Advent starts tomorrow. Are you prepared? Do you have your Advent wreath out, and on the table yet? Have you explained ‘Advent’ to your children and other loved ones?
26 days till the BIRTH of CHRIST,
and TOMORROW is the beginning of the ADVENT season.
“HO, HO, HO-ly God, We Praise Thy Name!”
Quote of the Day:
In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma–but never let him be the period.
The Canticle of the Sun by Francis of Assisi (day 12 of 14):
… Be praised, my Lord [Jesus], through our Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. …
The morbid joke is that the two things all must do, is pay taxes and die. In essence, this is true, but the true and absolute fact is that no matter what you do medically and physically, all are going to die eventually. At this moment, you will be judged and your soul will go to heaven, hell, or purgatory to be purged of the remnants of sin – and then to heaven.
What most forget (or do not know) is that it is too late to ask for forgiveness once you die. This judgment is immediate and swift. The other tenant of our faith that most do not think of is that Sister Death coming to us is not the end. We are all also destined to be risen from the dead, just as Jesus was rose from the dead. The good and faithful, living in union with God will be separated from the ‘damned’ after all are risen, and will live forever either with eternal bliss and happiness with Christ, or with both physical and emotional torture eternally with Satan.
The full text of “The Canticle of the Sun” can be found at many web sites
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: St. James of the March
James was born in the March of Ancona. His parents raised him in the fear and love of God, and in due time he was sent to the University of Perugia, where he studied civil and canon law with such remarkable success that he received a doctor’s degree in both subjects. Despite the fact that brilliant positions were already open to him, he soon recognized the vanity of the world and felt a singular attraction for the religious life. At first he thought of joining the contemplative Carthusians, but almighty God, who had destined him to labor for the salvation of thousands of souls in the active life, led him to the Order of St. Francis.
During his novitiate James distinguished himself by the practice of all virtues, so that he became a model of religious perfection. In order to preserve angelic purity, which he had kept unsullied from his youth, he led a most austere life. He never slept more than three hours, and that on the bare floor; the remainder of the night he spent meditating on the sufferings of Christ. He constantly wore a coat of mail having sharp points. and scourged himself daily; Like our holy Father St Francis, he observed a 40-day fast 7 times a year. Bread and water were his regular fare, although he sometimes added uncooked beans or vegetables. Some years later, St. Bernardin of Siena prevailed upon him to mitigate these austerities somewhat in order to conserve his strength.
Soon after his ordination, when he was 30 years old, he was sent out as a missionary. He undertook this high calling with untiring zeal. For more than 50 years he traveled through Italy, Dalmatia, Croatia, Albania, Bosnia, Austria, Bohemia, Saxony, Prussia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Russia. During the years 1427 and 1428 he preached in Vienna, Augsburg, Ratisbon, Ulm, Limburg, Brandenburg, and Leipzig. Inspired by his apostolic example, more than 200 of the noblest young men of Germany were impelled to enter the Franciscan Order. The crowds who came to hear him were so great that the churches were no large enough to accommodate them, and it became imperative for him to preach in the public squares.
At Milan he was instrumental in converting 36 women of bad repute by a single sermon on St. Mary Magdalen. It is said that he brought 50,000 heretics into the bosom of the Church, and led 200,000 unbelievers to baptism. In addition, God granted St. James such wisdom, that popes and princes availed themselves of his services, seeking counsel from him. He possessed the gifts or miracles and of prophesy in great measure, yet his humility surpassed all those distinctions. He was offered the archepiscopal dignity of the see of Milan, but he declined with these words, “I have no other desire upon earth than to do penance and to preach penance as a poor Franciscan.”
Worn out by his many labors as well as advanced age, he died at Naples, November 28, 1476, in the 85th year of his life, 60 years of which were consecrated to God in the religious state. He was entombed in the Franciscan church at Naples, where his body can still be seen in a crystal coffin, incorrupt, flexible, and emitting a fragrant perfume. Pope Benedict XIII canonized St. James in 1726.
from: The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, ofm.,
© 1959 Franciscan Herald Press
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)
From the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule Prolgue, Chapter 1:
… We are spouses, when by the Holy Spirit the faithful soul is united with our Lord Jesus Christ; we are brothers to him when we fulfill “the will of the Father who is in heaven” (Mt 12:50).
We are mothers, when we carry him in our heart and body (cf. 1 Cor 6:20) through divine love and a pure and sincere conscience; we give birth to him through a holy life which must give life to others by example (cf. Mt 5:16). …