Blog Post - March 9th

S. Frances of Rome| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection




St. Frances of Rome

(1384-1440)

Both Calendars

Frances's life combines aspects of secular and religious life. A devoted and loving wife, she longed for a lifestyle of prayer and service, so she organized a group of women to minister to the needs of Rome's poor.

Born of wealthy parents, Frances found herself attracted to the religious life during her youth. But her parents objected and a young nobleman was selected to be her husband.

As she became acquainted with her new relatives, Frances soon discovered that the wife of her husband’s brother also wished to live a life of service and prayer. So the two, Frances and Vannozza, set out together—with their husbands’ blessings—to help the poor.

Frances fell ill for a time, but this apparently only deepened her commitment to the suffering people she met. The years passed, and Frances gave birth to two sons and a daughter. With the new responsibilities of family life, the young mother turned her attention more to the needs of her own household.

The family flourished under Frances’s care, but within a few years a great plague began to sweep across Italy. It struck Rome with devastating cruelty and left Frances’s second son dead. In an effort to help alleviate some of the suffering, Frances used all her money and sold her possessions to buy whatever the sick might possibly need. When all the resources had been exhausted, Frances and Vannozza went door to door begging. Later, Frances’s daughter died, and the saint opened a section of her house as a hospital.

Frances became more and more convinced that this way of life was so necessary for the world, and it was not long before she requested and was given permission to found a society of women bound by no vows. They simply offered themselves to God and to the service of the poor. Once the society was established, Frances chose not to live at the community residence, but rather at home with her husband. She did this for seven years, until her husband passed away, and then came to live the remainder of her life with the society—serving the poorest of the poor.

Comment:

Looking at the exemplary life of fidelity to God and devotion to her fellow human beings which Frances of Rome was blessed to lead, one cannot help but be reminded of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (September 5), who loved Jesus Christ in prayer and also in the poor. The life of Frances of Rome calls each of us not only to look deeply for God in prayer, but also to carry our devotion to Jesus living in the suffering of our world. Frances shows us that this life need not be restricted to those bound by vows.

Quote:

Malcolm Muggeridge's book Something Beautiful for God contains this quote from Mother Teresa about each sister in her community: “Let Christ radiate and live his life in her and through her in the slums. Let the poor seeing her be drawn to Christ and invite him to enter their homes and lives.” Says Frances of Rome: “It is most laudable in a married woman to be devout, but she must never forget that she is a housewife. And sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find Him in her housekeeping” (Butler’s Lives of the Saints).

Patron Saint of:

Motorists

Widows

Daily Meditation

Pure Gift:

Jesus invites us to unite all we are to Him, to go to Him with everything. When we are able to give Him everything, especially the junk, He is able to radically change us. This is a pure gift.

Quote by S. Padre Pio:

Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today... Let us listen to the voice of our conscience... Today, if you hear the voice of the Lord, do not turn a deaf ear.




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 68: Rejoicing in the Goodness of Others


When others do well, how do you react? Most likely when a child does well it brings delight to your soul. But what about others? A sure sign of a merciful heart is the ability to sincerely find joy in the good that others do. Too often jealousy and envy get in the way of this form of Mercy. But when we delight in the goodness of another and rejoice when God is at work in someone’s life, this is a sign that we have a merciful heart (See Diary #241).


Think about the person that you may find it difficult to offer praise and honor. Who is it that is difficult to compliment and encourage? Why is it this way? We often point out their sin as the reason but the true reason is our own sin. It may be anger, envy, jealousy or pride. But the bottom line is that we must foster a spirit of joy in the good works of others. Reflect upon at least one person you find it difficult to love in this way and pray for that person today. Ask our Lord to give you a merciful heart so that you can rejoice as He works through others.


Lord, help me to see Your presence in others. Help me to let go of all pride, jealousy and envy and to love with Your merciful Heart. I thank You for working in many ways through the lives of others. Help me to see You at work even in the greatest of sinners. And as I discover Your presence, please fill me with a joy that expresses itself with authentic gratitude. Jesus, I trust in You.

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