BONAVENTURE AND HIS LESSONS ON ST. FRANCIS:
Chapter IX – Those who refused to honor the saint by not keeping his feast day
A noble lady who was a very religious person once came to St. Francis to tell him her troubles and ask for help. She had a husband who behaved cruelly towards her and tried to prevent her from serving Christ, and she begged the saint o pray for him that God in his goodness might touch his heart. When Francis heard her story he told her, "God in peace and you can be sure your husband will be a comfort to you in the near future."
And he added, "Tell him from God and from me that this is the time of mercy, but that the day of retribution must follow." He gave her his blessing and the woman went off and gave her husband the message. There and then the Holy Spirit came upon him and he became a new man, so that he answered gently, "Let us serve God together and save our souls." At his wife's suggestion they live a life of continence for years and they both died on the same day.
St. Francis' supernatural gifts were certainly extraordinary; they enabled him to give back life to aging limbs and move stubborn hearts to repentance, while the amazing clarity of his spirit allowed hi to ee into the future and read the secrets of consciences. Like a second Elisha, he had received a double share of the spirit of the prophet Elias.
St. Francis once told a friend of his in Siena what would become of him eventually and the theologian who had asked him to explain the Scriptures for him heard about it. He went to the saint and asked if he had really said what this man claimed. Francis not only admitted that he had said it but, as the theologian was so anxious to know what was going to happen to someone else, he foretold what would become of him in the end. And, to convince him all the more, he mentioned a scruple which he had on his conscience and which he had never revealed to anyone and cured him of it with sound advice. To prove the truth of Francis' prophecy the religious in question eventually died the way he had foretold.
Bonaventure—Major Life of St. Francis (1263)
"What I say to you is: everyone who grows angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment, any man who uses abusive language toward his brother shall be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and if he hold him in contempt he risks the fires of Gehenna"
This scripture comes from Friday of the First Week of Lent. It is one that speaks to us all and carries a good message for us to take forward as Lent ends. We all face situations that cause us anger, and often against family members, which is the worst of all anger. If we are to literally live the Gospel of our Lord, and embrace this teaching, we must cool our anger in every situation. It is worth pondering the effects of that.
First off, it is necessary to salvation. If anger leads to more, like verbally accusing or demeaning another, or especially holding them in contempt, it affects our chances at getting to heaven. We face the same realities in our lives today that people did in the times of Our Lord. When Jesus spoke He spoke to the ages, not just to His times. He knew what we know. That we are all still sinners today as in His day, and as prone to fall as any human beings of any time, save His Most Holy Mother, who was exempt from sin. So we must answer this question about anger in our lives too, and what better time than as we close the Lenten season.
Anger is useless. It almost never brings peace. It doesn't even leave us with a good feeling if we have expressed real anger, even justified, to others. It should always be avoided. Avoiding it, however, is not easy. How can we do that?
Well, for starters, to conquer anger we need to consciously give it up forever. We need to look at the opinions, or sometimes innocent remarks, of others, that might anger us, as exactly what they are. The opinions or remarks of others. As an old friend of ours would often say: "opinions are like kidneys: everyone has a couple." If we remember that we should be able to stay cool in any situation.
If the anger has resulted from us being criticized or condemned, especially where we know we shouldn't be, we do well to remember we want to be the least of all. Christ calls all who serve Him to be the least of all. To do that we need to accuse ourselves of every fault at every turn and refuse to see any good in ourselves. If we can come to realize that we gain a couple of things. One, we never have anything to get angry at anyone for when they say something critical of us or to us, even if it is about us, because we are our own worst critics. Second, we gain ground on the virtue of humility. All of the Saints did that. For instance, St. Francis felt he was the worst of all sinners, and routinely sought the opinion of the least of his brothers on every subject.
Finally, the biggest weapons against anger, and many other openly offensive things that people might say to us, is silence and prayer. It is said that God moves and speaks in silence. If we remain silent in the face of disrespectful or offensive comments we are not agreeing with them. We are merely being respectful of others opinions and assessing them. While we assess them we can move ourselves mentally to react peacefully, pray for our offenders, and even thank them for sharing their opinion with us, hopefully with a smile. Silence buys us time, and is our greatest friend to overcome personal attacks or offensive remarks that cause us to be angry. In using silence to calm our anger we become like God, who is ever so silent against those who offend Him. If all else fails, and you respond to others in anger, regroup, and apologize. And, if you are serious about your prayer life, remember:
"If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Lose no time..."
Happy Easter, and peace to all! Sincerely yours in Jesus Christ,
Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
Homily by Fr. Robert Altier
Christ is raised from the dead; therefore, set your hearts on what pertains to the higher realms. This is what Saint Paul advises in the second reading today. Because we have been raised with Christ, we are no longer just earthly beings; but rather, we share the life of Heaven already. Not in its fullness, obviously, but we are already there; we already share the divine life. We are already called citizens of Heaven. Saint Paul goes so far as to remind us that we are merely on pilgrimage in this life because we have our citizenship in Heaven. It is from there, he tells us, that we await the coming of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that He will come again.
But long before that, we must grapple with the reality that He is risen from the dead. We hear in the last line of the Gospel that the apostles did not understand yet what it meant to rise from the dead. And I must say that, after 2,000 years of Christian people passing on the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus, I would be willing to bet that if we took a poll, most of us here do not understand what it means to rise from the dead because we have no experience of this. We have the teaching of the Church; we have the clear witness of the Scriptures, but because we do not see it happen to anybody in our own day, we do not understand it. If someone who had been dead were to stand before us in a resurrected form and explain to us what the difference was, perhaps we would understand it a little bit. For now, all we can do is accept it on faith and look forward with hope to the day when our bodies will rise from the dead.
What we can say about the Resurrection is that it is not a resuscitation. Modern medicine is able to resuscitate people, sometimes even after they have been dead for nearly an hour. We are not talking about that. Those people will all have to die again, just like Lazarus. Even though he had been in the tomb for four days, Lazarus was not resurrected, he was resuscitated. And poor Lazarus, after coming back from the dead, had to live this life again – or a continuation of it – before he could die and his soul could go to be with God.
When we talk about Our Lord when He rose from the dead, what that means is that His soul was reunited with His body. But His body no longer had the earthly form that it had before; it was now in a glorified state. Remember what happened at the Transfiguration when the body of Our Lord began to glow. That is a little inkling of what the Resurrection would be like. We must understand that it is really and truly the body of Jesus. That is made very clear for us, for instance, in the first reading when Saint Peter reminds us that Jesus appeared to them and He ate and drank with them.
It is not like the appearance of one of the saints. For instance, if you were to have a vision of one of the saints in glory, what you have is merely a vision. The saints do not have their bodies yet in Heaven. And so it is like an angel appearing, except an angel does not have a body. God gives them something so that we can see, but the body is not really there. If you were to reach out and touch a vision of an angel or to touch a vision of one of the saints, your hand would be able to grasp nothing.
But if Jesus were to stand here before us and we were to reach out and touch Him, like Thomas, we would be able to put our fingers into the holes in His hands and His feet; we would be able to put our hand into the wound in His side because it is not merely a vision. The apostles, when they saw Jesus in the Upper Room, did not have a vision of Our Lord; Our Lord was there with them, physically present among them. It was His body and His soul. He had life, but not the way that we understand it in the natural sense. He had a life which could not be destroyed. In His humanity, He now shared fully in a life which was everlasting.
We know that our soul is immortal and it will never die. The soul of Jesus did not die either. When His body and soul separated on the Cross at the moment that He died, His soul went into the regions of the netherworld, to the abode of the dead. Saint Peter tells us that He went there to preach the Gospel to the saints of the Old Testament. Those who had already rejected God would not accept Jesus, even when He stood before them in the netherworld. But people like Abraham, Moses, and David, even Saint Joseph was there, and they heard the fullness of the Gospel preached and they believed. So on the day of the Resurrection, when the abode of the dead was ended, those souls who did not believe in the Lord were condemned into the eternal fires, as we now think of them. But those who believed could rise to life.
But even for them, they have not yet experienced the [general] resurrection. For those who are in Heaven, the resurrection has not yet occurred. Their soul continues to live, but they still await the day that their bodies will rise from the dead. If we were to go to the tomb of any saint, we would be able to exhume the body and find that it is still there. If we go to the tomb of Jesus, He is not there. The disciples witnessed that, and gave witness on behalf of that fact, when Peter and John ran to the tomb to verify what Saint Mary Magdalene had already understood - that the Lord was not there. Saint Mary Magdalene thought that perhaps the gardener had removed the body. She did not understand what the resurrection of the dead meant; and neither did the disciples, until Jesus actually appeared to them and ate and drank with them.
So too for us now, while we continue to live in this vale of tears, Saint Paul tells us that we are to set our sights on the higher things where Christ is already seated at God's right hand and we are already seated there with Him. Because we are members of Jesus Christ, we share the life of Christ. And we already share spiritually in the Resurrection because of our baptism. Remember what Saint Paul tells the Romans: that when we were baptized, we entered into the Death and Resurrection of Christ. The "old man" has died so that the "new man" could put on a new life. And we are to live that new life. While we have to live in this world, we are not to be of this world. We are not to be like the worldly people who surround us everyday; but rather, we are to live as exiles in a foreign land. We are to have our hearts set upon our homeland, the place where we want to go back to, the place where we want to be forever. This place is temporary, but we have a place in Heaven which is permanent. So do not live in this life as though this was a permanent place, but set your sights on Heaven. Set your heart on the place where you will be with Jesus for eternity, and live in this world in such a way that you are living for the next life.
If you consider yourself an exile, you are not going to surround yourself with loads of material things because the day that you have an opportunity to go back to your own homeland, what are you going to take with you? You live simply in a land of exile, awaiting the day that you will be able to pack up your belongings quickly and take them with you so that you could restart your own home. We want to do the same now. Do not live as though this was the end-all and be-all. Live in this world with your heart set on the next. Do not get weighed down with all the material things of this world, but rather, prepare for yourself the spiritual goods so that, on the day that the Lord calls, you can very quickly put your house together and you will be ready to go to your heavenly homeland where you will have an eternal place with God.
Then our soul will be with the Lord, as we await the day of the resurrection of our own body, the last day of the world when Saint Paul tells us that at the sound of the archangel's trumpet the graves of the dead will be opened and the bodies will rise. For those whose souls have gone to hell, their bodies will go there to be with them forever, and they will suffer the torments in the fullness of their humanity, both body and soul. And for the souls of the just, their bodies will rise and they will be joined with their souls, and then they will share in the fullness of the glory of God in the fullness of their humanity, both body and soul, beholding God face to face, and being filled with His grace and His glory in the fullness of what it means to be human. Not merely just spiritually, but both body and soul.
That is what we need to prepare ourselves for even now, to begin to live that life of glory even here, because we have the Resurrected Jesus Christ with us in the Blessed Sacrament. You will receive Him in Holy Communion in just a moment, where you will once again renew the covenant which began at Baptism. And you, in just a moment, will have the opportunity to renew your baptismal vows where you will once again reiterate your belief in the resurrection from the dead.
So as we go forward now, commit yourself to live not for this world but for the next. Live in this world with your heart set on the higher realms where Christ is already seated at God's right hand, and unite yourself with Him there. Commit yourself to a life of daily prayer so you can raise your heart and your mind to eternity. Live your life in this world with your heart set upon the next so that on the day God calls you home, you will be ready to go and that on the last day of the world, at the time the archangel sounds his trumpet, when your body – this one right here in the pew – rises from the dead, it will be able to be reunited with a glorified soul and behold God face to face in the eternity of His glory.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.
From the Second Reading, Fourth Sunday of Easter
by Janet Klasson BSP
He said to me, "These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
Why, more than 750 years after it was written, does our Lord choose this time in history to resurrect the Rule of 1221? Perhaps in the early days of the BSP the Divine reasoning may have seemed less apparent and harder to explain to those not feeling called to a life of penance. But as the Culture of Death grows ever more brazen, and its diabolical roots become more exposed, it is becoming abundantly clear to everyone whose eyes of faith are open, why our Lord is renewing the call to penance. As Jesus said, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting." (Mark 9:29)
The battle is intensifying, there can be no doubt. We are called on daily to increase our prayer and sacrifice, the weapons of choice in Our Lady's army. But I believe there is another aspect to our ascetical practice that will become more apparent in the coming darkness. I have mentioned before the correction that I feel is coming to the Church and the world. This correction is certainly now underway and there will be much more to endure than we have already seen. Much, much more.
Yet, the Lord, in his infinite mercy, has been preparing us in many ways. He has sent his Mother and various messengers so that we will not be afraid when these things happen. As my Spiritual Director says: everything that God allows to happen is for our ultimate good. We must be completely surrendered to the will of God and see everything as coming from the Divine Will. Even the difficult things.
Christ said as much in the Garden of Gethsemane: "Father if you will, let this cup pass me by. Yet, not my will but thine be done." Did Christ only learn obedience that day in the Garden? No, he learned and practiced it all his life at the hands of Mary and Joseph. For Scripture tells us that after his parents found him in the temple at the age of 12, he returned with them and was obedient. It was precisely that school of obedience that prepared him for the Garden.
Which brings us back to the Rule. Through it, we are being trained in the ascetical life so that we may learn detachment from all things. An article by Jordan Aumann, O.P. on the teachings of St. John of the Cross says:
In this context St. John urges the Christian to try not to prefer that which is easiest but that which is most difficult; not that which gives the most pleasure but that which gives least; not that which is restful but that which is laborious; not that which is the greatest but that which is the least; and so forth. In a word, one should strive to cultivate a spirit of holy indifference, a perfect obedience to the divine will.
Difficult days are coming, but our Lord has been preparing us through our little penances, building spiritual muscle so that we will not be shamed when we come to the Garden. The greatness of God is not that he prevents us from suffering, but that the soul completely surrendered to him becomes an instrument of his infinite mercy and the unimaginable power of his love.
In the second set of counsels St. John returns to his basic teaching that "we are not treating here of the lack of things, since this implies no detachment on the part of the soul if it has a desire for them; but we are treating of the detachment from them of the taste and desire, for it is this that leaves the soul free and void of them, although it may have them." (chap. 3). These counsels are reminiscent of the manner in which Christ spoke when he said: "Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Mt 16:25)
May Jesus Christ, crucified, died, and risen bless us all in this most holy of seasons. Jesus we trust in you.
Excerpt from the Pelianito Journal blog (www.pelianito.stblogs.com)
Amos 9: 8 The eyes of the Lord GOD are on this sinful kingdom; I will destroy it from off the face of the earth. But I will not destroy the house of Jacob completely, says the LORD.
"My child, a great shaking is coming to the world, both spiritually and physically. There will be no escape—only the refuge of my Sacred Heart, which was pierced for love of you. Let all my children take refuge there. Draw many more souls to me, to the Fountain of Mercy. Pray the (Divine Mercy) novena with new fervor, for it will be of cosmic importance. The time is nearly gone—only a few grains of sand remain in the hourglass. Mercy! Mercy while there is still time! It is almost night."
My Jesus, have mercy! In the Divine will we pray the Novena of mercy over every soul in the world, trusting in your everlasting goodness. Draw all sinners, especially those we love and those with no one to pray for them in to your wound of love. Mary, blessed and pure, pray for us!
Janet Klasson BSP - Divine Mercy Chapter - Canada
NO GREATER LOVE: by PAUL BEERY BSP - April 2010
"Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me." (Matthew 10, 38)
"If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it." (Luke 9, 23)
What a fantastic week for followers of Jesus Christ: Holy Week! Jesus makes sure He will be with us always by giving us His Body and Blood through "The breaking of the bread" on Holy Thursday. Our Redemption is accomplished on Good Friday with His death on the Cross: "All is complete; THE DEBT IS PAID IN FULL." We keep vigil Holy Saturday awaiting the Light of the World. And His divinity is proven by His Resurrection from the dead Easter Sunday. I wish to concentrate on Good Friday, and the Cross.
My recent health crisis has given me a great appreciation of the necessity of carrying the Cross daily after Jesus. Fortunately we have many reminders of this COMMAND, as we Catholics have a crucifix, not just a cross, to venerate our Savior. Why not just a cross? Bishop Sheen is famous for his "Seven Last Words" presentation, as he explores the mysteries of the last words Jesus uttered on the Cross. We are very familiar with them. However, there are seven other words to meditate on, the seven words spoken by OTHERS "to the Cross," to Jesus. They are as follows:
First, the passers-by: "You who would destroy the Temple and built it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!"
The common theme is for Jesus to: "COME DOWN FROM THAT CROSS!" No one understood but our Blessed Mother, that such a thing was impossible: THIS IS WHAT THE PRICE OF LOVE LOOKS LIKE! The intellectual elites of the time, the Chief Priests, Scribes and Elders, managed to obscure the truth obvious to the simple and the faithful disciple: JESUS DIDN'T COME TO SAVE HIMSELF! Jesus could not be our Savior unless He gave His life for us. "Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit."
Second, the good thief: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom," the only statement that merited a response from Jesus: "Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."
Third, the other thief: "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
Fourth, the Chief Priests, Scribes and Elders: "He saved others; Himself he cannot save. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him; for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'"
Fifth, the bystanders: "Behold, he is calling Elijah. Let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down."
Sixth, the soldiers: "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself."
And finally the Roman Centurion: "Truly this man was the Son of God." The first Gentile believer.
That's why Catholics venerate a crucifix, and not just a cross: because THAT'S WHERE WE BELONG IF WE WOULD IMITATE JESUS! He didn't die so we could enjoy a life of leisure and pleasure according to our own passionate inclinations. If we are engaged in the Imitation of Christ, nothing is off limits. Why did everyone tell Jesus to COME DOWN FROM THAT CROSS? So they wouldn't have to be constantly reminded of WHY HE WAS THERE in the first place. The apathetic don't want reminders of possible obligations should they join the ranks of the non-apathetic, for "the mediocre are always at their best." If awakened from the security of mediocrity, they may suddenly realize THEY ARE AT THEIR WORST! And then they might have to – Horrors! - change their behavior!
When we see Jesus on the Cross, our conscience is stricken: WHY AM I NOT THERE WITH HIM? If He is our Master and we are His disciples, will we follow Him only until He gets TO THE CROSS? No sir, I'm not going there, said most of His followers. Only four dared to go all the way: Mary, the Mother of Jesus, John, Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the wife of Clopas. They didn't have much company, nor do we today.
The passion and death of Jesus is not something to shy away from, but EMBRACE! For He shows us how to live out our own passion and death, something we know is coming, if we are not already actively engaged in it. Jesus was born to die, to become the Paschal Lamb offered for our salvation. But we are also in a lesser sense born to die, to die to ourselves, to offer our lives in union with Jesus. We live in a Fallen and Failed World. Having been unceremoniously kicked out of Paradise, we of ourselves are unable to please God - EXCEPT IN UNION WITH JESUS! That's a great mystery of our salvation, and why it is so important to follow Jesus in His passionate desire to be obedient to the will of His Heavenly Father, as shown in His agony in the garden: "Yet not what I will, but what You will."
One of the benefits of associating with other members of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis is our faith-sharing. I guess that's what this column is about. It is said that one must never discuss religion or politics with others in order to maintain friendships. Religion and politics IS ALL I WANT TO TALK ABOUT! And yes, I have lost friends because of it. But is that what life is about, maintaining friendships? Or is it challenging OTHERS to think critically about their relationship with the Creator, and their subsequent responsibility to act on that knowledge? So too our faith must also form our political views. We cannot be any kind of a decent citizen if we don't actively participate in the affairs of our nation. Evil triumphs because the good do nothing. We must take a principled stand politically, one that should be obvious to all, just as our faith should be known to everyone.
A local newspaper article highlighted the position of one of Minnesota's U.S. Senators who was in the alleged perfect spot, exactly IN THE MIDDLE ideologically: 50th most conservative, 49th most liberal out of 100 Senators. But is that something to be proud of? That's the way of the world, not the Way of Jesus. It is said that virtue lies "in the middle," and I suppose most of the time that is true. But tell that to the Saints. Could St. Francis be described in those terms? That he was in the middle, and did what was fashionable at the time, or to please others? Those who radically follow Jesus should find themselves somewhere on the fringes of worldly wisdom. Unfortunately, there are two extremes, and Christians are found on both.
I have been thinking about the crosses we bear today. One of the greatest is the lack of unity among followers of Jesus Christ when it comes to political/ideological issues, for we should all have ONE WORLDVIEW, and it most certainly is NOT THE WORLD'S VIEW! Every person has three mortal enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. It astounds me that there should be such divergence of opinion in what constitutes a Christian worldview: it's THE OPPOSITE OF THE WORLD'S VIEW! We are called to be COUNTER-CULTURAL. Is that difficult to understand? When the worldly "Mainstream Media" takes a stand on an issue, the truth usually lies on the opposite side! It's easy to figure out when the Secular Media promotes the evil of abortion or same-sex marriage. But anyone who is 100% wrong on such no-brainers as these fundamental moral issues; HOW can you TRUST THEM to be RIGHT ON ANYTHING! The culture of fallen humanity is one that PROMOTES the world, the flesh, and the devil! A Worldly Culture views Jesus and His true followers AS THEIR MORTAL ENEMIES, just as the worldly of His time told Jesus to "COME DOWN FROM THAT CROSS!" And it was they who put Him there in the first place. Jesus was not dealing with nice, tolerant people. I wonder if such people exist apart from those who imitate the Paschal Lamb, those willing to lay down their lives for Love of God.
America now has an Administration in place that is promoting European Secular Socialism, along with a persistent attack on America's Judeo/Christian heritage. The tradition of a free and independent people who take personal responsibility for their own lives and that of their neighbors according to the Gospel, is replaced by a huge, oppressive government bureaucracy dictating the norms of its Secular Socialist Religion to everyone. It's taken a hundred years for this assault on faith and freedom to reach this point. Pope John Paul II railed against Europe's denial of its Christian heritage. Secular Socialism has achieved the goal of almost stamping out the Catholic faith in the cradle of Western Christian Civilization! Church attendance is in the single digits for most countries of the European Union. Now America is infected with the same poisonous venom entering the body under the guise of "helping the poor" (lose their souls).
Good Pope John XXIII in "Mater et Magistra" stated the problem very simply: Socialism is concerned with ONLY THE MATERIAL side of mankind. But is not the material side the LEAST IMPORTANT PART OF OUR LIVES in the long run? We are not material beings trying to live a spiritual life, but Spiritual Beings forced to endure a temporary stay in a hostile mammon-oriented environment inimical to the salvation of our immortal souls. There's a reason Jesus said: "Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." He would never say: "Blessed are the dependent on a God-less government promoting gross immorality of the Culture of Death, for this 'savior' will bring you an earthly paradise." That's what many Christians promote, as though there were no other way, as in pre-welfare days. This is a virtual deal with the devil, people of faith working with Secular Socialists whose goal is contrary to ours. People of faith are put in a position which FORCES THEM TO BE UNFAITHFUL to Jesus Christ, in order to pledge allegiance to the Secular State. We just witnessed this betrayal in the health-care fiasco. You cannot serve two masters…
Remedy: back to basics. St. Francis bids us live the Gospel of Jesus as few others have. He who most perfectly imitated Jesus produced a Rule of life to guide us on the road to holiness, as well as fidelity to Jesus and Holy Mother Church. Francis designated his lay followers as The Brothers and Sisters of Penance. In effect, we are The Brothers and Sisters of Prayer and Penance, totally focused on union with our Lord and Savior, unable to be seduced by worldly wisdom, so contradictory to what the children of God are about. We see Jesus praying on the Cross, twice quoting the psalms. We pray the psalms as part of the Divine Office, the same psalms Jesus prayed. That's a powerful motivation: to pray the very same psalms that Jesus prayed. The Rule teaches us to pray continuously, our spiritual lifeblood.
Francis endured the pain of the stigmata daily for two years. Like Jesus, he never asked to come down from the cross, or to save himself. We too need to be of that mind, the Mind of Christ, living a life of prayer and penance on the cross in union with Jesus our Savior, in order to Rise with Him to eternal life!
Paul Beery BSP
Morning Star Chapter