Monday, October 4, 2010

Today is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi!!

So, today is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. I absolutely love this saint and not only because he loved animals. I feel as if Francis lived out the gospel better than anybody. Today, I think I’ll just post two quotes from him that have truly inspired me and I’ll write a little reflection after each one. I hope they inspire you as well.

“My brothers, God called me to walk in the way of humility and showed me the way of simplicity. I do not want to hear any mention of the rule of St Augustine, of St Bernard or of St Benedict. The Lord has told me that he wanted to make a new fool of me in the world, and God does not want to lead us by any other knowledge than that.”

The last line has sometimes been translated: "He told me I am to be a new kind of fool in this world.” I wish I had enough nerves to sign all my emails with this quote because to be a practicing Christian in this day and age is to be a fool. And somebody like Francis knew this better than anyone else. Even in the Middle Ages when everyone it seems was Christian, Francis was mocked by many, including his own brothers. But Francis knew what God had called him to do. To follow God’s calling is not always rational by the world’s standards. I’m thinking of a ton of people in the Bible like Moses, Abraham, and Paul who were called to do the absurd.

“Above all the graces and all the gifts of the Holy Spirit which Christ grants to his friends, is the grace of overcoming self, and accepting willingly, out of love for Christ, all suffering, injury, discomfort and contempt; for in all other gifts of God we cannot glory, seeing they proceed not from ourselves but from God, according to the words of the Apostle, ‘What hast thou that thou has not received from God? and if thou hast received it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?’ But in the cross of tribulation and affliction we may glory, because, as the Apostle says again, ‘I will not glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Amen.”

This quote is the end of a long discourse between St. Francis and Brother Leo over the meaning of true joy. I posted a few months ago chapter 8 of the Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi. Here is the link:

These words from this great saint never cease to render me speechless. Anyone could have foreseen Francis saying that true joy comes from suffering. Yes. But his explanation for this belief is so profound. We cannot “glory” over the good things of the world because all good things come from above, but in patiently suffering, we make the choice to follow Christ even if it would be easier to curse and deny him. All good things we have in life are gifts, blessings that we do not deserve, but to glorify God even in the midst of our suffering is a choice we alone can make.


  1. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. Beautiful!

    Please know that I am praying for you before our Eucharistic Lord every day.

    Pace e bene!

  2. Thanks for praying for me =) God Bless!!