Susan’s Thursday Note March 14, 2013
Quotes from St. Francis of Assisi and St. Francis de Sales
Good morning! I’m standing guard of my second strong cup of filler with coffee for a certain little whosit believes the cats would love to have their share. Dishoovled cranes are flying overhead squawking at their leader. Little offspring now waving goodbye as my purse is carried around the corner over his shoulder down the hallway as he points and informs me that I am his “mama” and he is “aan”. Life has begun. The angel of dawn has arrived at my door giving me another gift of a new dawn. I believe I hear a little bird singing specifically to me…informing me that spring is so so near.
Yesterday we watched as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina became Pope Francis. I recently ordered The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi, a collection of beautiful short stories (“little flowers”) written 900 years ago. St. Francis de Sales also has been an influence to me through his collection of devotions, Introduction to the Devout Life. I found myself interested in seeking out these two books tonight after being reminded of their encouragement after Cardinal Bergoglio chose Francis for his new name. Below are some of the quotes to help us from these two saints. Some quotes now almost 1000 years old. I can only imagine all through these years have been sustained because of these thoughts in their minds. I hope you find encouragement from them also.
St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)
Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words. (St. Francis of Assisi)
The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today. (St. Francis of Assisi)
Form often this good thought, that we are walking in this world between Paradise and Hell, and that our last step will place us in an eternal dwelling. We do not know which step will be our last, and so, in order to make our last step well, we must try to make all the others well.O holy and unending eternity! Blessed is he who thinks of you. Yes, for what do we play here in this world but a children’s game for who knows how many days? It would be nothing whatever, if it were not the passage to eternity.
On this account, therefore, we must pay attention to the time we have to dwell here below, and to all our occupations, so as to employ them in the conquest of the permanent good. (St. Frances de Sales)
We should seek not so much to pray but to become prayer. (St. Francis of Assisi)
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. (St. Francis of Assisi)
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle. (St. Francis of Assisi)
Blessed is the servant who loves his brother as much when he is sick and useless as when he is well and an be of service to him. And blessed is he who loves his brother as well when he is afar off as when he is by his side, and who would say nothing behind his back he might not, in love, say before his face. (St. Francis of Assisi)
The measure of love is to love without measure. (St. Frances de Sales)
Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.
Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations, and say continually: The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart has trusted in Him and I am helped. he is not only with me, but in me and I in Him.
Make friends with the angels, who though invisible are always with you. Often invoke them, constantly praise them, and make good use of their help and assistance in all your temporal and spiritual affairs. (St. Frances de Sales)
Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly. (St. Frances de Sales)
The many troubles in your household will tend to your edification, if you strive to bear them all in gentleness, patience, and kindness. Keep this ever before you, and remember constantly that God’s loving eyes are upon you amid all these little worries and vexations, watching whether you take them as He would desire. Offer up all such occasions to Him, and if sometimes you are put out, and give way to impatience, do not be discouraged, but make haste to regain your lost composure. (St. Frances de Sales)
Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even when your whole world seems upset. (St. Frances de Sales)
If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its Master’s presence. And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back and place it again in Our Lord’s presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed. (St. Frances de Sales)
Lately I was near the beehives and some of the bees flew onto my face. I wanted to raise my hand, and brush them off. ‘No,’ said a peasant to me, ‘do not be afraid, and do not touch them. They will not sting you at all, if you touch them they will bite you.’ I trusted him; not one bit me. Trust me; do not fear these temptations. Do not touch them; they will not hurt you. (St. Frances de Sales)
Thank you for letting me enter your Thursday. Easter is approaching. A perfect time to have these thoughts be what we have in the forefront of our mind. Once again, trying to keep an eternal perspective. This week I have often reminded myself of advice I read in one of my favorite books on making decisions, Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy. What I have been encouraging myself with is his advice on what we let bother us and use our energies on. He discusses what is going to affect us immediately compared to what will affect us in five years. To try to focus on what will be still affecting us in five years, trying to let go of the pressures and hurts of what are only affecting us immediately. If we take that to the next level we can go beyond five years to 100 years – can we keep the eternal perspective on what daily comes? On what bothers us, hurts us, or ways we feel misunderstood? I love his advice. Just that one thought keeps me looking across the room at those that I will be with in five years, those that are part of who I am eternally.
Perspective. Tonight we have the chance to write how we use our thoughts today. How we use our gift from the angel of dawn. Our gift of having today. Will we have words worthy of inscription? Will we look into the eyes of others? Will we realize all have a story. Will we show kindness? Regardless of what we have in our personal circumstances, will we think of the eternal story? Look up to the stars. Look to the heavens. Fall (even if mentally) to our knees? Make the gift of today be worthy of taking? Thank you for coming into our store, for letting me send you this note. The birds are all beginning to sing for us again. Do you hear them? They are singing for you. Let us realize how beautiful life is. Susan
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” (St. Francis of Assisi)
Latin for this week:
prex precis – request, entreaty, prayer
Domine, fac me servum pacis tuae,
ubi odium, amorem seram;
ubi iniuria, veniam;
ubi dubium, fidem;
ubi desperatio, spem;
ubi caligo, lucem;
ubi tristitia, laetitiam.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon,
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
St. Francis of Assisi. The Little Flowers of St. Francis. Massachusetts. Paraclete Press. 2011.
St. Francis de Sales. Introduction to the Devout Life. New York. Penguin Putnam. 2002.