2015 - "Three Little Words" by Terry Ferguson
The Fruit of the Spirit
2016 - "Through the Year with Francis of Assisi"
by Murray Bodo
2017 - Thanks-Living

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 31

The Mystical Vision of St. Clare

"The Lady Clare said that once she had had a vision in which she seemed to be carrying a jug of hot water and a hand towel to St. Francis.  And she was climbing a high stairway, but it was easy going, as if she were walking on level ground.  And when she reached St. Francis, he bared the nipple of his breast and said to the Virgin Clare, 'Come, take, and drink.'  And when she had done so, St. Francis instructed her to drink a second time.  This she did, and what she drank was so sweet and delightful that she could not find words to describe it.  And when she drew away.  St. Francis's nipple remained between her lips.  And she took it from her mouth with her hand, and it seemed to be gold so clear and bright that she saw her own reflection in it as in a mirror."  --Process of Canonization of St. Clare, Testimony of Sister Philippa, article 29

I found this interpretation of Clare's vision:

Murray Bodo's treatment of Francis' life and teachings contains a quote from a letter from Clare to Agnes of Prague which may explain the symbolism behind Clare's seeing herself in Francis' breast as if in a mirror:
Because the vision of Christ is the splendor of eternal glory, the radiance of eternal light and the mirror without stain, look upon that mirror each day, O queen and spouse of Jesus Christ, and continually study your countenance within it, so that you may clothe yourself inside and out with beautiful robes and cover yourself with the flowers and garments of all the virtues, as becomes the daughter and most chaste bride of the Most High King. Indeed blessed poverty, holy humility, and ineffable charity are reflected in that mirror, ... . (46)
Clare saw Christ in Francis' breast and herself in Christ. Bodo described the Clare/Francis relationship in these words:  
Her relationship with Francis was at first that of a spiritual daughter and though she continued all her life to call him 'our holy Father Francis,' she became more than a daughter. Clare emerges as his most faithful companion, the most complete embodiment of the dream and way of life that Francis received from the Lord. She became his partner, the feminine counterpart and complement to the gospel man who follows radically in the footsteps of Christ. (47)

Monday, May 30, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 30

The Pure of Heart

"A devout and powerful king sent two messengers, one after another, to his queen.  The first returned and related the queen's reply without saying a word about the queen; he had wisely averted his eyes and did not look upon the queen.  The other also returned, and after a rather brief message, he embarked upon a long eulogy to the queen's beauty, 'Indeed, sire,' he concluded, 'I have seen a most beautiful woman; happy is he who can enjoy her!'  But the king answered him:  'Unworthy servant, you've been sliding your filthy glances over my queen!  It is clear that you'd like to possess what your eyes have violated.'  Then he called back the first messenger and said to him, 'How did the queen seem to you?'  But the messenger answered, 'I don't really have a very clear picture of her, sire, except that she listened willingly and with patience.'  And the king, 'Did she strike you as a beautiful woman?''  'Sire,' the messenger replied, 'that is for you to notice.  I only relate the messages I receive.'  The king then concluded, 'You have chaste eyes; you will be pure, even in my apartments.  And it is there you will now serve and share in my own comforts.  But as for this lecher, get him out of my palace, lest he defile my bridal chamber.'  'Who then,' St. Francis said, 'would not be afraid to stare at a bride of Christ?'"  --Mirror of Perfection, 86

We must never forget that God looks at our hearts to see what our intentions and motivations are.  Being pure of heart comes from having a pure relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 29

Brother Jacoba

"When St. Francis died, his friend Lady Jacoba, whom he always affectionately called Brother Jacoba, was led to him.  Francis's vicar placed the body of Francis in her arms and said, 'Here, hold now in death him whom you loved in life!'  But she, her hot tears falling upon his body, cried aloud and sighed, embracing and kissing him and brushing aside her veil so that she could see him unimpeded.  She looked upon that precious vessel in which was hidden an even more precious treasure, the five pearls of the wounds of Christ.  In awe she contemplated Francis's body upon which God had sculpted his own wounds into a masterpiece, the wonder of the whole world.  And Lady Jacoba, filled with extraordinary joy, drew new life from looking upon her dead friend."  --Celano, Treatise on the Miracles, 39

For us who grieve over a lost one, we can take comfort in knowing they are with the Lord.  Even if we do not know whether they believed before they died, we can cling to the hope that in their heart they did.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 28

A Lamb for Lady Jacoba

"Once when St. Francis was in Rome, he had with him a little lamb which he kept out of devotion to Christ, the Beloved Lamb.  And when he was about to leave, he gave it to his friend, the noble Lady Jaoba dei Settesoli, to keep in her house.  Afterward, the lamb, as if instructed by Francis in the things of the spirit, always accompanied Lady Jacoba to church and stayed there with her, and would not return until she did.  In the morning, if the lady was late in rising, the lamb would nudge her and wake her with his bleats, urging her by his antics to get to church.  Lady Jacoba, on her part, grew quite fond of the lamb who had been Francis's disciple and was now himself a master of devotion."  --St. Bonaventure, Major Life, 8:7

Animals are more attuned to the unseen, unheard things around us, and because they lack pride, are more open to being led by the Spirit to do His bidding.  I think this is one reason we are attracted to animals.  They represent what we long to experience--a full surrender to God--to be fully dependent on Him and fully available to do His will.

Friday, May 27, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 27

St. Francis and the Three Poor Women

"Once when St. Francis was on the road, three poor women suddenly appeared out of nowhere.  They were so similar in stature, age, and appearance that you would think a threefold matter had become perfect in a single form.  Then as St. Francis approached them, they bowed reverently and saluted him with a new name:  'Welcome, Lady Poverty.'  Then the saint was filled with indescribable joy, because there was nothing he would rather have others call him than what these women had decided upon.  And because he thought these were but three poor women, he turned to the physician who was accompanying him and said, 'I ask you, for the love of God, to give me something to give thee poor women.'  The doctor immediately took out some money, got down from his horse, and gave something to each of the women.  After that St. Francis and his brothers and the physician went on their way.  But then, after going only a short distance, they turned around saw nothing of the women--the plain was completely empty.  They were all stunned and realized that what had happened was a miracle, for they who'd flown away more swiftly than birds were not women."  --Celano, Second Life, 93

It is no surprise that Francis was visited in this way for he was one to be open to such occurrences. We, too, must be open and expecting, if we are to have miracles.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 26

The Reason for St. Francis's Reverence for Women

"Once St. Francis was giving a mother and her daughter the comfort of the word of God.  All the while he spoke, he never looked at them, and so when they left, his companion said to him, 'Father, that holy woman and her virgin daughter came to you with such devotion; why didn't you look at them?'  But the holy father answered, 'Who would not be afraid to look upon a bride of Christ?  A whole sermon was preached with my eyes and face when they looked at me, but not I at them.'  --Celano, Second Life, 114

Our body language speaks volumes.  Years ago my pastor spoke on the topic of hospitality and convicted me so that I stopped wearing a watch.  I realized that I had a habit of looking at my watch when listening to people whose conversation did not hold my interest.  By maintaining eye contact with people we are conversing with we show them we care about what they are saying--whether or not we are interested.  In some cultures it might not be appropriate to maintain eye contact, so we must be sensitive to what our body language is saying.  For Francis he showed his respect by keeping his eyes averted.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 25

When the Roses Bloom

"One Day when St. Clare and St. Francis were walking from Spello to Assisi, the had great unrest in their hearts.  For on their way they had entered a house, where they had asked for and been given a little bread and water.  While they were there, they had drawn looks of malice from the people, and were forced to endure all sorts of whispering, with jokes and veiled insinuations.  So they went on their way in silence.  It was the cold season of the year, and the land all around was covered with snow.  Soon the horizon began to grow dark.  Then Francis said:  'Did you understand what the people were saying about us?'  Clare gave no answer.  Her heart contracted as if pressed by pincers, and she felt close to tears.  'It's time to part,' Francis said finally.  Then Clare fell on her knees in the middle of the road.  After a while she got hold of herself, stood up, and went on with her head lowered, leaving Francis behind. The road led through a forest.  All at once she lost the strength to leave him like this, without hope or comfort, without a word of farewell.  She waited.  'When will we see each other again?'  'In summer when the roses bloom.'  Then something wonderful happened.  All of a sudden it seemed to both of them as if there were countless roses all around--on the branches of the juniper bushes and on the frost-covered hedges.  Recovering from her astonishment Clare rushed up, plucked a bunch of roses, and laid them in Francis's hands.  From that day on St. Clare and St. Francis were never separated again."  --An old Franciscan legend

Like many stories surrounding historical figures, they cannot not be authenticated and therefore labeled "legends."  Thankfully, the stories from the four Gospels of the New Testament can be authenticated by comparing them to one another.  God knew our penchant for embellishing stories so He made sure to give us no reason to label the New Testament Gospel a legend.  We are even warned through John in Revelation 22:18 not to add to the prophecies revealed to him.  We must apply this warning to all of God's revealed truth.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 24

St. Francis and St. Clare

"It happened once that St. Francis and Brother Leo went to Siena together, and St. Francis was sad because the people had shown them so little courtesy.  He began to think of his dear Assisi where he had left his spiritual sons and his beloved daughter in God, St. Clare.  He knew how much she was suffering because of her devotion to holy poverty, and he feared that she might become ill.  Weighed down by these thoughts, he felt he couldn't walk amy farther when he and his companion got to the place where the road turns into the hill country.  He dragged himself to a well and for a long time just stood looking down into the clear water.  Then he lifted his head and said joyfully to Brother Leo:  'Brother Leo, little lamb of God, what do you think I've been looking at in the water of the well?'  'The moon that is reflected there,' replied Brother Leo.  'No, Brother Leo, not Sister Moon, but, through the Lord's mercy, I've been looking at the true face of our sister, Lady Clare.  Her countenance is so pure and full of holy joy that all my fears are gone.  I know now that she has been given that perfect joy which God gives his dear ones by pouring upon them the treasures of holy poverty.'"  --From a popular Franciscan legend

Today would have been my mother's 95th birthday, but she passed on 21 years ago after spending her last year with me as her caretaker.  During those months I watched her struggle with her illness and her resulting dependence on me.  She kept planning to return to her apartment in Florida--even kept it for 6 months when we all knew she would never be able to return.  Her lack of acceptance of her condition added to my own struggles of caring for her while caring for my children.  It was only at the very end that she was finally at peace about her situation.  Knowing that she was ready to be with the Lord gave me a joy I could not have otherwise experienced, just as St. Francis experienced concerning St. Clare.

Monday, May 23, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 23

St. Francis and St. Clare at the River

"One day it happened that Francis and Clare were walking on opposite sides of a river in flood.  When Francis saw Clare, he tried to cross the River to her, but the powerful, swirling current prevented him.  He was troubled because dangerous water kept him from joining this sister after his own spirit.  Then suddenly Clare threw her mantle on the water and, stepping on it, walked across the river in an instant.  Blessed Francis, in awe and devotion, then said, 'See, Lady Clare, you are more in favor with God than I am.'"  --A Folk story of the country people of Rocca Sant'Angelo, transcribed by Arnaldo Fortini in Nova Vita di San Francesco

To be one in the Spirit with fellow believers is always a blessing.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 22

St. Francis Addresses the Poor Ladies of San Damiano

"Since by divine inspiration you have made yourselves daughters and handmaids of the Most High King, the Father of Heaven, and have embraced the Holy Spirit as your spouse, choosing to live according to the perfection of the Holy Gospel, I resolve and promise that personally and through my brothers I will always have the same special care and solicitude for you as I have for them."  --Rule of St. Clare, Chapter VI

We are admonished in scripture to care for one another, especially within in the Body of Christ.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 21

St. Clare's Image of the Mirror

"Because the vision of Christ is the splendor of eternal glory, the radiance of eternal light and the mirror without stain, look upon that mirror each day, O queen and spouse of Jesus Christ, and continually study your countenance within it, so that you may clothe yourself inside and out with beautiful robes and cover yourself with the flowers and garments of all the virtues, as becomes the daughter and most chaste bride of the Most High King.  Indeed, blessed poverty, holy humility, and ineffable charity are reflected in that mirror, and, with the grace of God, you can contemplate them throughout the entire mirror."  --Fourth Letter of St. Clare to Blessed Agnes of Prague, 14-19

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 
--2 Corinthians 3:18

Friday, May 20, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 20

St. Clare and Most High Poverty

"The summit of Most High Poverty has made you, my dearest sisters, heirs and queens of the kingdom of heaven.  It has made you poor in material things, but rich in virtue.  It is your inheritance, which gives you entry into the land of the living.  Hold fast to Most High Poverty, my most beloved sisters, and never wish for anything more under heaven, for love of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Most Holy Mother."  --Rule of St. Clare, Chapter VIII

Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  What he was saying is that we are to be humble in spirit rather than haughty in spirit.  Clare and the Ladies of Poverty chose to humble themselves through poverty, making themselves totally dependent on God.  In our society today it is too easy to forget that all we have comes from God when we can just pull out our credit card and delay payment for as long as we want.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 19

St. Clare's Rule of Fasting

"The sisters are to fast at all times.  But on Christmas, no matter on what day of the week it falls, they may have two meals.  As for the young, the frail, and the sisters who serve outside the enclosure, the abbess may mercifully dispense them from fasting, as she sees fit.  But in times of evident necessity, the sisters shall not be bound to bodily fasting."  --Rule of St. Clare, Chapter III

I read that Francis felt Clare fasted excessively to the point of damaging her health and convinced her that the "true spirit of Christian mortification of the flesh did not mean literally to sacrifice one's body to the point of death, but only to 'die' to the world of desire."  Scripture tells us the purpose of fasting is to help us better focus on God during times of prayer.  It is something that must be done in a spirit of humility and not of pride or else its benefit is lost to us.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 18

St. Clare Addresses Her Sisters

"For the Lord himself has not only placed us as examples and mirrors for others, but also for our own sisters whom the Lord has called to our way of life, so that they in their turn will be mirrors and examples to those living in the world."  --The Testament of St. Clare, 6

While we may not live the life of poverty as the "Poor Ladies" did, we can still be an example of purity and humility.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 17

St. Clare's Words to Those Who Have Chosen Poverty

"Since the great and good Lord, on entering the Virgin's womb, chose to look despised, needy, and poor in this world, so that people in dire poverty and deprivation and in absolute need of heavenly nourishment might become rich in him by possessing the kingdom of heaven, then you who have chosen poverty should rejoice and be glad!"  --First Letter of St. Clare to Blessed Agnes of Prague, 19

Jesus came into the world in order to reconcile us to God and to do that we needed to be able to identify with him so that we, too, might be crucified with him in order to be born into our new life in him.

Monday, May 16, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 16

St. Clare Echoes St. Francis's Words to His Brothers

"Each of you should confidently make known your needs to the other.  For if a mother loves and nourishes her daughter in the flesh, how much more lovingly should a sister love and nourish her sister in the spirit."  --Rule of St. Clare, Chapter VIII

Sisterhood among women will always exist where women have something in common.  Stay-at-home Moms have it with other stay-at-home women, career women have it with other career women, etc.  But it has been my experience that women who are not involved in the same "lifestyle" rarely co-mingle.  However, there will always be a sisterhood among women in the Spirit, no matter their lifestyle, their background, or anything other difference because the Spirit unites in a way that nothing else can.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 15

St. Francis's Last Will for St. Clare and the Poor Ladies

"Note:  Francis always referred to Clare and the other women at San Damiano as the Poor Ladies and did not want them to be called sisters or nuns.

I, Brother Francis, little one, want to follow the life and poverty of the Most High, our Lord Jesus Christ, and of his Most Holy Mother, and to persevere in this to the end.  And I pray you, my ladies, and counsel you to live always in this same most holy life and poverty.  Be careful to keep far from you anyone who would in any way teach or counsel anything other than this."  --Francis's Last Will for the Poor Ladies

This is Francis's counsel for us as well--to keep away from anyone who might water down Christ's command to love one another.  This means churches that preach that God's love is only meant for the righteous.  God does not tolerate sin, but our job is to examine our own lives in order to root it out--not others' lives outside the body of Christ.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 14

The Holy Sisters

"Hail, Queen Wisdom!  May the Lord preserve you, with your sister, pure and holy Simplicity.  Holy Lady Poverty, may the Lord preserve you, with your sister, holy Humility.  Holy Lady Charity, may the Lord preserve you, with your sister, holy Obedience."  --St. Francis, Salutation of the Virtues

Francis listed the holy virtues as wisdom, simplicity, poverty, humility, charity, and obedience.  He saw them as "sisters" to one another--coming from the Holy Father.  Together they exemplified what it meant to follow Christ.

Friday, May 13, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 13

"Those who are heavy with sickness
and the others who are tired because of them,
all of you:  bear with it in peace.
For you will sell this fatigue for a dear sum.
and each of you will be crowned queen in heaven
with the Virgin Mary."

--Collectanea Francescana 48 (1978), 5-29

Our ability to bear sickness, whether in ourselves or those we are caring for, comes from abiding in Christ which ultimately is our reward.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 12

"With great love I beg you
to use discreetly the alms
which the Lord gives you . . . ."
   --St. Francis

We are to be good stewardships of all that God puts into our care and responsibility.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 11

A Canticle for the Poor Ladies

"Two years before he died St. Francis sang, in the Umbrian dialect, his great song The Canticle of Brother Sun, and when he finished it, he sang this Song for St. Clare and her Poor Ladies:

Listen, poor little women, called by the Lord,
gathered together from many places and provinces:
Live always in truth,
so you may die in obedience.
Do not long for the life outside,
for that of the spirit is better . . . "  --Murray Bodo

We are admonished in scripture to live one day at a time.  We are also told to not let the sun go down on our anger....in essence, do not go to sleep with an unforgiving heart.  If we have failed in some way during the day, but confess and repent, we can rest assured that tomorrow will bring us another chance to serve the Lord if we are granted the opportunity.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 10

St. Clare Joins Francis and His Brothers

"On Palm Sunday, March 18, 1212, a young noblewoman of Assisi, Clare di Favarone, attended Mass at the cathedral of San Rufino where she received her palm from the hand of the bishop himself.  That night she left home secretly and went to the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels, the Portiuncula.  There St. Francis himself witnessed her vows to live the Gospel life of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  From that moment till her death she was a true Bride of the Poor Christ, the most faithful daughter of St. Francis."  --Murray Bodo

Chiara (Clare) Offreduccio was 18 when she made this vow.  She lived another 41 years and was canonized two years after her death.

Monday, May 9, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 9

St. Clare Reveals a Prophecy of Francis About the Poor Ladies

"Immediately after his conversion and before St. Francis had any brothers or companions, he spent his time repairing the church of San Damiano.  There he received that vision of the Lord which filled him with heavenly consolation, there he made his final decision to leave the world, and there in a transport of joy and enlightened by the Holy Spirit, he prophesied something about us which the Lord later fulfilled.  He climbed the wall of the church and cried out in French to some poor people standing around, 'Come and help me build this monastery of San Damiano, because in a short time some ladies are going to live here whose holy lives will bring glory to our Heavenly Father throughout the whole Church.'"  --The Testament of St. Clare

I have sought God's confirmation for projects I've "felt" I should take on, but sometimes I "knew" from the beginning I was to do it.  In either case, whether I was right or wrong in thinking God wanted me to do it, He has used it for His glory--to grow me and to show His power through me.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 8

The Honor Due to Mary

"How right it is that we honor so highly the Virgin Mary, for she carried Jesus in her most holy womb."  --St. Francis, Letter to the Whole Order

This is a very appropriate message for Mother's Day.  We should all honor our mothers for having carried us in their wombs.  Every person started out as an innocent baby, born of God, having been made in His image.  But sin entered the world and we were all caught in sin's web.  However, praise God, He has provided a way of escape and chose Mary as His instrument to birth the hope that would be ours in Jesus Christ.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 7

Spouses and Brethren of Christ

"We are his spouses when our faithful souls are wed to Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit.  We are his brothers and sisters when we do the will of his Father who is in heaven."  --St. Francis, Letter to All the Faithful, Second Version

Scripture tells us that not everyone who says 'Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven--only those who do the will of God.  

Friday, May 6, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 6

Feast of the Motherhood of Mary

"We are mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ when we carry him in our hearts and in our bodies, lovingly, and with a pure and sincere conscience, and give birth to him through the working of his grace in us which should shine forth as an example to others."  --St. Francis, Letter to All the Faithful, Second Version

I love the analogy of being the Lord's mother because we "give birth to him through the working of his grace in us."  Realizing this, would it spur us on to nurture Him in us better so that He will "shine forth" more clearly?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 5

Prayer to the Virgin Mary

"Holy Virgin Mary, there is no one like you among women.  Daughter and handmaid of the Most High Supreme King and Father in heaven, mother of our Most Holy Lord Jesus Christ, spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us."  --Office of Passion

All believers are saints.  We are called to pray for the saints who are living.  As a Protestant we do not pray to the saints who have gone before us, but instead look to their example as we endeavor to take their place in serving the Lord.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 4

To Mary and All the Holy Virtues

"Hail his palace, hail his tabernacle, his house.  Hail his vesture, hail his handmaid, his mother.  And hail all you holy virtues, who through the grace and illumination of the Holy Spirit are poured into the hearts of believers, so that you might transform unfaithfulness into faithfulness to God.   --Salutation to the Blessed Virgin Mary

The fact that holy virtues can be poured into our hearts through the grace and illumination of the Holy Spirit is what gives me hope to meet all of life's challenges, for I cannot do it alone, on my own.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 3

Mary, Virgin Made Church

"Hail, my Lady, Holy Queen, Mary, Mother of God.  You are virgin made church.  You have been chosen in heaven by the Most Holy Father.  With his Most Holy Beloved Son and the Holy Spirit he has consecrated you, so that in you is all fullness of grace and every good."  --Salutation to the Blessed Virgin Mary

To be chosen as the mother of Jesus Christ, God incarnate, cannot really be put into words adequately.  St. Francis's reverence for her was understandable.   I wonder if Protestants would have more respect for women if they revered Mary, too.  When the Protestants broke from the Catholic church they pretty much dispensed with everything connected with it.  This is the problem with "organized religion."  It seems to be all or nothing once the tenets of that particular religion are set.  It takes reformations and splits to make any changes which does nothing to unify the body of Christ.

Monday, May 2, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 2

St. Francis's Devotion to Mary

"St. Francis embraced the Mother of Jesus with an inexpressible love because she it was who made the Lord of Majesty our brother.  He composed special songs of praise in her honor, he poured out prayers and offered her his affection.  He made her the Advocate of the Order and placed under her wings the sons he was about to leave, that she might cherish and protect them to the end."  --Celano, Second Life, 198

Here is one of the prayers St. Francis composed:

Hail, holy Lady, most holy Queen,
Mary, Mother of God, ever Virgin.
You were chosen by the Most High Father in heaven,
consecrated by Him, with His most Holy Beloved Son and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

On you descended and still remains all the fullness of grace and every good.
Hail, His Palace.
Hail His Tabernacle.
Hail His Robe.
Hail His Handmaid.
Hail, His Mother.
and Hail, all holy Virtues, who, by grace and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are poured into the hearts of the faithful so that from their faithless state, they may be made faithful servants of God through you.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

St. Francis of Assisi - May 1

St. Francis's Love for Mary

"He embraced the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ with indescribable love, because she had made the Lord of Majesty our brother and had obtained mercy for us.  After Christ it was Mary in whom he placed his trust and whom he chose as advocate, both for himself and his brothers."  --St. Bonaventure, Major Life, 9:3

Being Protestant I do not know the beliefs surrounding Mary from the Catholic point of view.  I do, however, believe that mothers in general should be venerated for their having carried and given birth to their children...and if they devoted themselves to raising their children to the best of their ability, then they deserve to be treated with even more respect and importance.  Mary, the mother of Jesus, endured more than most of us will ever have to.  When I think of the anguish she must have felt when Jesus was nailed to the cross, it breaks my heart for her.