We are the first house that God wants to restore

Like Francis, always begin with yourselves. We are the first house that God wants to restore. If you are always able to renew yourselves in the spirit of the Gospel you will continue to help the Pastors of the Church to make her face as Christ’s Bride ever more beautiful. This is what the Pope expects of you, today, as at the outset.

~ Pope Benedict XVI, Address to the Franciscan Family Taking Part In The International “Chapter Of Mats”, 18 April 2009

He prepared to obey…

While he was in this affected state, something absolutely unheard-of occurred. The crucifix moved its lips and began to speak. “Francis,” it said, calling him by name, “go and repair my house, which, as you see, is completely destroyed.” Francis was stupefied and nearly deranged by this speech. He prepared to obey, surrendering himself completely to the project. But since he considered the change in him to be beyond description, it is best for us to be silent about what he himself could not describe. From then on compassion for the crucified one was imprinted in his holy soul and, one may devoutly suspect, the stigmata of the holy passion were deeply imprinted in his heart, though not yet in his flesh.

~Thomas of Celano, First and Second Lives of Saint Francis