March 2023 Thoughts for the Day by Father Francis Sariego, O.F.M. Cap

March 2023

Our Father most holy: Our Creator, Redeemer, Consoler, and Savior…

You, Lord, are Supreme Good, the eternal Good, from Whom all good comes…

Holy be your Name…That You may rule in us through Your grace…

Your will be done…that we may love You…with our whole heart…soul…and mind…

Give us this day…Your own beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Forgive us…through Your ineffable mercy…and make us, Lord, forgive completely.

And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil.



(Prayer Inspired by the Our Father – abbreviated)


(Tree of the Crucified)

Chapter Five


[The Angel of the Sixth Seal]



Let us return to the seraphic Francis, who received such authentication from the seraphic apparition of Jesus that we must regard him as “the angel of the sixth age.” For what John writes to the angel of Philadelphia, in the third chapter of the Apocalypse, befits him and his descendants. – Trust, like the soul, never returns once it is gone.


Now, Philadelphia is interpreted as “preserving steady attachment to the Lord.” Oh, how accurately this holy Order and its most holy father match this Philadelphia and its angel! – God is faithful. Serve Him faithfully.


For here is preserved the heritage of the life of Christ and a complete attachment to His cross. All that is said to the angel is most fittingly applied to Francis, although there is no time to expound everything. – Better to suffer wrong than to do it.


However, let us take his triumphant victory. It is said: He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. – When a train goes through a tunnel and gets dark, you don’t throw away your ticket and get off. You sit still and trust the engineer.


When Jesus, here and elsewhere, speaks of “my God,” or says something similar, he is doing so on behalf of His humanity only, in which He is subject to the Father, to His own divine Person, and to the Holy Spirit, as to His God of whom He is the purest worshipper. – The one who trusts in himself gets lost.


It is in view of the prize given for the victory He speaks of, that He has in mind Francis as the one who proves victorious, for he is the celebrated victor of whom it is sung that “he overcomes the world and sin, having already conquered himself.” – Trust in God and you can do all things.


The text, therefore, refers to two things about that prize: the first is the victor, likened to a pillar, gaining access to the temple; the second is what is written on that pillar. – God is full of compassion and never fails to help those who trust in Him.

[The Mystical Temple of God]



The seraphic soul thus enters into God, after the manner of a pillar firm and straight that is brought in as one of the roof’s supports. Commonly it would be either round or quadrilateral, and is enclosed in the circular space around the inside of the temple. – It does not matter how long one lives, but how well.


If, however, temple was understood as a material church, then pillars would support and adorn the temple and stand in the middle of it. Francis, and any of his sons, too, stand in this manner in the holy Order and in the Church of God – The ultimate evil is to leave the company of the living before you die.


Just as they stand in their proper manner in the celestial court, where higher ranks are supportive of the lower, and their humble simplicity and simple spirituality relate to the lower, less united, more dispersed ranks, as the center to a circle’s circumference, or spirit to body. – Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity.


And the character of the temple shows this, in occupying a greater amount of space than a pillar. As the foundation of the Church on the first Apostles was in faith, so in these [later apostles] is the Church built up and her final perfect state of high contemplation underpinned. – Life levels all men; death reveals the eminent.


For this reason is it said in Francis’s regard: Never shall he go out of it. Neither apostasy nor any earthly preoccupation would draw him away from this temple which embraces the love of poverty most high, something he would never want to go out of by any means. – Death is the great adventure before which all other experiences pale in insignificance.


Now, regarding what the text says is inscribed on him, know that in a soul like his, three things are written. The first is the most lucid vision and delightful contemplation of the three Persons of the Divinity and of the beatific glory they enjoy together. – Live in such a way so that when you die even the undertaker will be sorry.


This is indicated by: I will write on him the name of my God. For this is how the glory of God enters the soul and makes it supremely happy; it is rejoicing over the happiness of God. – True holiness consists in doing God’s will with a smile.


The second inscription is a perfect affinity with all in God’s City and the company of the saints, whether on life’s journey or hereafter . . . Now this city is said to come down from God out of heaven; for the full gladness of the saints springs from the immensity of God, signified by heaven, although this be inferior to God, who is infinite. – May the outward and inward person be as one.


In another sense, it comes down from heaven through humility, not only with respect to God, but even with respect to its special place in heaven, from which it comes down, regarding itself as unworthy. – Do not try to be a person of success but rather one of value.


As it is here that the sixth status reform occurs, the new Jerusalem signifies this stage’s peaceful contemplation of God and its renovation of the world through a thorough disdain for worldly things; hence it is called new, a fresh gift given by God. And this City’s name can especially be said to be inscribed on Francis and on men like him, since with them all the renewal is inaugurated, established and sustained. – To be biblically holy is to face up to the totality of life, in the power of the Cross.


The third inscription is the contemplation of Christ in His humanity and as Redeemer and Mediator. This is indicated by and my own new name; called new, because of the unique existence of His humanity in a divine Person, and also because in Him and through Him consists the complete renewal of the elect. – The more we discover ourselves the way we truly are, the more we feel the need of God, and the more He reveals himself.


And notice how his name is mentioned lastly: this is to show the complete circuit of contemplation, descending from God into the City of the saints and returning in Christ Jesus, to rest in Him in an embrace of delight. – The glory of God is man alive, supremely in Christ.


Thus, is completed a glorious circle, starting out from God, moving through the saints, into the God-Man, the Holy of holies. Observe now how to the sixth status is given an extraordinarily clear knowledge of God and of his entire City, and an extraordinary opening into and knowledge of the work of our redemption and of Christ Jesus. – To know God and to live are one and the same thing.


But it is upon this blessed man, Francis, that the name of God the Father is written, because he is being made the spiritual father of a worldwide religious Order. The name of the new Jerusalem is also inscribed on him, his soul being made worthy, by the sweetness of love, to be called Christ’s spouse and gracious mother, bringing forth Jesus as offspring. – With God we should feel like a child in its mother’s arms.


Christ Jesus’ new name is inscribed on him, when the figure of the Crucified is carved, not only into his soul, but on his body. Thus, of all Christ’s members, among whom he holds primacy, he, by antonamasia, is called “anointed.” Of such it is said, Do not touch those I have anointed. – The Eucharist is the silence of God, weakness of God.


Observe also the orderly manner in which our text treats of the endowments given the holy father on this sacred mountain. The first is a complete conquest of the world and of himself. The second is a foundational initiation into a contemplation that is joyous, deep, and stable. – A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.


The third is the promised expansion of flawless descendants. The fourth is that splendid engraving of the wounds and name of Christ crucified. The first is referred to by He who conquers: he fully overcame himself and the world, as he fasted and prayed in this bleak and lonely place. The second is indicated by, I will make him a pillar . . . the name of my God: – Invite the Holy Spirit into your heart and into your home.


Francis was placed upon the firmest of rocks, as a new pillar in the temple of God—even bodily and quite literally, here on this sacred mountain. And in that sublime apparition of Christ he was wonderfully enlightened with a knowledge of God and was confirmed for ever in the state of unifying grace and poverty. – None can be eternally united who have not died for each other.


For this reason, we read, he felt happy at the gracious way Christ, in the form of the Seraph, looked upon him. He himself added that the One who appeared to him told him things which he would never reveal to anyone as long as he lived. – Man cannot break the laws of God, he can only break himself against them.


To be sure, these concerned great things of a prophetic nature which are not for full hearing by human ears. The third of the endowments is referred to in and the name of the city, etc. It was then he was promised that his Order would endure to the end of the world, and then also was revealed to him the death and resurrection of his Rule. – Jesus was himself the one convincing and permanent miracle.


And one astonishing thing came to my own ears, which with no brashness I aver, but in all seriousness shall recount for those sincerely interested. What I heard from the holy man Brother Conrad, and from several others who are trustworthy, was that the blessed Francis, after his glorification in heaven, revealed to the holy brother Leo—and to some others as well, they say—that in the apparition Christ foretold to him the tribulations his foundation and the Church would face, the rejection and corruption of his Rule, and how greatly upset the minds of spiritual men, and of those who came after them, would be at this universal assault on the Rule. – God will do nothing without man. If God works a miracle, he works it through man.


And that therefore, for their comforting and enlightenment He, Jesus, out of his extreme goodness, would raise him up again, in a glorified body, and cause him to appear visibly to those aforesaid children of his. The outcome of this is something that may be awaited with devotion, so long as it is not avowed with indiscretion. – The person who cannot wonder is a person who will not see.


However, this is where devotion is strongly supported by reasoned argument. For Francis was so remarkably like Christ Jesus in respect of His passion, that he might also, more than others, resemble Him in an anticipated resurrection. – Let each day and night not pass without recognizing with gratitude what the Lord has done.


Above all, His being raised would strengthen the fidelity and sincerity required for the gospel life, which He wished to renew in Francis. That gospel life suffered under an unregenerate Church, as shall be shown further on, in the same ways that the Person of Christ suffered under the Synagogue; and therefore, it would revive if Francis were raised again. – The road to heaven is made up of resolution made, broken, and renewed.



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