Thought for the Day – June 2021 – Father Francis Sariego, OFM Cap

June 2021  

All-powerful, most holy, Almighty and supreme God, 

Holy and just Father, Lord King of heaven and earth 

we thank You for Yourself, for through Your holy will 

and through Your only Son with the holy Spirit 

You have created everything spiritual and corporal 

… making us in Your own image and likeness,… 

We thank You… 

Daily excerpts from the Anonymous of Perugia 

Thought after each Franciscan excerpt from various spiritual writers 

Chapter VI 




Each time they saw one another, the brothers were filled with such delight and spiritual joy that they forgot all the adversity and the extreme poverty they had suffered. – Sometimes we desire to be good angels and forget to be good people.


One day, two brothers were walking along a road when suddenly a simpleton began throwing stones at them. One of them, seeing that a stone was about to strike his brother, ran directly in front of him. Because of ardent mutual love, he preferred that the stone strike him rather than his brother. They frequently did these and similar things. – Our imperfections will accompany us to the end.


They were rooted and founded in love and humility, and one would respect the other as if he were his master. Whoever among them excelled because of a position or gifts of grace, seemed even more humble and self-effacing than the others. – Be content with walking with your feet on the ground living the reality of each day with trust.


They all dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to obedience. Whatever they were ordered, they considered to be to the Lord’s will. Thus it was pleasant and easy for them to fulfill everything. –  The next life will be all that we could ever desire or imagine and more…it is GOD!


If one unwittingly uttered a word that could possibly give offense to another, his conscience reproached him so much that he could find no peace until he confessed his fault. – The most beautiful act of faith is when one must make an effort to do so. 


And so they strove to combat each vice with a corresponding virtue. Whatever they had, a book or a tunic, was used in common and no one called anything his own, just as it was done in the primitive church of the Apostles. – Rest assured and be happy that God is pleased to find a peaceful dwelling in you.


When they went along and came upon poor people begging from them, some of the brothers would give them some of their clothing, since they had nothing else to give. One of them even tore the capuche from his tunic and gave it to a poor beggar; while another tore off a sleeve and gave it away; and still others gave away a part of their tunic to observe that Gospel passage: Give to all who ask of you. – Temptations, discomfort, and restlessness are the merchandise offered by the enemy, so reject them.


One day a poor man came to the church of Saint Mary of the Portiuncula where the brothers were staying and asked for alms. There was a cloak there that one of them had while he was still in the world. Blessed Francis told the brother, whose cloak it was, to give it to the poor man. He freely and quickly gave it to him. – When the devil makes noise around you, he is still not within. Be at peace.


And immediately, because of the reverence and dedication that the brother had in donating the gift, it seemed to him that the alms rose up to heaven and he felt himself filled with a new spirit. – No matter how great the trial, do not lose heart.


When the rich of this world went out of their way to visit them, they received them quickly and kindly, and would invite them to call them back from evil, and prompt them to do penance. At that time, the brothers would eagerly beg not to be sent to where they had been raised so that, in this way, they would avoid association and dealings with their relatives and observe the words of the Prophet: I have become an outcast to my brothers, a stranger to my mother’s sons. – Lift up your voice loudly to Jesus.


They rejoiced most in their poverty, for they desired no riches except those of eternity. They never possessed gold or silver, and, although they despised all wealth of this world, it was money especially that they trampled underfoot. – God’s power triumphs over everything.


One day while the brothers were staying at Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, some people came for a visit. They entered the church and placed some money on the altar without their knowledge. Then, one of the brothers, entering the church, took the coins he had found, and put them on the church’s windowsill. Another brother, when he found the money where the other one left it, took it to Saint Francis. – Humble and suffering prayer prevails over God Himself. 


When blessed Francis heard this, he diligently asked which one of the brothers had placed the money there. When he found out who it was, he ordered him to come to him. “Why did you do this?” he said. “Didn’t you know that I want the brothers not only to avoid using money, but also not even to touch it?” When the brother heard this, he bowed his head, confessed his fault on his knees, and asked that a penance be given him. – Live humbly.


Then Francis admonished the brothers that whenever they found money, they should scorn it and consider it worthless. They were constantly rejoicing, for they had nothing that could disturb them. The more they were separated from the world, the more were they united to God. – Do not be upset over your infirmities or weaknesses but humbly and frankly bring them to God.


These men entered upon a narrow and rough trail. They broke up the rocks, trampled upon the thorns, and so have left us, their followers, a smooth path. – God sustains us when we fall and cares for those who trust in Him.


Chapter VII 






As he realized that the Savior’s grace was increasing his brothers in number and merit, blessed Francis told them: “Brothers, I see that the Lord intends to make of us a large congregation. Therefore, let us go to our mother, the Roman Church, and inform the Supreme Pontiff about what the Lord is doing through us so we may continue doing what we have begun by his will and command.” – Thank God for treating you as a soul chosen to follow Jesus.


He took the twelve with him, and they went to Rome. While they were on the way, he told them: “Let us make one of us the leader and consider him the vicar of Jesus Christ for us. Wherever he wants to go, we will go; when he wants to rest, we will rest.” They chose Brother Bernard, who was the first to be received by the blessed Francis, and they did as he said. – Be patient with yourself.


They made their way rejoicing and spoke about the words of the Lord. No one dared to say anything unless it pertained to the Lord’s praise and glory or to the benefit of their souls, and they spent time in the Lord. – Live tranquilly and follow the path on which the Lord has placed you, and in a holy manner.


When they arrived in Rome, they met the bishop of the city of Assisi who was then staying in the City. When he saw them, he welcomed them with immense joy. Now, the bishop was acquainted with one of the cardinals, the Lord John of St. Paul, a good and religious man, who loved servants of the Lord very much. – Remember that the mind can be quite well elevated to God while the body takes care of material matters.


The bishop of Assisi familiarized him with the proposal and life of blessed Francis and his brothers. After he heard these things, he had a strong desire to meet blessed Francis and some of the brothers. When he heard that they were in the City, he sent for them and had them come to him. Seeing them, he welcomed them with eagerness and love. – Do what you can and are supposed to do and Jesus, who sees the heart, will be pleased with you.


Even though they stayed with him for only a few days, he came to love them from the depths of his heart, because he saw shining forth in their actions all he had heard about them. He told blessed Francis: “I commend myself to your prayers and, from now on, I want you to consider me as one of your brothers. Therefore, tell me, why did you come?” – The Holy Spirit does not work in all souls in the same way. He blows as and where He wills.


Then blessed Francis made known to him his whole proposal: how he wanted to speak to the Apostolic Lord and, with his approval and mandate, to continue what he was doing. To which the cardinal responded: “I want to be your procurator at the Curia of the Lord Pope.” Thus it was that he went to the Curia and told the Lord Pope Innocent the Third: “I found a most perfect man who wishes to live according to the form of the holy Gospel and to observe evangelical perfection. Through him, I believe the Lord intends to renew His church in the entire world.” When he heard this, the Lord Pope was amazed and told him: “Bring him to me.” – Keep faithful to prayer even in challenging moments.


Blessed Francis laid his whole proposal before the Lord Pope, just as he had previously done to the cardinal. The Lord Pope answered him: “Your life is too hard and severe, if you wish to found a congregation possessing nothing in this world. For where will you obtain the necessities of life?” – Lift up your heart in the face of trials. God is with you.


Blessed Francis responded: “My Lord, I trust in my Lord Jesus Christ. Since He has promised to give us life and glory in heaven, He will not deprive us of our bodily necessities when we need them on earth.”  The pope replied, “human nature is weak and never remains in the same state. But, go and pray to the Lord with all your heart, so that He may show you what is better and more beneficial for your souls. Come back and tell me and I will then grant it.” – Jesus comforts and sustains us in all our afflictions and trials.


Francis withdrew to pray. With a pure heart, he prayed to the Lord that in His ineffable piety He would reveal this to him. While he was engaged in prayer, with his whole heart focused on the Lord, the word of the Lord came into his heart and spoke to him figuratively. – Be assured of the presence of the Holy Spirit Who comforts and directs those who trust in Him.


“There lived in the realm of a great king a very poor but beautiful woman, who caught the king’s eye and by whom he fathered many sons. The king told her: ‘Do not be afraid of your dire poverty, nor of the sons you have, and the many you will have. If the many hired hands in my house have their fill of food, I certainly do not want my own sons to die of hunger. No, I want them to have even more than the others.’” –  The providence of God knows no limits. The little we give lovingly is multiplied beyond imagining.


The man of God, Francis, immediately understood that the poor woman symbolized him. As a result, the man of God strengthened his resolve to observe most holy poverty in the future. Getting up at that very hour, he went to the Apostolic Lord, and told him all that the Lord had revealed to him. – Passions like temptations need our consent to determine whether we fall into sin or grow in grace.


On hearing this, the Lord Pope was greatly amazed that the Lord had revealed His will to so simple a man. And he realized that he was not proceeding according to human wisdom, but in the display and power of the Spirit. Then blessed Francis bowed down and humbly and devotedly promised obedience and reverence to the Lord Pope. And the other brothers, because they had not yet promised obedience, likewise promised obedience and reverence to blessed Francis according to the precept of the Lord Pope. – If fear surprises you, call out: Oh, Lord, save me!


The Lord Pope approved the rule for him and his brothers, both present and future.  He also gave him authority to preach everywhere as the grace of the Holy Spirit was given him and that the other brothers were also to preach, provided that blessed Francis gave them the office of preaching. From then on, blessed Francis began preaching to the people in the cities and villages, as the Spirit of the Lord revealed to him. – Hold tightly onto the hand of the Lord and confidently walk on the stormy sea of life.


The Lord placed in his mouth uncompromising, honey-flowing, and very sweet words, so that hardly anyone ever tired of listening to him. Because of his great love for the Brother, that cardinal had all twelve of them given the tonsure. Afterwards, Blessed Francis ordered that a chapter be held twice a year, on Pentecost and on the feast of Saint Michael in the month of September. –  Keep imprinted on your soul that God is our Father. So why fear if you are a child of such a Father?

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