Thursday, May 10, 2007


I was listening this noon to Relevant Radio and heard someone mention that Blessed Pope John XXIII was the one who asked that the word "and joys" be added to the offering of our daily sorrows to God in the Daily Offering Prayer.

How typical of his joyful spirit of faith.

How needed. We can offer each sorrow AND JOY to God because He cares for us.

And now I just read this from Thomas de Celano (around 1190-1260). He wrote a biography of St. Francis and St. Clare / Vita Secunda of St. Francis, §125 and 127 (translated from the French - Debonnets et Vorreux, Documents, p.430) .

Some of you know that I am not a huge fan of things Franciscan, more from temperment than anything else. So, it's a relatively big deal for me to cite the great Gentle Man from Assisi. But this is worth it.

By the way, I didn't know they had basements in the Middle Ages.

“I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you” Saint Francis maintained: “My best defense against all the plots and tricks of the enemy is still the spirit of joy. The devil is never so happy as when he has succeeded in robbing one of God’s servants of the joy in his or her soul. The devil always has some dust on hold that he blows into someone’s conscience through a small basement window so as to make opaque what is pure. But in a heart that is filled with joy, he tries in vain to introduce his deadly poison.

The demons can do nothing against a servant of Christ whom they find filled with holy gladness; whereas a dejected, morose and depressed soul easily lets itself be submerged in sorrow or captured by false pleasures.” That is why he himself always tried to keep his heart joyful, to preserve that oil of gladness with which his soul had been anointed (Ps 45:7).

He took great care to avoid sorrow, the worst of illnesses, and when he felt that it was beginning to infiltrate his soul, he immediately had recourse to prayer. He said: “At the first sign of trouble, the servant of God must get up, begin to pray, and remain before the Father until the latter has caused him or her to retrieve the joy of the person who is saved.” (Ps 51:12)… I sometimes saw Francis with my own eyes picking up a piece of wood from the ground, placing it on his left arm, and scraping it with a straight stick as if he were moving a bow on a violin. In this way, he mimed an accompaniment to the praises he was singing to the Lord in French."

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