappy? 


One night when he was asleep in his bed, someone appeared to him calling him by name. He led him into a palace of unspeakable beauty, filled with military arms, its walls covered everywhere with shining shields emblazoned with crosses. He inquired to whom these brightly shining arms and this beautiful palace belonged. – Let us spend our whole life giving thanks to the divine Father.


“All these things, including the palace,” said the guide, “belong to you and your knights.” Upon awakening, he began to interpret this in a worldly way, like someone who had not yet fully tasted God’s Spirit. He thought he would become a magnificent prince. After giving the matter much thought, he decided to become a knight to obtain this princely power. – Let us pray with the humility of the creature and the confidence and freedom of the child.


After having as expensive a wardrobe as possible made for himself, he arranged to join up with a noble count in Apulia, to be knighted by him. Everyone marveled that he was happier than usual, and when they asked him the reason why, he answered: “I know that I am going to be a great prince.” – Let nothing in the world distract us from contemplating the greatness of the Lord. 


It was night when he arrived in Spoleto and, anxious about his trip, he retired for the night. Half asleep, he heard a voice asking him where he intended to go. He outlined to him his whole plan. The voice then asked him: “Who can do more for you, the lord or the servant?” “The lord,” he answered. “Then why are you abandoning the lord for the servant, and the patron for the client?” – We sometimes desire to be good angels, and we neglect to be good people.


To which Francis responded: “Lord, what do you want me to do?” “Go back,” it said, “to your own land to do what the Lord will tell you.” It seemed to him that divine grace had suddenly made him a different man. – How burdensome this mortal life is to the children of God.


But when it was morning, he returned home as he had been told. And when, on the way back, he reached Foligno, he sold the horse he was riding as well as the wardrobe with which he had equipped himself for the expedition to Apulia, and put on cheaper clothing. – The most beautiful credo is that pronounced in the darkness, in times of sacrifice.


While he was returning from Foligno to Assisi, carrying the money he had obtained from these things, he approached a church built in honor of Saint Damian. He found the poor resident priest, named Peter, and gave him that money for safekeeping. – Remember this: That if the devil makes a din, he is still outside and not inside at all.


Not having a safe place to keep it, the priest refused the money. When the man of God, Francis, heard this, he threw the money on the windowsill of that church for he considered it worthless. Led by God’s Spirit, he resolved to use the money to rebuild its structure, seeing that the church was poor and on the verge of collapse. – No matter how great the trial, never lose heart.


After a while, with God’s approval, he completed the undertaking. When his father learned of this, he began to vent his rage against him, for he loved him in a worldly way and was longing for the money. He abused Francis with insults, demanding the return the money. – Have recourse with more childlike trust to Jesus who will never be able to resist bestowing on you some little solace and comfort.


In the presence of the bishop of Assisi, he promptly gave back to his father the money and clothes he was wearing. He stood there naked under the cloak of the bishop, who embraced him. Without any worldly possessions, dressed in cheap and very miserable clothing, he went back to that church to stay there. – Turn to Jesus at all times even when the devil tries to discourage you by making you more aware of your sins.


The Lord enriched the poor and contemptible man. Filling him with His Holy Spirit, He put into his mouth the words of life that he might preach and announce to the people judgment and mercy, punishment and glory and to recall to their minds the commandments of God they had forgotten. – God’s power triumphs over everything.


The Lord led him on a straight and narrow path. Desiring to possess neither gold nor silver, nor money nor any other thing, he followed the Lord in humility, poverty, and the simplicity of his heart. Walking about barefoot, he wore a contemptible habit with a wretched belt. – Humble and suffering prayer prevails over God himself.


And whenever his father met him, overwhelmed with great sorrow, he would curse him. The blessed man, however, took with him a poor old man named Alberto and asked him for a blessing. Many people used to laugh at him, insulting him with spiteful words. – Do not be surprised at your distractions and spiritual dryness.


Almost everyone considered him mad. But he did not care, nor did he answer them; instead, he strove with all eagerness to fulfill the task God had shown him. He walked not in the learned words of human wisdom, but in the display and the power of the Spirit. – Live tranquilly and do not be anxious.

Chapter II 



When they saw and heard these things, two men from Assisi, inspired by divine grace, humbly approached him. One of these was Brother Bernard, and the other, Brother Peter. They told Francis simply: “We wish to live with you from now on and do what you are doing. Tell us, therefore, what we should do with our possessions.” – Live humbly. Be docile and in love with your heavenly Lord.


Overjoyed at their coming and their resolve he answered them kindly: “Let us go and seek counsel from the Lord.” So they went to one of the city’s churches. Upon entering it, they fell on their knees and humbly prayed: “Lord, God, Father of glory, we beg you in your mercy, show us what we are to do.” – Do not be upset by any infirmities and weaknesses into which you can fall.


After finishing the prayer, they asked the priest of the church who was there: “Sir, would you show us the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ”. And, since before this happened none of them knew how to read very well, when the priest opened up the book, they immediately found the passage If you wish to be perfect, go, sell everything you possess and give to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven. – Don’t upset yourself, but humbly and frankly confess before God and place everything before his divine mercy.


Opening up the book a second time, they discovered: Whoever wishes to come after me . . . . When they opened up the book for the third time, they came upon: Take nothing for the journey . . . When they heard this, they were filled with great joy and exclaimed: “This is what we want, this is what we were seeking.” And blessed Francis said: “This will be our rule.” – Let God be thanked for treating you as a soul to follow Jesus closely up the hill of Calvary.


Then he told both of them: “Go and may you fulfill the Lord’s counsel as you heard it.” – Stretch yourself out on the cross and be patient with yourself.


Then Brother Bernard, who was rich, sold all his possessions, acquiring a large sum of money from the transaction. Brother Peter, on the other hand, who was poor in worldly goods, now became rich in spiritual goods. Therefore, he also did as the Lord’s counsel would have it. Summoning the city’s poor people, they gave them the money acquired from the sale of their goods. – Follow the path on which the Lord has placed you, in a holy manner.


While they were doing this, and blessed Francis was present, a priest named Sylvester came. Blessed Francis had purchased stones from him for the repair of the church of San Damiano where he had lived before he acquired brothers. When the priest saw them giving away so much money, consumed by a burning passion of greed, he craved to be given some of that money. – Endeavor, without wearying yourself, to do what you can, and Jesus, who looks into the depths of the heart, will be pleased with you.


When blessed Francis, who had renounced all greed, heard him complaining unjustly, he approached … and putting his hand into his cloak where the money was, took out a handful of coins and gave them to the priest. “Do you now have full payment?” he asked. “I have it fully” – We are not all called to the same state.


Overjoyed the priest returned home. A few days later, the priest, inspired by the Lord, began to reflect on what blessed Francis had done. “Am I not miserable?” he said to himself. “Old as I am, don’t I still covet and desire the things of this world, and doesn’t this youth despise and scorn them for the love of God?” – The Holy Spirit does not work in all souls in the same way.


The following night he saw in a dream an immense cross whose top reached to the heavens, while its base rested in the mouth of blessed Francis. The arms of the cross reached from one part of the world to the other. – The Holy Spirit blows as he wills and where he wills.


Upon awakening, the priest then believed that blessed Francis was indeed God’s friend and that the religion he had founded would spread all over the world. – Do not be discouraged or frightened by your miseries and weaknesses, for God in his mercy did not reject you.


From that time on, he began to fear God and do penance in his own home. And after a little time had passed, he entered the Order of the brothers where he lived well and ended gloriously. – God will grant you his grace and will erect the throne of his glory on your misery and vileness.



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