Thoughts for the day – November 2022 – by Father Francis Sariego, OFM Cap

November 2022 

 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)  

November celebrates Life Everlasting of those in God=s Glory and those in God=s Mercy 


Sayings of the Companions of Blessed Francis 

An Old Legend (Legenda Vetus) 



Saint Francis predicted the following before the Lord of Ostia and many brothers, and often preached this to the people, as the companions who heard it, Brother Bernard, Brother Leo, and Brother Angelo, have testified. His brothers, by the working of evil spirits, would turn aside from the way of holy simplicity and highest poverty. They would receive money, legacies, and bequests. Abandoning poor little solitary places, they would build sumptuous places in towns and cities, which would not demonstrate poverty, but the luxury of the world of lords and princes. – When the Church is different from the world then it will attract it

And, with great craftiness and human prudence, they would seek and receive from the Church and the Supreme Pontiffs privileges that would not only mitigate but even destroy the purity of their promised rule and life, revealed to them by Christ. Equipped with these, in their pride they will start quarrels and inflict harm not only on people of the world but also on the clergy and religious. They will dig the pit into which they will finally fall, and sow the seed from which many scandals will be reaped. – Be humble and self-forgetting, but never apologize for the Gospel

And Christ will send them one worthy of their worth, not a shepherd but a destroyer, who will mete out retribution to them according to their conniving and striving, and will set in motion a great trial, as they deserve, so that once punished by God’s just judgment they may return, humbled, to the state of their vocation. – Believing and living the Gospel is the beginning of a social revolution

Thus they will be completely uprooted from the life-giving and salvific way of living that they promised in the Lord’s presence to observe until the end. The truth of the preachers will be silent in practice or trodden underfoot, and thus the holiness of those professing it will be held in contempt. And those who fervently cling to piety will endure countless persecutions. – Joy is the serious business of heaven

At that time, he used to say, there will be such great insults and upheaval of demons and wicked humans against those walking in this way that, abandoning all, they will seek to reach deserted and solitary places and cross over to be among the unbelievers. Scattered, they will take back secular clothing, leading a pilgrim’s wandering life, or hide in the homes of the faithful, amidst innumerable calumnies and insults, and will endure suffering and death. – Sour godliness is the devil’s religion

And, he would say, blessed is he who then will be able to find a faithful companion, since those persecuting them, driven by evil spirits, will say that it is a great service to God to wipe out such harmful people from the face of the earth. – Happiness is a wonderful commodity, the more you give, the more you have. 



When the brothers are certain and have learned from experience that in the places where they are staying they cannot observe the Rule according to a pure intention and true uprightness because of the bad habits practiced in the places, inevitably leading, for different reasons, to breaking the Rule, the brothers can and must have recourse to the ministers. As Brother Leo testifies, who was present, along with Brother Domini, when Saint Francis delivered the second Rule to the Lord Pope Honorius for confirmation at Christ’s command, the Supreme Pontiff carefully examined everything contained in the Rule. – Contentment consists not in great wealth, but in few wants

He said to Blessed Francis: “Blessed is he who, strengthened by the grace of God, will observe this Rule happily and devotedly, for all the things written in it are holy and Catholic and perfect. However there are problems with these words: “they can and should have recourse to their ministers. Let the ministers, moreover, be bound by obedience to permit them, kindly and generously, their request. If they refuse to do this, the brothers themselves have the permission and obedience to observe it literally, because all, both ministers and subjects, must be subject to the Rule.- The most evident sign of wisdom is cheerfulness.  

These could be the occasion of ruin and create the stain of division and scandal in the religion for brothers not fully grounded in the love of virtue. Therefore I want those words changed in such a way that every occasion of danger and division may be removed from the brothers and the religion.” – The full value of joy requires someone to share it with


Blessed Francis answered, “It was not I but Christ who put these words in the Rule. He knows best what is useful and necessary for the salvation of souls and of the brothers, and for the good state and preservation of the religion. All that will happen in the future to the religion and to the Church is clear and present to Him. I must not and cannot change the words of Christ. – Bring sunshine to another and you cannot keep it from yourself. 


It will happen that the ministers and others in authority in the religion will cause many bitter tribulations for those who wish to observe the Rule faithfully and literally. Therefore, since it is the will and obedience of Christ that this Rule and life be understood literally, so it must be your will and obedience that this be done and be written in the Rule.” – The sweet mark of a Christian is not faith or even love, but joy


Then the Pope said to him, “I will do this in such a way that, keeping the full sense of the words, I will modify the letter of the Rule in this passage, in such a way that the ministers will understand they are obliged to do what Christ wills and the Rule commands, and the brothers will understand they have the freedom to observe the Rule purely and simply. – Joy is not the absence of pain, but the awareness of God’s loving presence within you


This will provide no occasion, to those who frequently look for one, to transgress the Rule under the pretext of observing it.” Therefore the pope changed the words of that clause, as they now stand in the Rule. – A happy family is but an earlier heaven




This is proved by the answer he gave at Saint Mary of the Angels to that brother from Germany, a master of theology, who said to Brother Francis with great reverence: “I promised firmly to observe the Gospel and the Rule which Christ has spoken through you, until the end, simply and faithfully, with the help of His grace. But one favor I ask of you. If in my lifetime the brothers fall as far away from the pure observance of the Rule as you predict through the Holy Spirit, I ask by your obedience that I may withdraw from those who do not observe it, alone or with some brothers who wish to observe it purely.” – Every charitable act is a revelation of God. 


Hearing these things, Blessed Francis was overjoyed and, blessing him, said, “Know that what you asked is granted to you, by Christ and by me.” – Learn to do the Father’s Will and you will have fully realized your vocation on earth. 


And he placed his right hand on his head, saying to him: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedek.” And Blessed Francis added that all the promises made to him by Christ would, in the end, be fulfilled in those who would strive to observe the Rule simply, to the letter, and without glosses and with joy. – Our vocation is to live in the Spirit. 





Saint Francis also predicted a very great trial of his brothers that was to come because of the love of learning, and that a violent wind from the desert would arise, and would strike the four corners and completely tear down the house of his first-born offspring, and destroy all his children and daughters. – The service that counts is the service that costs. 


And, that he might avoid the danger of the ruin of souls, like another Rechab, he sent his own to lead a wandering life: not to build palaces; not to live in the midst of cities; not to plant the vineyards of various studies, nor drink the wine of secular knowledge and worldly philosophy but, enlivened by the warmth of the Holy Spirit, placed as a law for his sons the deeds of the most perfect life of Christ. – True freedom for people is what air is for the birds


But those wise ones, mentioned above, put up, as he said, the tents of those great harlots, and brought their sons inside, living luxuriously from the pay of the harlots. And the simplicity they promised will be considered laughable, corruptible, and despised in their eyes. – God forces no one. Love cannot compel


They will become bold and presumptuous, and will glory in human praise, and will trust in the name of learning and activity or prudence, and at that time constant conversion of heart will be very bitter and intolerable. – To serve God is a matter of perfect freedom. 





One day, while Blessed Francis was praying in the place of Saint Mary of the Angels, an angel appeared to him in an amazing form and appearance: the head was gold, arms and chest silver, stomach bronze, feet of iron, and clay; the shoulders covered with vile and rough sackcloth, and it showed it was rather ashamed of that sackcloth covering. – We find freedom when we find God. 


He was amazed at seeing this, and the angel said to him: “Why do you gawk and gaze? This form which you see signifies the beginning, development, and end which your religion will have, until the time it goes into labor, the time of the reform of the life of Christ and of the state of the Church. – Life is filled with meaning as soon as Jesus enters into it


The golden head is you, with all your companions who are filled with the love of God and carry Christ and His death in your soul and body. – What is important is not what people think of me but what they think of Jesus because of me. 


But those who will come after you, having put aside prayer, will turn to knowledge which inflates eagerness for lectures and a multitude of books under the pretext of their neighbor’s edification and the salvation of souls. – It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend


And because they prefer verbs to virtues, and science to sanctity, they will remain cold within and devoid of charity, having changed gold into cold and heavy silver. – Spirituality really means the Holy Spirit is at work. 


They will pant for praises and honors, wishing, not to be better than others, but to appear so. Thus, to great loss, like bad merchants, they will exchange the silver of eloquence and learning for a hypocritical simulation in bronze, producing their works in order to get human praise, and always for a good profit. – A brave person risks his life but not his conscience


But their simulation and hypocrisy cannot be concealed for long; and they will lose their worth in the eyes of those who praised them, and when they sense this they will start to become angry and indignant against those they once tried so hard to please, eagerly seeking opportunities to persecute and afflict those who have stopped revering and complimenting them. – One of the worse things in the world is not sin, but the denial of sin by a false conscience. 


In this way ringing bronze will be transformed into hard and harsh iron, and they will be fragile, and impatient like tile. “This cheap, rough and short sackcloth with which I cover my shoulders is the cheapness and austerity of poverty which the brothers promised the Lord they would wear proudly. – Growth begins when we start to accept our own weakness 


But abandoning it, they will cling to every kind of relaxation concerning tunics, books, and other things. And they will rejoice so inanely before people in the name and reputation of poverty, but in deeds and behavior will be ashamed of it, and will persecute it among themselves and in others; therefore I show that I wear this habit with deep shame.” – Mature people are made not out of good times but out of bad ones.  


And this is one of the reasons why it is said pointedly in the Rule that all the brothers should wear cheap clothing, so that the brothers who refuse to do this and prohibit doing this may have no excuse in their consciences. – God is faithful, and if we serve him faithfully, he will provide for our needs. 


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