June, 2022, Thoughts for the Day by Father Francis Sariego, OFM Cap

June 2022 

Let us desire nothing else, let us wish for nothing else, 

let nothing else please us and cause us delight, except our Creator and redeemer and Savior, 

the one true God, Who is fullness of Good, all Good, every Good, the true and Supreme Good, 

Who alone is merciful and gentle, delectable and sweet, Who alone is holy, just and true, holy and right, 

Who alone is kind, innocent, pure, from Whom and through Whom and in Whom 

is all pardon, all grace, all glory. Therefore, let nothing hinder us, nothing separate us or come between us. 

Let us all, wherever we are 

Glorify and exalt, magnify and give thanks to the Most High and supreme eternal God. 


(Saint Francis of Assisi)



A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis (1277–1283) 


Chapter I  



Blessed Francis, like the rising sun, brightened the world by his life, his teaching and his miracles. He had a father intent on worldly affairs, but a very upright mother. – Conquer evil with good.


Like another Elizabeth, at the sacred font she called him John, and, in spirit, she predicted that, by the grace of his merits, he would become a son of God. – People watch what we do and not what we say about our religion.


The boy grew and conducted himself in a worldly way by his outward manner of life until he was twenty-five years old. Then he left all things and followed the footsteps of Christ.- Prayer enlarges the heart until it can contain God’s gift of himself.


He renewed the old life of the Apostles by reliving their deeds, and he founded the house of his religion not on the sands of temporal things, but on a rock, Christ, and on the perfection of evangelical poverty. – The Spirit gives new eyes to see the face of Jesus.


The first stone of this building, after him, was that very ardent man in the Lord, Brother Bernard of Quintavalle, who gave away the abundance that he possessed not to his relatives but to the poor. He was resplendent in a life that was sacred and in a death that was glorious in miracles. – The Spirit gives a new heart to share the love of Jesus with all who have never experienced it.


The second was Brother Peter who completely renounced the world, and likewise dispersed his possessions and gave them to the poor. The third was Brother Giles, a man of admirable holiness who, through a gift said to be given by the Lord, when called upon offers whatever pertains to the good of the soul. That devout general minister and cardinal mentioned above, a zealous investigator of such revelations, taught this to us. – Evil triumphs most when good people do nothing.


Brother Philip was added to three others. The Lord touched his lips with a cleansing coal so that, even though he was a lay brother, he understood and interpreted Scripture, uttering words about Jesus that flowed with honey. We have heard that of Francis’s first twelve disciples, for whom he also wrote a rule and almost the same mandates that Christ gave to his Apostles, all were holy men except one. – Leaders know, go, and show the way.


Leaving the Order he became leprous and, like another Judas, died by hanging, so that even in his disciples the similarity of Francis to Christ might not be wanting. It was no insignificant grace that, when he had only six brothers, there was infused in him such certitude of the Order’s spreading throughout the world, that he saw the future as though it were present. – True spiritual vision is the ability to see the invisible.


And he said to the brothers: “I saw the roads filled with the multitude of those coming to us. They are coming from France; Spaniards are hurrying, Germans and English are running, and a huge crowd speaking other languages is rapidly approaching. ”He differentiated the brothers of the early and late periods of time under the metaphor of fruit that is more or less sweet. – In God’s love we see God’s goodness and compassion.


Holy brothers and fathers, renowned for great virtue, flourished even among the first brothers: such as, Brother Soldanerio, Brother Roger, Brother Rufino, and Brother John de Laudibus, who merited to touch the mortal wounds of the stigmata impressed on Francis’s flesh while he was living. – Build your life on Jesus.


Brother Angelo, who was close to Saint Francis; Brother Leo, the saint’s confessor; another Brother Leo, who later, as Archbishop, energetically governed the Church at Milan; and Brother James, who merited to observe the holy father’s soul ascending into heaven like a star as brilliant as the sun. – Lord, take over my life.


And there were the holy fathers, Brother Anthony, Brother Nicholas, Brother Simon, Brother Ambrose, Brother John, and so many others, whom it would take too long to mention individually. They brought light to the early times with the light of their virtues. – Criticism might have its place, but it should be handled by experts.


Their bodies are buried in peace and in sacred places for veneration. The bones of Brother Bernard, Brother Rufino, Brother Leo, and Brother Angelo were venerably buried in the Church of Saint Francis in Assisi; those of Brother Giles, in Perugia; of Brother Soldanerio, in the church of the brothers in Viterbo; but those of Brother Juniper are buried in the Church of Saint Mary on the Capitolio in Rome. – Those who would transform the world must first transform themselves.


Brother Soldanerio, like the sun giving light to the world, shed light by his behavior and learning. Brother Juniper shone with such a gift of patience that no one ever saw him disturbed even when he was enduring many difficulties. – We are like God when we forgive.


Brother Roger glittered such evident holiness that Pope Gregory IX approved and confirmed him as a saint, and granted that his memorial be celebrated at Todi where his relics lie. But he did not proclaim a feast with solemnity as is customary is such cases; because of this, we have heard that the cult of this holy man is now being neglected. – If you do not find happiness along the way, you will not find it at the end of the road.


Brother Anthony of Padua does not cease to abound in new prodigies. It is said, among other things, that the most holy Brother Nicholas, seeing a dead man being carried out, raised him from his bier and restored new eyes to someone who had had them torn out. He rests in the brothers’ church in Bologna. The ancient City venerates Brother Ambrose, famous for many miracles there. – They stand best who kneel most.


Brother Simon, endowed with the grace of virtues, enriches with many gifts of healing the city of Spoleto, where he rests. In the Spoleto valley we saw a dead man brought back to life by his prayer. The truth of this miracle and of many others was approved and disclosed by the Bishop of Spoleto, who by Apostolic authority inquired into these miracles with remarkable zeal and diligence. – It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.


Brother John and Brother Nicholas were men of outstanding holiness. One of these, Brother John, went to the Lord while in the office of guardian and, by his miracles, has already distinguished the German territories. – Do what you can, and God will do what you can’t


Nearby Brother Augustine and Brother William, in examples of a holy way of life, which we observed, showed us the paths of the holiest perfection. Their virtuous holiness is also remembered as shining through signs while they were still living in the flesh. – Those who stand for nothing fall for everything.


Venerable Brother Hugh, who was filled with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, was sublime in his life and marvelous in the efficacy of his learning. He rests at Marseilles where fitting honor in the brothers’ church in Cahors and shines with the brilliance of many signs.- Every believer must become a spark of light. 


Brother Stephen was a man of virtue and grace, formerly an abbot and an important person in the Order of Saint Benedict. Though he chose to be lesser for Christ, he was made Inquisitor against the heretics, and deserved being lifted on high by the crown of martyrdom and the glory of miracles. He lies in the brothers’ church at Toulouse. – Preach to the poor with your hands before you preach with your lips.


On a par with him was Brother Raymond, who was also crowned with martyrdom, and has been honorably buried there. Brother Benvenuto and Brother Peter, former provincial minister of Calabria, shine with so many miracles that it has been verified as a divine grace, which it truly is. – Do not tell people how to live, show them.


It would take too long to mention each of the confessors and glorious martyrs who suffered for the faith of Christ and in defense of the Church under the Saracens as well as under supporters of the heretics, while these brothers, at the command of the Apostolic See, were inquiring into the irregularities of these heretics, suffered for the faith of Christ and the defense of the Church. – Today’s opportunities erase yesterday’s failures.


Chapter II 



After blessed Francis returned from the Supreme Pontiff from whom he received the authority to preach, he gathered his brothers around him near the city of Assisi in an abandoned hut that was so confined that these most vigorous scorners of large and beautiful homes were hardly able to sit or rest in it. – When we see the invisible, we will learn how to do the impossible. 


They were in such want that, for lack of bread and to assuage their hunger, they were very often content with turnips which they sought in the fields of Assisi. Their relatives pursued them and others ridiculed them, because at that time no young person could be found who would relinquish all his possessions for the Lord’s sake and seek alms from door to door. There was no complaining about this; no grumbling, but with peaceful heart, the soul filled with joy, preserved patience. – We must be masters of ourselves that we may be servants of others.


Under the tutelage of the holy father, the increased number of brothers later grew in perfection. They were truly lesser, in name as in humility of mind, who, while living subject to others, always sought a place and position of humility, and, burning with the spirit of charity, they loved one another in a remarkable way, even in what might seem an injury. – Trust to the known God the unknown future.


Whenever they came together, in that place a shoot of spiritual love sprang up. What more? There were chaste embraces, delightful affection, a holy kiss, sweet conversation, moderate laughter, joyful looks and hands untiring for service. – Lord, give me only your love and your grace and that is enough for me. 


Since they looked down on all earthly things and never loved themselves selfishly, they poured out all their loving affection in common, hiring themselves out to provide for the others’ need, seeking not their own interests but those of Christ and of their neighbors. – Any definition of a successful life must include serving others.


Once when a simpleton was throwing stones at the brothers, one brother placed himself in front of them, rejoicing that he would be struck rather than his companion. Rooted in charity and humility, one respected the other as if he were his master. – We are not completely born until we are dead.


Whoever among them excelled because of a position or grace seemed even more humble and self-effacing than the others. If anyone happened to say something that displeased another, he would not rest until, with the greatest humility, he confessed his fault to that brother. – We cannot do great things, only small things with great love.


They gathered together out of desire, and were delighted to stay together; but they found separation hard, parting bitter. But truly obedient soldiers, they never dared to place anything before holy obedience, knowing nothing about distinguishing precepts. They almost ran headlong, to carry out what they were asked with no thought of contradicting it. – Treat people as they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of being. – Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you got.


Whatever they were ordered, they considered to be the Lord’s will. Thus it was pleasant and easy for them to fulfill everything. They eagerly asked not be sent to the lands of their origin so that they might observe the words of the Prophet: I have become an outcast to my brothers, a stranger to my mother’s sons. They always found themselves in the Spirit’s joy, because they did not possess the stuff of turmoil. – Holy people serve this world by reflecting in it the light of another.



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