Francis’ highest intention, his chief desire, his uppermost purpose was to observe the holy Gospel in all things and through all things and, with perfect vigilance, with all zeal, with all the longing of his mind and all the fervor of his heart, “to follow the teaching and the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He would recall Christ’s words through persistent meditation and bring to mind His deeds through the most penetrating consideration. The humility of the Incarnation and the charity of the Passion occupied his memory particularly, to the extent that he wanted to think of hardly anything else.
This is the peace
proclaimed and given to us
by our Lord Jesus Christ
and preached again and again
by our father Francis.
At the beginning and end of every sermon
he announced peace;
in every greeting
he wished for peace;
in every contemplation
he sighed for ecstatic peace.
Profession of Commitment to the Gospel Life
by the grace of God,
renew my baptismal promises
and consecrate myself to the service of His Kingdom.
May the grace of the Holy Spirit,
the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and our holy father Saint Francis,
and the fraternal bonds of community
always be my help,
so that I may reach the goal
of perfect Christian love.
St. Francis cried out and said: “My Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You for the great love and charity which You are showing me, because it is a sign of great love when the Lord punishes His servant well for all his faults in this world, so that he may not be punished for them in the next world. And I am prepared to endure with joy every pain and every adversity which You, my God, wish to send me for my sins.”
~Little Flowers of St. Francis, “Part II: The Considerations of the Holy Stigmata” (thanks to Portiuncula: the Little Portion)