LESSONS FROM ST. FRANCIS:
By the supernatural power of his striving after God, the secrets of divine wisdom were made known to him; there is clear proof of this, although he never revealed it unless the salvation of others demanded it, or he was commanded to do so by divine revelation. He had never studied Sacred Scripture under any human teacher, but unwearied application to prayer and the continual practice of virtue had purified his spiritual vision, so that his intellect was bathed in the radiance of eternal light and could penetrate its depths with its pure gaze. The spirit of the prophets rested upon him, in all its different forms, with an overflowing abundance of grace. By its miraculous power the saint often appeared to those who were far away and knew what went on at a distance; he could read the secrets of men's hearts and foretell what the future was to bring. There are many examples which prove this beyond doubt and I shall now describe a few of them.
In a provincial chapter at Arles St. Anthony, who was then a famous preacher and is now one of Christ's Saints, preached an eloquent sermon to the friars on the proclamation Pilate wrote on the Cross, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." There St. Francis, who was then living far away, appeared at the door of the chapter hall; he was standing in mid-air with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross, blessing the friars. He brought them all such spiritual comfort that their own interior witness was enough to convince them that his miraculous appearance was endowed with heavenly power. The saint himself was not unaware of this, so that it is clear that his spirit was penetrated with the light of that eternal Wisdom of which we read, "Nothing is so agile that it can match wisdom for agility; nothing can penetrate this way and that, ethereal as she; she finds her way into holy men's hearts, turning the into friends and spokesmen of God." (Wis. 7, 24,27)
When the friars assembled in chapter as usual one day at St. Mary of the Portiuncula, one of them, under some pretext or other, refused to submit to obedience. St. Francis was praying in his cell at the time, interceding before God for the friars, and he became aware in spirit of what was happening. He had one of the friars summoned to him and told him, "Brother, I saw the Devil on that disobedient friar's back, holding him tightly by the neck. With a wicked spirit like that in control, he refused to be guided by obedience and gave rein to the Devil's suggestions. Go and tell that friar to submit to obedience immediately. The person who sends him this message is the person whose prayers made the Devil take flight in confusion." When he heard the message, the friar was seized by remorse; he was enlightened by the light of truth and he cast himself on the ground before the saint's vicar. He acknowledged his guilt and begged forgiveness, accepting the penance which was imposed upon him and performing it willingly, so that he always obeyed humbly after that.
Source: Bonaventure: Minor Life 1263
Repent, Recognize God, and Bear Good Fruit
Homily by Fr. Robert Altier, Third Sunday in Lent
Reading I (Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15)
Reading II (1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12)
Gospel (St. Luke 13:1-9)
In the Gospel reading today, Jesus calls us all to repentance. In fact, He says those words that most of us don't like to hear very well: "Unless you repent, you will all perish as they did." He says it twice, just in case we had any doubt that He meant what He was saying, "Unless you repent, you will all perish as they did." And it was the fact, as He pointed out, that the Galileans or the people who died at the falling of the Tower of Siloam, weren't the worst of the sinners in Israel at the time. They were people like you and me. On one level you could say they were innocent people. It's not that they had done any major crimes or had done anything severely wrong. The people at the Tower of Siloam were probably workmen who were working on the tower when it fell. The people whose blood was mingled with the sacrifices of the Galileans were probably ordinary people off the street.
So the fact of the matter is, we need to recognize that any of us, at any time, could be called home. We don't know what the circumstances will be; we don't know what the time might be. We need to keep ourselves always prepared, always with our focus on the Lord, our hearts always looking at Jesus, and keeping our souls always in the state of grace. A part of what we have to do, the Lord makes very clear, is to make sure that we are bearing fruit. Yet if we look at that Gospel reading, we might be tempted to say, "At least I'm trying to live a good life." But the Lord goes on to tell the parable about the fig tree that was living a pretty good life. It was growing, had nice foliage on it; it was looking good. And it bore no fruit. When the owner came out looking for fruit, he said, "Cut it down." But the gardener said, "No, not yet. Give it one more chance. Let me hoe around it; let me put some fertilizer on it; let me take care of it. Then if it doesn't bear fruit, you can cut it down." The Lord does exactly the same in our lives if He looks at us and realizes that either we are not bearing fruit or that we could bear more fruit. If we were using the analogy of the fig tree - maybe one or two figs popped out here and there. But if you ever looked at a fig tree that is really bearing fruit, there are huge bundles of figs up there. And that is what the Lord is looking for. He's not looking for a fig here and there every couple of years; He's looking for an abundance of fruit. Remember that is what He told us and we have talked about it so many times. "You must bear great fruit, and fruit that will last," He said.
The question is - How is that fruit going to be borne? There is only one way and that is made very clear in the parable of the fig tree: with a little bit of suffering. The gardener was going to hoe the fig tree. He was going to put fertilizer on it. If you put yourself in the position of the fig tree that probably would not be a very pleasant thing. Imagine someone coming and hoeing all around the area where you are planted. Well, that does work for us. Just think of where you are planted, if you want to think of it that way. We tend to be rather comfortable. We like security; we like ease. So we plant ourselves where we can find that ease, comfort, and peace. All of a sudden, God comes along and He begins to turn the dirt around us, to hoe the things and cause a little bit of chaos about us. Now fertilizer in the ancient world did not mean pulling out a plastic bag full of stuff that all the smell has been taken out of. We are talking about using manure and dumping that right on the tree, all around it, working it into the dirt. In other words, God is going to allow us to be a little uncomfortable, to suffer a little bit, to have to struggle.
But then we have to look at what Saint Paul says: "Don't grumble like those other people out in the desert." Isn't that what we do when things don't go our way, even the littlest things? When they don't go our way we complain, grumble, and moan. Sometimes we even look at God and say, "What are You trying to do to me? I'm just trying to live a good life and look at what You are doing! What did I ever do to You?" We ask as if we really need to ask that question. We wonder why God hates us so much that He would do this to us.
God doesn't hate us. What He is doing is giving us another opportunity. He is trying to provide for us so that we will bear fruit. All that we notice is that He is taking away our comfort. He's stirring things up; He's making us uneasy. What He's actually trying to do is work some life into us. We become like that man who took the talent, the bag of money the owner had given him, and buried it in the dirt because he did not want to lose the money. Consequently, he was condemned because he didn't use what God had given to him.
The same is true for us. If we are not bearing fruit then we are going to be condemned. We cannot take those talents God has given to us and say, "Well, if I just sit around here on the couch and watch TV all day long then at least I haven't lost what God gave me." God doesn't want us to give it back in the way He gave it to us, He wants us to bear fruit. Remember, throughout the Gospels Jesus tells us, "The kingdom of God is like a seed that is planted." It is what He has done within each one of us. If you are going to start a garden at this time of the year, you might start planting the seeds so that in the spring you will have little plants to put in the garden. What do you need to do with those seeds? You need to cultivate them; you need to water them; you need to take care of them. They are not going to grow by themselves. Just because you drop them on some dry dirt they are not going to grow. You need to work the soil; you need to care for the seed. The same is true for each one of us. God's love and His virtues, that whole kingdom of Christ, has been planted within us. We have to work that, we have to make it grow. Only if we do that will the nutrients from the soil work into the seed and into the new plant.
That is why God works the soil around us through suffering and struggle, bringing a little chaos into our lives, because then we have to get up off the couch. Maybe we even have to get down on our knees and pray. We turn to the Lord and realize our dependence on Him.
That is what each one of us needs to do. We need to recognize who God is. It is like Moses, who went to the burning bush. God said, "Take off your sandals because the ground you are standing on is holy." We need to recognize that each one of us is called to that same holiness. The ground we are standing on is holy. It is not a complacency; nobody got holy by sitting in one place. So when God works the soil, it is holy ground. We are not to complain; we are not to grumble.
We have all been baptized into Jesus Christ. We have all eaten of the same spiritual food and drink. The same spiritual drink as Saint Paul said of the people out in the desert. But far more, we have eaten the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. We have been baptized into the Son of God. The life of God has been infused into us, and all the virtues. It is not merely that God has sent a messenger to say, "The God of your fathers has sent me to you to lead you out of the land of slavery." God Himself has come to us and taken on our human nature. He has freed us from the slavery of sin. We have entered through the waters, not of the Red Sea, but of Baptism, and we have been baptized into Jesus Christ. Now God has taken us out into the desert so that we can learn our dependence on Him, so that we can learn that He will feed us, that He will provide for us, that He will take care of our every need. We must learn the lesson as Saint Paul has said, because God allowed what happened in the desert 3500 years ago to be an example for us so that when He leads us out there we don't complain and grumble. But I think we all know that we do.
Look at the lessons out there. Remember when Dothan and Abiram complained because they wanted to be priests after sinning and after the golden calf incident they wouldn't stand up for God. God said, "Only Levi, only the tribe of Levi is going to be the priest." And they complained, "It's not fair. Why can't we be priests?" Then the earth opened up, swallowed them, and closed over them. Remember when they whined and complained about God, because He didn't provide the water the way they thought that He should? He allowed a plague to come through the camp. Only when Phineas was righteous did that plague end. But how many people died because of it? We see them grumbling and complaining and getting into false worship with the golden calf. We see all the problems that they had in the desert. We are no different. Human nature has not changed. We would like to say, "If it were us, and God was miraculously feeding us with manna in the desert, we wouldn't do that. If we had water coming out of a rock, we wouldn't do that. If we saw the Red Sea opened up and we walked through it and saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore, we wouldn't be complaining and whining." Oh yes, we would. The sun is hot out there. If there is no water and there is not much food... just think what you would be doing if you ate the exact same thing three times a day. After one day, Americans would be complaining about that. So when the people said, "We're sick of this disgusting food!" do you think we would be any different? Forty years of the same thing, three times a day. You see, we are no different. We must learn the lesson.
God tells us His name: I AM. I AM. HE IS. He is with us. He is here; He is there at every single instant of our life. God wants only what is the very best for us. If the very best for us is to be out in the desert and to be hungry and thirsty, we need to learn to praise Him and say, "Thank You for that," because somehow that is the best. If the best is to have the ground around us stirred up, manure dumped on top of us, and suffering, then we need to learn to say, "Thank You for that." If the best for us is to be deprived of some things that we like, then we need to learn that it is a gift that God has given. In order to break us from our slavery to sin, God is going to let us do without. Our senses cry out; they scream and say, "I don't like this!" But we need to learn that God is sovereign, that we are not God. We are not in control, God is. God is with us. Think of that beautiful name of God that he has given us: Yahweh, I AM. We must never forget that God is. As He said to Saint Catherine of Siena: "I am He Who is. You are she who is not." We are not; He is.
We should not complain; We should not grumble. The only way we will learn not to grumble or complain is to be out in the desert and grumble and complain until we figure out that this really is the best. So don't think that God hates you. Don't think that He's abandoned you. Don't think that He's punishing you, but trust and believe in the goodness and love of God. He is doing this because it is the best for you, because we were not bearing fruit. Rather than cutting us down, He's stirring things up so the nutrients can get in and we will bear fruit. He did not want us to perish, so He is working with us.
If God is leaving you complacent, then you should complain. Then you should get down on your knees, beg Him and say, "Why are You leaving me out here to wither and die?" Because we are not bearing fruit, the gardener has walked away and let us be. But if things are getting stirred up around us and things are not easy and there is a little chaos in our lives, then we need to get down on our knees and say, "Thank You," because it means God loves us, that He's working with us, and we need to cooperate. We need to work with Him so that we will bear fruit. We must learn from the example. We must learn from the teaching of Our Lord. We must learn the sovereignty of Almighty God and keep in mind always those words of Our Lord: "If you do not repent, you will perish like all of them."
Lent and the Rule
"NO ONE SHALL APPEAR BEFORE ME EMPTY-HANDED,
but each of you with as much as he can give, in proportion to the blessings which
the LORD, your God, has bestowed on you
." (Deut. 16:16)
These words are given to us in the Office of Readings for Thursday, the Third week in Lent. They are a most worthy meditation especially during these closing weeks of Lent.
It goes without saying, that as servants of the Lord, we do not want to appear before Him empty-handed. If it didn't matter to us we would never have made the decision to seek to learn and follow the Rule of 1221 that St. Francis gave us. In that we are following Jesus through St. Francis, who at first in his life was very worldly, and not concerned about doing the things of God at all. We will never exactly know what kind of a rascal he was, but he was a 'life of the party' type, and had money and lots of time as his father was rich and that alone probably meant that him carrying on in a lively fashion, in his society, and among his peers, was not just acceptable. His father was probably overjoyed to see his son showing off his success.
That said, Francis Bernardone finally got wisdom. He got it when he spent a year in prison after he was captured in his first efforts to become a gallant warrior. It was in that prison that he really examined his life. He made a decision to change, and in that decision he came to know he needed to find God. Though not immediately. Conversion takes time.
God in His Providence, and respect for our free wills, imprisons us all. We are all prisoners of our own way and emotions, not to mention of this world for so long as we are here. Many of us battle real mental problems and depression. True freedom won't come until we are with the Lord, but most of us don't know that while we first fumble around here trying to figure out what it is we want to do and be. Hopefully we become like St. Francis. Home sick and tired of imprisonment, we come to the conclusion that we need to do something else with our lives. We become adults in the world for God, not for ourselves, 'In the world but not of it.", and by reason of that we come to the desire, as did St. Francis, to follow Jesus. This examination needs to go on for all of our life too, for Jesus said: "When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'" (Lk. 17:10)
As we grow in the life of penance we need to become more and more the Rule ourselves. We need to see the Rule as one way of adding flowers of virtue and goodness to the bouquet we must all present the Lord when we meet Him. In the way we make our plans to live it: in prayer and mortification; simplicity; and generosity to others, beginning in our families. In the way we live the Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy, show charity, forgiveness, and love to others. In the way we seek to live the Scripture that guides us. "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." (Mt 16:24) In all of this we do well to look for ways to do more so we do not appear empty-handed before the Lord. Lent is a wonderful time to do this. To answer the question: "How do I want to live my life for Christ during the rest of THIS year." In that way every Lent will become a time of renewal for each of us, so that with the risen Lord we can rise anew to living an even holier life. If we do this we surely will not be empty-handed when we come home to God.
Make this a Lenten meditation this year as you close this wonderful season. May the Lord bless and guide you to assemble for yourself many good things to bring to Jesus so when you meet Him He will smile and say: "Well done good and faithful servant!"
May God bless us all!
Bruce and Shelley BSP
From the Second Reading on Passion Sunday
by Janet Klasson BSP
"Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross."
IIn this installment we continue to reflect on what it means as a follower of Christ to participate in the office of priest, prophet and king. Specifically, we will look at what it means for penitents to share in the kingly office of Christ, and how we may best live out this call.
"My kingdom is not of this world." The words of Christ give us a broad hint that the mundane definition of kingship does not apply. He came dressed, not in rich robes, but in homespun cloth. His table was laden, not with plenty, but with the simple fare a day's wage could provide. He was born, not in a glittering palace, but in a cave for sheltering livestock. This prompts a question: If the King of Kings did not place value on the richest food, clothing and shelter found on earth, then what? The answer may be found in the above Scripture passage. "He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross." What does the King of Kings value above all else? The simple answer is obedience.
The Catechism tells us in section 908:
By his obedience unto death, Christ communicated to his disciples the gift of royal freedom, so that they might "by the self-abnegation of a holy life, overcome the reign of sin in themselves":
That man is rightly called a king who makes his own body an obedient subject and, by governing himself with suitable rigor, refuses to let his passions breed rebellion in his soul, for he exercises a kind of royal power over himself. And because he knows how to rule his own person as king, so too does he sit as its judge. He will not let himself be imprisoned by sin, or thrown headlong into wickedness.
This passage reveals a very clear link between the penitential lifestyle and the kingly office of the laity. In following the discipline of the Rule we gradually overcome the reign of sin in ourselves. The penitent trains his or her body to become an obedient subject to the soul, for the right order of things is that the lower nature be subject to the higher. It follows that the more we progress in the way of discipline, the more we share in the kingly office of Christ. As we read in 1 Corinthians 9: 25: "Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one."
And this is what it looks like to participate on earth in the kingly office of Christ:
But Jesus summoned them and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:25-28)
The King comes, not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life. Therefore, so must we. There is no crown without the cross. Jesus lived that truth as an example for us. The cross, our cross is not to be merely endured, but kissed, embraced. It is a way and a sign of perfect obedience, perfect kingship.
St. Francis must have had a very clear understanding of this when he wrote the Rule for his orders. He too turned had his back on the glitz and glitter of the world in favor of the true treasures found in poverty, obedience and service. He embraced the cross and won the crown of everlasting life. May we go and do likewise.
Janet Klasson BSP - Canada
NO GREATER LOVE: by PAUL BEERY BSP - March 2008
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3, 16)
This passage, John 3, 16, used to be the favorite verse proclaimed by believers, even at sporting events! Now it's: "Judge not, and you will not be judged." That change sends a chill down my spine, because it means that for many Christians, God is no longer the center of their lives. Their gaze is not outward but inward. Instead of proclaiming the love of God to the world, self-centered believers now grab for a fig-leaf to cover - or worse justify - something they are trying to hide, usually immoral personal behavior. A loss of shame is a symptom of a loss of faith. "There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be made known." Luke 12, 2. People of faith don't try to hide from their guilt, for their lives are completely transparent as Images of God. Human respect is not an issue. Being pleasing to God is.
Clearly one of the biggest reasons for the loss of faith is the breakdown of the family. It is so obvious that even people of no faith recognize it. "Civilization depends on the health of the traditional family." This conclusion comes from an unlikely source, Harvard Sociologist Carle Zimmerman, who was not a religious man. Already in 1948 he saw that Western Civilization was going through the same family crisis as ancient Greece and Rome. In his prophetic book "Family and Civilization," he stated there were three basic family types: trustee, domestic, and atomistic. The original model, the "trustee" family is tribal and clannish, mainly agrarian. As civilizations rapidly advance, the "domestic" family becomes predominant, a "nuclear family ensconced in fairly strong extended family bonds." But when civilizations lose their faith values, they become "atomistic," with weak bonds between and within nuclear families.
In a commentary on Zimmerman's book, Rod Dreher titled his piece: "Too much pleasure, too few children." He sums up today's main Life issue: "Societies ruled by the atomistic family model, with its loosening of constraints on individual members, quit having enough children to carry on. They become focused on the pleasures of the present. Eventually these societies expire from lack of manpower, which itself is a manifestation of a lack of the will to live." Dreher sums up the obvious: "The wise will recognize that the subcultures that survive the demographic collapse will be those that SACRIFICIALLY EMBRACE natalist values over materialist ones – those whose religious convictions inspire them to have relatively large families, despite the social and financial cost. This DOES NOT include MOST American CHRISTIANS (emphasis mine), who have accepted modernity's anti-natalism. No, that means traditionalist Catholics, 'full-quiver' Protestants, ultra-Orthodox Jews, pious Muslims and other believers who REJECT modernity's premises. The future belongs to the fecund faithful."
That's one of the best one-paragraph summaries I have seen on both the crisis humanity faces today AND the solution: large families by the "fecund faithful." In his message on the World Day of Peace, Pope Benedict XVI combines the topics of family and peace: "The Human Family, a Community of Peace." He states that only family life as God ordained it will bring true peace: "The first form of communion between persons is that born of the love of a man and a woman who decide to enter a stable union in order to build together a new family. But the peoples of the world are called together to build relationships of solidarity and cooperation among themselves, as befits members of the one HUMAN FAMILY; 'All peoples are one community and have one origin, because God caused the whole human race to dwell on the face of the earth; they also have one final end, God.'" Vatican Council II, Nostra Aetate 1.
HUMANITY IS ONE GREAT FAMILY. Pope Benedict dissects this topic further into: "The Family, society and peace;" "The Family, the human community and the environment;" "The Family, the human community and economy;" and "The Family, the human community and the moral law." He explains that the family plays a key role in any discussion of peace in the world.
"In a healthy family life we experience some of the fundamental elements of peace: justice and love between brothers and sisters, the role of authority expressed by parents, loving concern for the members who are weaker because of youth, sickness or old age, mutual help in the necessities of life, readiness to accept others and, if necessary, to forgive them. The family is the first and indispensable teacher of peace. One of the reasons the family is the foundation of society is because it enables its members in decisive ways to experience peace.
Consequently whoever circumvents the institution of the family undermines peace in the entire community, national and international, since he weakens what is in effect the primary agent of peace.
Everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman, everything that directly or indirectly stands in the way of its openness to responsible acceptance of a new life, everything that obstructs its right to be primarily responsible for the education of its children, constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace."
The phrase "PRO-FAMILY" needs to enter our consciousness and our vocabulary. As a follower of St. Francis, I have always pondered what he would do today. What "causes" would he be associated with? I can't help but think that he would be profoundly Pro-Family. He established the most extensive spiritual family in the Church, religious men and women, and lay people in the Third Order, numbering in the millions over the years. His loyalty to the Gospel is such that he would be a staunch Pro-Life advocate, and harsh in his condemnation of the Culture of Death. But then the water gets muddy. The term "Pro-Life" has been politicized to such a degree that it has lost much of its meaning, as it has been diluted by many other secondary issues that are not related to the PRIMACY OF LIFE. If a child is not allowed to be born, it is totally irrelevant to talk about feeding, clothing, sheltering, schooling and insuring that child.
As for children already born, supporting a "Judge not and you will not be judged" culture of immorality will further destroy the family unit.
Substituting a government check for a father can hardly be called Pro-Family unless one incorrectly defines "family" as "a group of people." The family according to the plan of God has a very precise meaning which cannot be mis-interpreted. Pope Benedict has beautifully outlined what it means to be Pro-Family, with the fecund faithful giving glory to God as their FINAL END. By their fruits you will know them. God so loved the world that He will shower His Love on all the faithful who produce good fruit, but ESPECIALLY on the FECUND FAITHFUL who lovingly and sacrificially bring forth large families!
Paul Beery BSP
THE ADMONITIONS OF ST. FRANCIS
XV. The peacemakers
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Mt. 5:9). They are truly peacemakers who are able to preserve their peace of mind and heart for love of our Lord Jesus Christ, despite all that they suffer in the world.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
Author unknown, "Master of the Codex of Saint George"
painted around 1400
BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE OF ST. FRANCIS
a.k.a. the BSP, is a non-profit Private Association of the Faithful, which is dedicated to renewing the ancient way of penance as contained in the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis of 1221 for lay people in our modern world. We have the blessing of the Catholic Church to do this through several of its bishops. If you are bound by another Rule of life in another profession of the way of St. Francis that does not permit you to enter other religious families you are nonetheless invited to become an Honorary member of our Association and add the elements of this beautiful way of life that Saint Francis of Assisi gave us to the lifestyle of your profession.
All members, and Franciscans, are welcome to submit articles for consideration for inclusion in this newsletter if they are directed towards the spiritual formation of members or are the outgrowth of the lifestyle of the Association. Just send them to the BSP at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to share this newsletter with your friends or neighbors. It is intended to be the primary monthly communication of the Association. And if you can find it in your heart and in your budget remember that donations to the BSP are used strictly to promote the lifestyle and are tax deductible. We remain, always, sincerely yours in the love of Jesus Christ!
Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
Welcome to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance!
"When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things."
(1 Cor 13:11)