All that we cling to

For [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][St.] Francis, only God is truly pure. The person who desires friendship with God must strive to be free from all attachments and from all commitments that are exclusively human or in relation to earthly realities. This does not mean that we are to give up our friends or sacrifice our desire for a better job or position. Rather, we may understand attachment here as possessiveness. We are called to be dispossessed of earthly things so as to possess God. To possess means to “cling to,” to hold on to something so tightly that other possibilities are “squeezed out.” Each of us is called to be poor, to empty ourselves of all that we cling to so that we may receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

~ Ilia Delio, Franciscan Prayer

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You have two choices

There is no doubt here that Profession will be a sacrifice if it is taken seriously. This means that you willingly allow yourself to be “set aside” — all is now ready for the infusion of God’s grace in order for you to be able to fulfill your Profession promises. You have two choices. Seek and cooperate with those graces, or continue living your life for yourself and squander those graces.

~ Fr. Richard Trezza, O.F.M., “Profession and the Secular Franciscan: Theological and Liturgical Foundations” (FUN Manual)

He was the saint of excesses

The life of the Poverello (St. Francis) may seem more cheerful and more peaceful than that of some of the other saints. But truth is he was the saint of excesses: excess in sacrifice, excess in love: and it was by reason of his excesses that he held to the happy medium, because his disregard for moderation worked both ways, just as a scale insures better equilibrium the longer it is on both sides.

Francis is the saint of excesses and yet he is the saint with a smile, because he always fused the two. For him, penance was love, and sorrow ‘perfect joy.’ Using this standard, folly was wisdom and excess supreme moderation.

~ Martial Lekeux, OFM, Short-Cut to Divine Love

Climb out of the cradle

But the plain truth is this: love is not matter of getting what you want. Quite the contrary. The insistence on always having what you want, on always being satisfied, on always being fulfilled, makes love impossible. To love you have to climb out of the cradle, where everything is ‘getting’ and grow up to the maturity of giving, without concern for getting anything special in return. Love is not a deal, it is a sacrifice. It is not marketing, it is an act of worship.

~ Thomas Merton, “Love and Need” (via Mark Whitten)

A vibrant witness

Our Franciscanism is not just a private affair nor merely a personal road to sanctity. It is more then one’s belonging to an organization that assures spiritual benefits in an easily obtainable way.

Rather, our Franciscan way of life is a precious gift and an involving mission. By committing ourselves to the gospel of Jesus through observing the SFO rule of life, we become a living sacrifice of praise and thanks, and a vibrant witness of the Good News for all to see and hear.

~ Benet A. Fonck, OFM, Called to Follow Christ

Oh God, you have allowed this to be…

I feel keenly…the painfulness of the ordeal to which God submits you, and the anguish your hearts must feel at the wounds you receive daily. It is true, I agree, that you would need to be a saint to let such things pass and feel no kind of resentment. But if you cannot yet reach such perfection in such pin-pricking vexations, endeavor at least, first, to banish as far as may be every thought, reflection, and remark that may embitter your heart; secondly, when you cannot rid yourself of them, repeat interiorly in your most intimate soul: “Oh God, you have allowed this to be; may your adorable desires and decrees be accomplished in all things: I make you a sacrifice of this difficulty and all its consequences; it shall take whatever form it pleases you: you are the Master; may you be blessed for all things and in all things. Fiat!

~ Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S. J. via SHIRT OF FLAME