ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI


† † † On Love of God, Neighbor, Creatures, and Joy† † †

"Let us all love the Lord God with all [our] heart, all [our] soul, with all [our] mind and all [our] strength and with fortitude and with total understanding, with all of our powers, with every effort, every affection, every emotion, every desire, and every wish. He has given and gives to each one of us [our] whole body, [our] whole soul, and [our] whole life. He created us and redeemed us, and will save us by His mercy alone. He did and does every good thing for us [who are] miserable and wretched, rotten and foul-smelling, ungrateful and evil."

"Let us desire nothing else, let us wish for nothing else, let nothing else please us and cause us delight except our Creator and Redeemer and Savior, the one true God, Who is the Fullness of Good all good, every good, the true and supreme good, Who alone is Good merciful and gentle, delectable and sweet, Who alone is holy, just and true, holy and right, Who alone is kind, innocent, pure, from Whom and through Whom and in Whom is all pardon, all grace, all glory, of all the penitent and the just, of all the blessed who rejoice together in heaven. Therefore, let nothing hinder us nothing separate us or nothing come between us. Let all of us, wherever we are, in every place, at every hour, at every time of day, everyday and continually, believe truly and humbly, and keep in [our] heart, and love, honor, adore, service, praise and bless, glorify and exalt, magnify and give thanks to, the most high and supreme eternal God, Trinity and Unity, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Creator of all, Savior of all who believe in Him and hope in Him and love Him, Who is without beginning and without end, unchangeable, invisible, indescribable, ineffable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, blessed, worthy of praise, glorious, exalted on high, sublime, most high, gentle, loveable, delectable and totally desirable above all else forever. Amen."

"Love has cast me into a furnace, love has cast me into a furnace, I am cast into a furnace of love. My new Bridegroom, the loving Lamb, gave me the nuptial ring; then having cast me into prison, He cleft my heart, and my body fell to the ground. Those arrows, propelled by love, struck me and set me on fire. From peace He made war, and I am dying of sweetness. The darts rained so thick and fast, that I was all in agony. Then I took a buckler, but the shafts were so swift that it shielded me no more; they mangled my whole body, so strong was the arm that shot them. He shot them so powerfully, that I despaired of parrying them; and to escape death, I cried with all my might: 'Thou transgressest the laws of the camp.' But he only set up a new instrument of war, which overwhelmed me with fresh blows. So true was His aim, that He never missed. I was lying on the ground, unable to move my limbs. My whole body was broken, and I had no more sense than a man deceased; Deceased, not by a true death, but through excess of joy. Then regaining possession of my body, I felt so strong, that I could follow the guides who led me to the court of heaven. Returning to myself, I took up arms, and I made war upon Christ: I rode into His territory, and meeting Him, I engaged Him at once, and took my revenge on Him. Having had my revenge, I made a treaty with Him; for from the beginning Christ had loved me with a true love. And now my heart has become capable of the consolations of Christ."

"And let us refer all good to the most high and supreme lord God, and acknowledge that every good is His, and thank Him for everything, from Whom all good things come. And may He, the Highest and Supreme, Who alone is true God, have and be given and receive every honor and reverence, every praise and blessing, every thanks and glory, for every good is His, He Who alone is good."

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"It would be considered a theft on our part if we didn't give to someone in greater need than we are."

"I should be accounted a thief by the great Almsgiver were I to withhold that which I wear from him who has greater need of it than I."

"If we can enter the church day and night and implore God to hear our prayers, how careful we should be to hear and grant the petitions of our neighbors in need."

"Each one should confidently make known his need to the other, so that he might find what he needs and minister to him. And each one should love and care for his brother in all those things in which God will give him grace, as a mother loves and cares for her son."

"Let us, therefore, have charity and humility and give alms because it washes the stains of our sins from our clothes. For people lose everything they leave behind in this world; but they carry with them the rewards of charity and the alms which they gave, for which they will have a reward and a just retribution from the Lord."

"Where there is charity and wisdom there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor disturbance. Where there is poverty with joy, there is neither covetousness nor avarice. Where there is inner peace and meditation, there is neither anxiousness nor dissipation. Where there is fear of the Lord to guard the house, there the enemy cannot gain entry. Where there is mercy and discernment, there is neither excess nor hardness of heart."

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"A man truly loves his enemy when he is not offended by the injury done to himself, but for love of God feels burning sorrow for the sin his enemy has brought on his own soul, and proves his love in a practical way."

"Let us pay attention, all brothers, to what the Lord says: Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you, for our Lord Jesus Christ, Whose footprints we must follow, called His betrayer 'friend' and gave Himself willingly to those who crucified Him. Our friends, then, are all those who unjustly afflict upon us trials and ordeals, shame and injuries, sorrows and torments, martyrdom and death; we must love them greatly for we will posses eternal life because of what they bring upon us."

"But in the holy love which is God, I beg all brothers, both the minister and the others, as they overcome every obstacle and put aside every care and anxiety, to strive as best they can to serve, love, honor, and adore the Lord God with a clean heart and a pure mind, for this is what He desires above all things."

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"We are all creatures of one family."

"Those who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity will deal likewise with their fellow man."

"My little sisters, the birds, much bounden are ye unto God, your Creator, and always in every place ought ye to praise Him, for that He hath given you liberty to fly about everywhere, and hath also given you double and triple raiment; moreover He preserved your seed in the ark of Noah, that your race might not perish out of the world; still more are ye beholden to Him for the element of the air which He hath appointed for you; beyond all this, ye sow not, neither do you reap; and God feedeth you, and giveth you all the streams and fountains for your drink; the mountains and valleys for your refuge and the high trees whereon to make your nests; and because ye know not how to spin or sow, God clotheth you, you and your children; wherefore your Creator loveth you much, seeing that He hath bestowed on you so many benefits: and therefore, my little sisters, beware of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praises unto God."

"Blessed is he who expecteth nothing, for he shall enjoy everything."

"Oh, how glorious it is, how holy and great, to have a Father in heaven!"

"What then is true joy? I return from Perugia and arrive here in the dead of night; and it is winter time, muddy and so cold that icicles have formed on the edges of my habit and keep striking my legs, and blood flows from such wounds. And all covered with mud and cold, I come to the gate and after I have knocked and called for some time, a brother comes and asks: 'Who are you?' I answer: 'Brother Francis.' And he says: 'Go away; this is not a proper hour for going about; you may not come in.' And when I insist, he answers: 'Go away, you are a simple and a stupid person; we are so many and we have no need of you. You are certainly not coming to us at this hour!' And I stand again at the door and say: 'For the love of God, take me in tonight.' And he answers: 'I will not, Go to the Crosiers' place and ask there.' I tell you this: If I had patience and did not become upset, there would be true joy in this and true virtue and the salvation of the soul.'"

To the Poor Clares: "God is the sovereign Master, the Master of excellence. A melancholy and frowning face is out of place in His service."

"Let those who belong to the devil hang their heads - we ought to be glad and rejoice in the Lord. Let the Brothers take care that they do not present the appearance of hypocrites, with dark and cast down mien. But that they show themselves glad in the Lord, cheerful and worthy of love, and agreeable."


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