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Blog Post - April 2nd

S. Francis of Paola| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection


St. Francis of Paola

(1416-1507)

Both Calendars

Francis of Paola was a man who deeply loved contemplative solitude and wished only to be the "least in the household of God." Yet, when the Church called him to active service in the world, he became a miracle-worker and influenced the course of nations.

After accompanying his parents on a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi, he began to live as a contemplative hermit in a remote cave near Paola, on Italy's southern seacoast. Before he was 20, he received the first followers who had come to imitate his way of life. Seventeen years later, when his disciples had grown in number, Francis established a Rule for his austere community and sought Church approval. This was the founding of the Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi, who were approved by the Holy See in 1474.

In 1492, Francis changed the name of his community to "Minims" because he wanted them to be known as the least (minimi) in the household of God. Humility was to be the hallmark of the brothers as it had been in Francis's personal life. Besides the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, Francis enjoined upon his followers the fourth obligation of a perpetual Lenten fast. He felt that heroic mortification was necessary as a means for spiritual growth.

It was Francis's desire to be a contemplative hermit, yet he believed that God was calling him to the apostolic life. He began to use the gifts he had received, such as the gifts of miracles and prophecy, to minister to the people of God. A defender of the poor and oppressed, Francis incurred the wrath of King Ferdinand of Naples for the admonitions he directed toward the king and his sons.

Following the request of Pope Sixtus IV, Francis traveled to Paris to help Louis XI of France prepare for his death. While ministering to the king, Francis was able to influence the course of national politics. He helped to restore peace between France and Brittany by advising a marriage between the ruling families, and between France and Spain by persuading Louis XI to return some disputed land.

Francis died while at the French court.

Stories:

The King of France, Louis XI, was slowly dying after an apoplectic seizure. He sent a messenger to Italy to beg Francis to come and heal him, making many promises to assist him and his order. Francis refused, until the king appeal to the pope, who ordered Francis to go. Louis fell on his knees and begged Francis to heal him. The saint replied that the lives of kings are in rhe hands of God and have their appointed limits: Prayer should be addressed to God.

Many meetings followed. Though Francis was an unlearned man, those who heard him testified that his words were so full of wisdom that all present were convinced the Holy Spirit wa speaking through him. By prayer and example he brought about a change of heart in the king, who died peacefully in his arms.

Comment:

The life of Francis of Paola speaks plainly to an overactive world. He was a contemplative man called to active ministry and must have felt keenly the tension between prayer and service. Yet in Francis's life it was a productive tension, for he clearly utilized the fruits of contemplation in his ministry, which came to involve the workings of nations. He responded so readily and so well to the call of the Church from a solid foundation in prayer and mortification. When he went out to the world, it was not he who worked but Christ working through him—"the least in the household of God."

Patron Saint of:

Sailors

Daily Meditation

Road to Perfection:

God willing, when all is said and done, and we have lived our last adventure, God will have led us through our hesitations, our imperfections, and our not-so-stellar days to be the perfect children he is always meant for us to be.

Quote by S. Padre Pio:

I cannot tolerate criticism and speaking ill of our brothers. It is true, sometimes I enjoy teasing them, but speaking ill of them makes me sick.



Divine Mercy Reflection


Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111


This first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction to this book, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.


In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.


The reflections in this first chapter, based on the first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.


Reflection 92: Creativity in Prayer


Often times, our days are filled with activity. Families are often occupied with one event or another. Chores and work can pile up and we may find, at the end of the day, that we have had little time to pray to God in solitude. But solitude and prayer can happen at times throughout our busy day. Though it’s important to look for moments when we can be alone with God, giving Him our full attention, we should also look for opportunities to pray, interiorly, in the midst of our busy lives (See Diary #401).


Do you find that your life is full of activity? Do you find that you are often too busy to get away and pray? Though this is not the ideal, it can be remedied by looking for opportunities within your busyness. At a school event, while driving, while cooking or cleaning, we always have the opportunity to raise our minds and hearts to God in prayer. Remind yourself, this day, that you can pray during most moments of the day. Praying continually, this way, may provide the solitude you so desperately need.


Lord, I long to be in Your presence throughout my day. I long to see You and to love You always. Help me to pray to You, in the midst of my activity, so that I may always be in Your company. Jesus, I trust in You.

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