I just finished reading an interesting biography on St. Francis of Assisi called The Road to Assisi that was written by Paul Sebatier, a French protestant. I really enjoyed this biography because it focused on the humanity of St. Francis while affirming his miracles. It is interesting to see how the Franciscans have evolved over time especially in relation to issues concerning poverty. St. Francis is my favorite saint. Often, St. Francis is portrayed as a mythical being rather than a human, and because of that, before reading about his ministry, I never was able to relate with him. He was not a saint I could try to live like because I felt that it was impossible to do so. After reading this biographical account I know deeply why I love this saint. Of course, St. Francis' miracle accounts are real, but I see in him the ideal Christian, the ideal Jesus-follower, the ideal disciple. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in St. Francis. And while I am talking about St. Francis, I think it will be a good idea to post two of his most famous prayers:
The Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
The Canticle of Brother Sun
Most High, all powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, the honor,
and all blessing.
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no man is worthy to mention Your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praise be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon
and the stars, in heaven you formed them
clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather through which
You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night and he is beautiful
and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Praised be You, my Lord,
through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord,
through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no living man 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.