MORNING MEDITATION & PRAYER
"My brothers, birds, you should praise your Creator very much and always love him: He gave feathers to clothe you, wings so that you can fly, and whatever else was necessary for you. God made you noble among his creatures, and he gave you a home in the purity of the air; though you neither sow nor reap, he neverthe-less protects and governs you without any solicitude on your part."
-- St. Francis (A sermon given to birds.)
Most High, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, sense and knowledge, Lord, that I may carry out Your holy and true command. Amen. O St. Francis, who voluntarily renounced all the comforts and riches of your home to follow more perfectly the life of poverty and abnegation of Jesus Christ: Obtain for us, we pray, a generous contempt of all things in this world, that we may secure the true and eternal things of heaven. Amen.
AFTERNOON MEDITATION & PRAYER"O how beautiful, how splendid, how glorious did he appear in the innocence of his life, in the simplicity of words, in the purity of his heart, in his love for God, in his fraternal charity, in his ardent obedience, in his peaceful submission, in his angelic countenance! He was charming in his manners, serene by nature, affable in his conversation, most opportune in his exhortations, most faithful in what was entrusted to him, cautious in counsel, effective in business, gracious in all things. He was serene of mind, sweet of disposition, sober in spirit, raised up in contemplation, zealous in prayer, and in all things fervent. He was constant in purpose, stable in virtue, persevering in grace, and unchanging in all things. He was quick to pardon, slow to become angery, ready of wit, tenacious of memory, subtle in discussion, circumspect in choosing, and in all things simple. He was unbending with himself, understanding towards others, and discreet in all things. He wore rough garments; he slept but very briefly; he gave most generously. And because he was very humble, he showed all mildness to all men, adapting himself usefully to the behavior of all. The more holy amongst the holy, among sinners he was as one of them."
-- Thomas of Cellano (An eyewitness description of St. Francis)
God our Father, grant me a holy heart like St. Francis that sees always what is fine and pure, and is not frightened at the sight of sin, but creates order wherever it goes. Grant me a heart that knows nothing of boredom, weeping and sighing. Let me not be too concerned with the bothersome thing I call "myself." Lord, give me a sense of humor and I will find happiness in life and profit for others. Amen.
O highest, almighty, excellent Lord, Thine be the praise, the glory, the honor, and all benediction. To thee, O Highest, alone they belong, And to name thee no man is worthy. Be thou blessed, O Lord, with all things created, Especially my Lord and Brother Sun, For by his dawning thou lightenest our darkness; Beautiful is he and radiant with mighty splendor: Praised by thou, O Lord, for Sister Moon and the Stars, For that thou madest them clear, precious, and lovely. Praised be thou, O Lord, for our Brother the Wind, For air and cloud and sunshine and every weather Whereby thou givest thy creatures their sustenance. Praised be thou, O Lord, for Sister Water, Our helpmate, lowly and precious and pure. Praised be thou, O Lord, for our Brother the Fire, Whereby thou sheddest Thy light on darkness, For he is comely and pleasant and mighty and strong. Praised be thou, O Lord, for our Sister the Earth, That as a Mother sustaineth and feedeth us, And after its kind bringeth forth fruit And grass and many-colored flowers. Praised be thou, O Lord, for them that for thy love forgive, And undergo tribulation and weakness. Blessed are they that shall in peace sustain, For by thee, O Most High, they shall be crowned. Blessed be thou, O Lord, for our Sister, Bodily Death, From which may no man that liveth escape; Woe unto them that shall die in deadly sin; Blessed they that shall conform to thy most holy will, For them the second death harmeth not. Praise and bless our Lord and than him. And serve him with all lowliness.
-- St. Francis, 'Canticle of Brother Sun' (Written in his eighteenth year of penitence after a 40 night vigil.)
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.
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