Thursday, October 4, 2012

Happy Feast of St. Francis

White board artwork courtesy of Dominic.
I love the famous prayer of St. Francis, Lord, Make me an instrument of Thy peace...  Just saying those first words lowers my blood pressure, I tell ya.  And meditating on the rest of the words, for me, is the perfect tonic against stress and all my own unfortunate tendencies to frustration and self-centeredness. 

 It's so easy, as a mother of a large family, especially, to be bogged down with the consoling of every slight, the understanding of every woe, the pardoning of every offense -- or the convincing of others to do so -- and the giving, giving, giving, giving...  And it's easy in this world for a mom to have her head turned by the modern notion of personal "self fulfillment" -- through selfishness. A mother can feel squeezed out by the daily-daily of her own beloved family -- and then squashed as well by the expectations of a worldly world.  ==sigh==

 I love my life; I love my family; I am absolutely convicted that I'm doing God's will in my particular station of life as a mother of ten children....  But, still, sometimes I want to scream to the heavens:  Where's my consolation?  Where's the understanding for me?! When do I get to be on the receiving end?! AGH!  Do you ever feel that way? Don't get me wrong; this is not an every day thing.  But, gee whiz, I get tired out sometimes.  Life can be so demanding -- so unrelenting.  I admit I lose my focus.  I lose my way.  I lose my patience, my understanding, my ability to console or be consoled.  Because in the hurry and busy-ness,  I've lost sight of the real goal.

  The goal.  That last line of the prayer.  And all the journey through to the last line -- which is really just as beautiful. We want the goodies without the sacrifice -- the world tells us we should get the one without the other! --  and forget that to receive eternal life, we have to die in this life; to receive, we have to give, etc.   St. Francis understood these things like almost no other.  They say that he was the one man on earth who was most like Christ.  In suffering, in understanding, and in love, I'm sure. St. Francis' prayer is the job description for every walk of life:  we are to be an instrument of peace, to lead everyone we meet -- but especially our own family members -- to God through love, pardon, faith, hope, light, and joy. By giving and giving and giving -- and not looking for anything in return on this earth.

But, still, it's funny how you see, in retrospect sometimes, how it was that when we were least paying attention, we received all the giving back.  Ten-fold.  And we know there'll be more later.

Thanks and love and to St. Francis, my Confirmation saint!  Please pray for us, St. Francis of

Lesser Known Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi's vocation prayer

Most High, Glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of our minds.
Give us a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity,
so that we may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will. Amen.

The Meditation Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

My God and My All!

St. Francis of Assisi's prayer in praise of God given to Brother Leo

You are holy, Lord, the only God,
and Your deeds are wonderful.
You are strong.
You are great.
You are the Most High.
You are Almighty.
You, Holy Father are King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One, Lord God, all Good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good,
Lord God, living and true.
You are love. You are wisdom.
You are humility. You are endurance.
You are rest. You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches, and You suffice for us.
You are beauty.
You are gentleness.
You are our protector.
You are our guardian and defender.
You are our courage. You are our haven and our hope.
You are our faith, our great consolation.
You are our eternal life, Great and Wonderful Lord,
God Almighty, Merciful Saviour.

The Blessing of St. Francis of Assisi to Brother Leo

The Lord bless you and keep you.
May He show His face to you and have mercy.
May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace.
The Lord bless you!

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi before the Blessed Sacrament

We adore You, O Lord Jesus Christ, in this Church and all the Churches of the world, and we bless You, because, by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon of St. Francis of Assisi:

Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather's moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.

Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.

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 our Sister,
Mother Earth
who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon
for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
By You Most High, they will be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility.

St. Francis of Assisi's prayer praising Mary the Mother of Jesus

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.

1 comment:

Bia said...

that beautiful drawing is on the white board??!!??

but .. but ... that's like creating something on an etch a sketch.

i'm worried here.