Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Praying the Little Office of the Passion During Lent

It has been nearly 10 years since I posted something about the Little Office of the Passion on this blog. The office was written by St. Francis. At that time, I couldn't find anything about it on the Internet. Perhaps I wasn't looking very hard or I can't remember that far back. Could be both. 😀

Regardless, now you can find it on the Internet. It is on Wikipedia, too.  Check it out. Little Office of the Passion. Amazing!

Most versions on the Internet, begin with the Our Father prayer. The version on Wikipedia begins with A Prayer Inspired by the Our Father, which according to William R. Hugo OFM Cap. is the prayer to use. He wrote Studying the Life of Saint Francis of Assisi: A Beginner's Workbook, which is excellent. Here is a PDF that summarizes the process.

Lent is a good time to pray the Little Office of the Passion.

Once Again Locating My Favorite Quotes from Francis

Every once in a while, I find myself looking for these two quotes.

"Let us begin, brothers, to serve the Lord our God, for up now we have done little." FA-ED II 640

"I have done what is mine, may Christ teach you yours." FA-ED II 642

They are among my favorites. It took me about 30 minutes to find them this time. Now that I have posted them on this blog, it should be a little easier. 😀

Both can be found in Chapter 14, His Patience And Passing in Death, The Major Legends of Saint Francis, St. Bonaventure.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Great Resource is Just a Click Away

The foundational documents of the Franciscan tradition, including biographies, letters and other important sources are available online at https://www.franciscantradition.org. I had forgotten that this resource exists and was happy to rediscover it. Please share this information with others.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Franciscan Happiness

Happiness is something we all seek.

St. Francis makes it clear what happiness is.

"All who love the Lord with their whole heart, with their whole soul and mind, with all their strength (cf. Mk 12:30), and love their neighbors as themselves (cf. Mt 22:39) and hate their bodies with their vices and sins, and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and produce worthy fruits of penance.

Oh, how happy and blessed are these men and women when they do these things and persevere in doing them, because "the spirit of the Lord will rest upon them" (cf. Is 11:2) and he will make "his home and dwelling among them" (cf Jn 14:23), and they are the sons of the heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5:45), whose works they do, and they are the spouses, brothers, and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Mt 12:50)."

The above two paragraphs come from the opening lines of the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order. By the way, the rule of the brothers and sisters of the Third Order Regular (TOR) also includes the two paragraphs.

Of course, St. Francis is not alone in his view of the importance of loving God and neighbor and the positive benefits of doing so. Centuries earlier, St. Augustine wrote: "Virtuous behavior pertains to the love of God and one's neighbor; the truth of faith pertains to a knowledge of God and of one's neighbor. For the hope of everyone lies in his own conscience in so far as he knows himself to be becoming more proficient in the love of God and in his neighbor." (De doct. chr 3:10) St. Augustine thought that the key to happiness was properly ordered love.

Note that St. Francis' understanding of happiness is different from St. Thomas Aquinas's understanding, which is that happiness is the vision of God that the blessed experience in heaven.

Locating a Quote from Francis

I often see quotes attributed to St. Francis of Assisi that he did not say. The words capture what he thought or was conveying, but some liberty has been taken.

I saw this the other day: "What you are before God, that you are and nothing more." I like it and I will use it because it is gender neutral. However, it not exactly what Francis said.

Francis didn't write a lot and that makes it easy to check out a quote.

Check out Admonition XIX: A Humble Servant of God. Here are two different translations.

"...for what a person is before God that he is and nothing more." FOA Early Documents, Vol. 1, page 135

"...for what a man is before God that he is and nothing more." Francis and Clare - The Complete Works, page 33.

By the way, here is how Saint Bonaventure phrased it: "[Saint Francis] often used to make this statement 'What a man is in God's eye, that he is and nothing more.' " (Legend Major Vol 1, 1.)