Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lent with St. Francis, Holy Thursday

We should confess all our sins to a priest and receive from him the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. The man who does not eat his flesh and drink his blood cannot enter into the kingdom of God (Jn 6:54).  Only he must eat and drink worthily because he who eats and drinks unworthily, without distinguishing the body, eats and drinks judgment to himself (1 Cor. 11:29); that is, if he sees no difference between it and other food.

Besides this, we must bring forth therefore fruits befitting repentance and love our neighbors as ourselves. Anyone who will not or cannot love his neighbor as himself should at least do him good and not do him any harm.

Those who have been entrusted with the power of judging others should pass judgment mercifully, just as they themselves hope to obtain mercy from God. For judgment is without mercy to him who has not shown mercy (James 2:13). We must be charitable, too, and humble, and give alms, because they wash the stain of sin from our souls. We lose everything which we leave behind us in this world; we can bring with us only the right to a reward for our charity and the alms we have given. For these we shall receive a reward, a just retribution from God.

- St. Francis, Letter to All the Faithful 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lent with St. Francis, Wednesday of Holy Week

We should all realize that no matter where or how a man dies, if he is in the state of mortal sin and does not repent, when he could have done so and did not, the devil tears his soul from his body with such anguish and distress that only a person who has experienced it can appreciate it. All the talent and ability, all the learning and wisdom which he thought his own, are taken away from him, while his relatives and friends bear off his property and share it among themselves. . . And the worms feast on his body. So he loses both body and soul in this short life and goes to hell, where he will be tormented without end. - St. Francis, Letter to All the Faithful

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lent with St. Francis, Tuesday of Holy Week

Every creature in heaven and on earth and in the depths of the sea should give God praise and glory and honor and blessing; He has borne so much for us and has done and will do so much good to us; He is our power and our strength, and He alone is good (Lk 18:19), He alone most high, He alone all-powerful, wonderful, and glorious; He alone is holy and worthy of all praise and blessing for endless ages and ages. Amen. - St. Francis, Letter to All the Faithful

Monday, April 14, 2014

Diocese of Springfield, MA Annual Catholic Appeal - More Than Just Money

Each year, our Diocese conducts an Annual Catholic Appeal. It used to be in May, but for the past few years, it has been held to coincide with Lent, during which we are supposed to make a special effort to give alms.

One new thing the Diocese of Springfield, MA is doing this year is emphasizing the importance of offering one's time in addition to one's treasure and are encouraging volunteering as part of the appeal. Here is a page with some places where one can volunteer one's time in our Diocese:

I think this is a wonderful idea!

Lent with St. Francis, Monday of Holy Week

We should wish for nothing else and have no other desire; we should find no pleasure or delight in anything except in our Creator, Redeemer, and Saviour; He alone is true God, who is perfect good, all good, every good, the true and supreme good, and He alone is good, loving and gently, kind and understanding; He alone is holy, just, true, and right; He alone is kind, innocent, pure, and from Him, through Him, and in Him is all pardon, all grace, and all glory for the penitent, the just, and the blessed who rejoice in heaven. - St. Francis, Rule of 1221

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lent with St. Francis, Palm Sunday

Most High, all powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, the honor,
and all blessing.

To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no man is worthy to mention Your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praise be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon
and the stars, in heaven you formed them
clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather through which
You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night and he is beautiful
and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.

Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no living man can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will
find in Your most holy willl,
for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord,
and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.

St. Francis, The Canticle of Brother Sun

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lent with St. Francis, Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent

Where there is Love and Wisdom, there is neither Fear nor Ignorance.
Where there is Patience and Humility, there is neither Anger nor Annoyance.
Where there is Poverty and Joy, there is neither Cupidity nor Avarice.
Where there is Peace and Contemplation, there is neither Care nor Restlessness.
Where there is the Fear of God to guard the dwelling, there no enemy can enter.
Where there is Mercy and Prudence, there is neither Excess nor Harshness.
- St. Francis, The Admonitions 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Lent with St. Francis, Friday of the 5th Week of Lent

Blessed that friar who loves his brother as much when he is sick and can be of no use to him as when he is well and can be of use to him. Blessed that friar who loves and respects his brother as much when he is absent as when he is present and who would not say anything behind his back that he could not say charitably to his face. - St. Francis, The Admonition