March 2024 – Fr. Francis Sariego, OFM Cap – Monthly Spiritual Reflection

Saint Katharine Drexel Regional Fraternity Spiritual Assistant

St. Francis of Assisi Friary

1901 Prior Road

Wilmington, Delaware 19809

tel: (302) 798-1454      fax: (302) 798-3360      website: skdsfo     email:

Alleluia!  He is Risen!  He is Truly Risen!  Alleluia!

March 2024


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 forever.


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

Daily excerpts from Franciscan Sources and brief daily sayings from various spiritual writers

From Little Flowers of St. Francis


1 – The second consideration is touching the conversation of St. Francis with his companions upon the said mountain of Alvernia. And as to this it is to be known; that, when Messer Orlando had heard that St. Francis with three companions had gone up into the mountain of Alvernia to dwell there, he had very great joy thereof; and, on the following day, he set out with many of his retainers and came to visit St. Francis, bearing bread and wine and other victuals for him and for his companions; and, coming to the place where they were, he found them in prayer; and drawing nigh unto them he saluted them.

Carry the Cross patiently and in the end it will carry you.

2 – Then St. Francis rose up and with very great charity and joy welcomed Messer Orlando and his company; and, when he had thus done, he entered into conversation with him; and, after they had talked together and St. Francis had thanked him for the holy mountain which he had given him and for his coming there, he asked him that he would cause a poor little cell to be made at the foot of a very beautiful beech-tree, which was distant a stone’s throw from the Place of the friars, because that spot seemed to him most apt and to dedicate to prayer.

Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.

3 – And straightway Messer Orlando caused it to be built; and, when it was finished, because the evening drew nigh and it was time for them to depart, St. Francis, before they went, preached unto them a little: and, after he had preached and given them his blessing, Messer Orlando, since he could no longer stay, called St. Francis and his companions aside.

Life can be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.

4 – (Messer Orlando) said unto them: “My most dear friars, I do not want you, in this savage mountain, to suffer any bodily want, that might hinder you from spiritual things; and therefore I desire (and this I tell you once for all) that you do not hesitate to send to my house for all that you need; and, if you do not do so, I shall take it very ill of you”. And, having thus spoken, he departed with his company and returned to his castle.

To repent is to alter one’s way of looking at life.

5 – Then St. Francis made his companions sit down and instructed them concerning the manner of life which they, and whoever desires to live religiously in hermitages, must lead. And, among other things, he especially laid upon them the observance of holy poverty, saying: “Do not consider over the charitable offer of Messer Orlando too much, that in may not offend our lady and mistress, holy Poverty.

To repent is to take God’s point of view instead of my own.

6 – Be sure that the more we shun Poverty the more the world will shun us; but, if we shall closely embrace holy Poverty, the world will follow after us and will abundantly supply all our needs. God hath called us to this holy religion for the salvation of the world, and hath made this covenant between us and the world; that we should give to the world a good example and the world should provide for us in our necessities. Let us continue, therefore, in holy poverty, because that is the way of perfection and the pledge and earnest of eternal riches.

Feed your Faith and your doubts will starve to death.

7 – And, after many beautiful and devout words and admonishments touching this matter, he concluded, saying: “This is the manner of life which I lay upon myself and upon you; for I perceive that I draw nigh unto my death, and I am minded to be solitary, and to turn all my thoughts to God and to bewail my sins before Him; and Friar Leo, when it shall seem good to him, shall bring me a little bread and a little water; and in no way are you to permit any layman to come to me; but you speak to them for me”.

We become that which we think.

8 – And when he had said these words he gave them his blessing, and went to the cell beneath the beech-tree; and his companions abode in the Place, firmly resolved to observe the commandments of St. Francis. A few days later, as St. Francis was standing beside the said cell, considering the conformation of the mountain, and marveling at the huge chasms and clefts in those tremendous rocks, he betook himself to prayer; and then was it revealed to him of God that those wondrous fissures had been made miraculously in the hour of Christ’s Passion, when, even as the evangelist says, “the rocks were rent”.

Character may be manifest in great moments but it is made in small ones.

9 – And this, as God willed it, was singularly manifested in that mountain of Alvernia because it was pre-ordained that, in that place, St. Francis must renew the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, in his soul through love and pity, and in his body through the imprinting of the most holy stigmata.

The more we depend on God, the more dependable we find God is.

10 – Now, when he had received this revelation, St. Francis straightway shut himself up in his cell, and, closing his mind to all earthly things, disposed himself to await the mystery of this revelation. And from then on, because he continued always in prayer, St. Francis began, more often than befpre, to taste the sweetness of Divine contemplation; whereby he was often so rapt in God that he was seen by his companions uplifted from the ground and rapt from out himself.

Strong beliefs win strong people and make them stronger.

11 – In these raptures of contemplation, not only were things present and future revealed to him by God, but also the secret thoughts and desires of the friars, even as Friar Leo, his companion, on that day, proved in his own person. For the said Friar Leo being bothered by the devil with a very grievous temptation, not carnal but spiritual, there came upon him a great desire to have some holy thing written by the hand of St. Francis; for he thought that, if he had it, that temptation would leave him, either altogether or in part; nevertheless, albeit he had this desire, for shame and reverence he lacked the courage to speak thereof to St. Francis; but what Friar Leo did not tell him, was revealed to him by the Holy Ghost.

You can’t lead anyone further than you have gone yourself.

12 – Wherefore St. Francis called him unto him and made him bring inkhorn and pen and paper, and with his own hand wrote a laud of Christ, according to the desire of the friar, and at the end thereof made the sign of the Tau, and gave it to him saying: “Take this paper, dearest friar, and keep it diligently until your death. God bless you and preserve you from every temptation. Be not dismayed that you have temptations, for then do I hold you more my friend and a truer servant of God; and I love you the more the more you have fought against thy temptations. Truly I say to you that no man may call himself a perfect friend of God until he has passed through many temptations and tribulations.”

Love is the only force that can make things one without destroying them.

13 – And when Friar Leo had received this writing with very great devotion and faith, every temptation left him; and, returning to the Place, he related to his companions, with great joy, what grace God had done him as he received that writing from St. Francis; and he put it in a safe place and preserved it diligently; and therewith, in after-time, the friars wrought many miracles.

Not to decide is to decide.

14 – And from that hour the said Friar Leo commenced to scrutinize and to consider the life of St. Francis, with great purity and goodwill; and, by reason of his purity, he merited to behold how many times and often St. Francis was rapt in God and uplifted from the ground, sometimes for the space of three cubits, sometimes of four, and sometimes even to the height of the beech-tree; and sometimes he beheld him raised so high in the air, and surrounded by such radiance, that scarcely could he see him.

When character is lost, all is lost.

15 – And what did this simple friar do when St. Francis was so little raised above the ground that he could reach him? He went softly and embraced his feet and kissed them with tears, saying: “My God, have mercy upon me a sinner; and, for the merits of this holy man, grant me to find Thy grace.”

Let us be paths to be used and forgotten.

16 – And, one time among the rest, while he stood beneath the feet of St. Francis, when he was so far uplifted from the ground, that he could not touch him, he beheld a scroll inscribed with letters of gold descend from heaven and rest above the head of St. Francis, and upon this scroll these words were written: “QVI È LA GRAZIA DI DIO—Here is the grace of God; and, after that he had read it, he saw it return again to heaven.

It is never a question of faith or no faith, the question always is:

In what or whom do I put my faith?

17 – By reason of this grace of God which was in him, not only was St. Francis rapt in God through ecstatic contemplation, but also he was sometimes comforted by angelic visitations. Thus, one day, while St. Francis was thinking of his death and of the state of his Religion after his life should be ended, and was saying: “Lord God, what after my death shall become of Your mendicant family, which through Your goodness You have entrusted to me a sinner? Who shall console them? Who shall correct them? Who shall pray to You for them?”

When you consider anyone or situation hopeless,

you are slamming the door in the face of God.

18 – While he spoke these and such-like words, there appeared unto him the angel sent by God, who comforted him, saying: “I tell you in God’s name that the profession of your Order shall not fail until the Day of Judgment; and there shall be no sinner so great that, if he shall love your Order from his heart, he shall not find mercy with God; and no one who persecutes your Order maliciously shall live long. Moreover no one, in your Order, who is very wicked and who does not amend his life will be able to remain long in the Order.

An honest person is the noblest work of God.

19 – Therefore do not grieve if you see in your Religion certain friars who are not good, and who do not observe the Rule as they ought to do; neither think that for this reason your Religion will decline; for there will always be very many in the Order who will perfectly follow the life of the gospel of Christ and the purity of the Rule; and such as these, as soon as ever their earthly life is done, will go to the life eternal, without passing through purgatory at all; some will follow it, but not perfectly; and these, before they go to paradise, will be in purgatory: but the time of their purgation will be remitted to you by God.

–  We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together like fools.

20 – But for those who do not observe the Rule at all, do not be concerned, says God, because He does care about them.” And when the angel had spoken these words he departed, leaving St. Francis consoled and comforted. Thereafter, when the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady drew nigh, St. Francis sought to find a fitting spot, more secret and remote, wherein in greater solitude he might keep the forty days’ fast of St. Michael the Archangel, which commences on the said feast of the Assumption. Wherefore he called Friar Leo and spoke to him saying: “Go and stand at the doorway of the oratory of the Place of the friars; and, when I shall call you, do return to me”.

  • Walk one step toward God and God will run ten steps to you.

21 – Friar Leo went and stood in the said doorway; and St. Francis called loudly. Friar Leo, hearing him call, returned to him; and St. Francis said: “Son, let us search for another more secret spot where you shall not be able to hear me when I shall call you”; and, as they searched, they saw, on the southern side of the mountain, a lonely place exceedingly well suited for his purpose; but it was impossible to reach it, because there was in front of it a rocky chasm, horrible and fearful, and very great. Wherefore, with much labor they laid a tree across the same, after the fashion of a bridge, and passed over to the other side.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

22 – Then St. Francis sent for the other friars and told them how he purposed to keep the forty days’ fast of St. Michael in that solitary place; and therefore he asked them to make him a little cell there, so that they would not hear him crying out; and, when the little cell of St. Francis was finished, he said to them: “Go to your own Place and leave me here alone; for, with the help of God, I mean to keep this fast in this place without any trouble or disturbance of mind; and therefore let none of you come here to me, nor allow any layman to come to me. But you, Friar Leo, alone shall come to me, once a day, with a little bread and water, and at night once again, at the hour of matins; and then shall you come to me in silence; and, when you are at the head of the bridge, you shall say to me: Domine, labia mea aperies; and, if I answer you, pass over and come to the cell and we will say matins but if I do not answer you, leave immediately.”

Lord, help me never to do the right thing for the wrong reason.

23 – And this St. Francis said because he was sometimes so rapt in God that he heard not nor perceived anything with the bodily senses; and, when he had thus spoken, St. Francis gave them his blessing; and they returned to the Place. Now, the feast of the Assumption was approaching. St. Francis began the holy fast with very great abstinence and severity, mortifying his body and comforting his spirit with fervent prayers, vigils and flagellations; and in these prayers, ever growing from virtue to virtue, he prepared his mind to receive the Divine mysteries and the Divine splendors, and his body to endure the cruel assaults of the fiends, with whom often he fought bodily.

Life is a voyage that’s homeward bound.

24 – And among the other times was one when, on a day, as St. Francis came forth from his cell in fervor of spirit, and went to a place difficult to reach, to pray in the cavity of a hollow rock, where from down to the ground there is a very great height, and a horrible and fearful precipice; suddenly the devil came in terrible shape, with tempest and with very great uproar, and smote him to cast him down from there.

If your faith cannot move mountains, it ought to at least climb them.

25 – Wherefore, St. Francis, not having any place to flee to, and being unable to endure the passing cruel aspect of the demon, forthwith turned himself round, with his hands and face and with all his body against the rock, commending himself to God, and groping with his hands if, perhaps, he might find something to lay hold of. But, as it pleased God, who never allows His servants to be tempted beyond that which they can bear, suddenly the rock to which he clung miraculously hollowed itself to the form of his body and so received him into itself; and even as if he had put his hands and face into liquid wax, so was the shape of the face and hands of St. Francis imprinted upon the said rock; and, in this way, being helped of God, he escaped from the devil.

What great thing would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?

26 – But that which the devil could not then do to St. Francis, namely to cast him down from there, he did a good while after, when St. Francis was dead, to a dear and devout friar of his, who, in that same place, was adjusting certain pieces of wood to the end that it might be possible to go there without peril, for devotion toward St. Francis and toward the miracle which was wrought there; and one day the devil pushed him, when he had a great log on his head which he wished to set there, and caused him to fall down from there with that log on his head; but God, who had saved and preserved St. Francis from falling, through his merits saved and preserved that devout friar of his from the peril of the fall; for, as the friar fell, he commended himself with very great devotion and with a loud voice to St. Francis, who straightway appeared to him and took him and set him on the rocks below, without permitting him to suffer any shock or hurt.

We see things not as they are but as we are.

27 – Then, the friars, having heard his cry as he fell, and believing that he was dead and dashed to pieces, by reason of the great height from which he had fallen upon the sharp rocks, with great sorrow and weeping took the bier and went from the other side of the mountain to search for the fragments of his body and to bury them. Now, when they had already come down from the mountain, the friar who had fallen met them, with the log wherewith he had fallen upon his head; and he was singing the Te Deum laudamus, in a loud voice.

An empty meaningless faith may be worse than none.

28 – And, because the friars marveled greatly, he related unto them in order all the manner of his falling, and how St. Francis had rescued him from every peril. Then all the friars accompanied him to the place, singing most devoutly the psalm, Te Deum laudamus, and praising and thanking God together with St. Francis for the miracle which he had wrought in his friar.

They stand best who kneel most.

29 – St. Francis, then, continuing (as has been said) the fast, although he sustained many assaults of the devil, nevertheless he received many consolations from God, not only through angelic visitations but also through the birds of the air; for, during all the time of that fast, a hawk, which was building its nest hard by his cell, awakened him every night a little before matins, with its cry, and by beating itself against his cell, and departed not until he rose up to say matins; and, when St. Francis was more weary than usual, or weak or sick, this hawk, after the manner of a discreet and compassionate person, into uttered its cry later than it was wont to do. And so St. Francis took great joy of this clock, because the great diligence of the hawk drove away from him all sloth, and urged him to prayer: and besides this, sometimes, in the daytime, it would familiarly sit with him.

Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips and the world in your heart.

30 – Finally, touching this second consideration, St. Francis, being much weakened in body, both by reason of his great abstinence, and of the assaults of the devil, and desiring to comfort his body with the spiritual food of the soul, began to meditate on the immeasurable glory and joy of the blessed in the life eternal, and therewith he began -to pray God that He would grant him to taste a little of that joy.

There’s a hole in every heart that only God can fill.

31 – And, as he continued in this thought, an angel appeared to him there, with very great splendor, bearing a viol in his left hand and in his right a bow; and, while yet St. Francis was all amazed at the sight of him, the angel drew his bow once across the viol; and straightway St. Francis heard so sweet a melody that it filled all his soul with rapture and rendered it insensible to every bodily feeling; insomuch that, according to that which he afterward told his companions, he doubted whether, if the angel had drawn the bow back again across the viol, his soul must not have departed out of his body by reason of the intolerable sweetness. And this suffices for the second consideration.

Christ changed the dark door of death into the shinning gate of life.


Alleluia! He is Risen! He is Truly Risen! Alleluia!

We are an ‘Alleluia’ People.

Live His Resurrection – it is ours – Live In-With-For – The Risen Lord Jesus

Through The Cross To The Light



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