“Praised be You, my Lord…”

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord, Yours are the praises, the glory, the honor, and all blessing.

To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no man is worthy to mention Your name….

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks and serve Him with great humility.    

(The Canticle of Brother Sun, by St. Francis of Assisi; Verses1, 2, 9, 14)

Sharing A Franciscan Friar’s Reflection On The Global Community

Secular Franciscan OrderThe following link is to a blog post written by Father Thomas O’Shea, OFM.  He is a friar of Holy Name Province, OFM.  For a while, he was stationed at Saint Anthony Shrine, in downtown Boston.  One of his duties was to be a Spiritual Assistant to my Secular Franciscan fraternity, where he contributed to our newsletter on a monthly basis.  He continues write for the Provincial web site:

https:///hnp.org/ringwood-friar-discusses-year-trauma-global-community/

Belated Happy Feast Day, St. Anthony!

St Anthony of PaduaWith the tragedy in Orlando, Florida; I forgot to write something acknowledging the feast day on June 13th of this blog’s namesake, St. Anthony of Padua.

Born in Portugal, an Augustinian monk; he wound up in Italy as Franciscan friar.  He was famous for his eloquence, and skill as a preacher.  During his life, and after his death, he gained a reputation as a miracle worker.  The following is a prayer, asking his intercession:

O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and charity for His creatures made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers.  Encouraged by thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request).

O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.  Amen.

If there was ever a time when, as a country , and a world; we needed a miracle, it is now!  So, St. Anthony, pray for us!

The Cure – Friday Fictioneers

the shelfThe physician looks at his bottles of potions and salves.  He knows they have done nothing to cure this frail man’s infected eyes.  This situation calls for a drastic cure!  He has read in an ancient text that cauterizing the patient temples will stop the flow of pus.  He prepares the hot iron; the Poverello’s brother friars fidget.  When the holy man sees the red hot iron, he addresses it as “My Brother Fire!”  He prays it will be gentle to him.  The physician steadies his hand, and applies the iron.  The brothers flee the room!  “I felt nothing!”

From a Franciscan Perspective: “Preach it man!”

Lawrence of Brindisi“Preaching, therefore, is a duty that is apostolic, angelic, Christian, divine.  The word of God, is replete with manifold blessings, since it is, so to speak, a treasure of all goods.  It is the source of faith, hope, charity, all virtues, all gifts of the Holy Spirit, all beatitudes of the Gospel, all good works, all the rewards of life, all the praise: Welcome the word that has taken root in you, with its power to save you.

(From a sermon by Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, OFM CAP)

July 21st is the Feast day of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, a Franciscan Capuchin priest, born in Italy in the year 1559.  A scholar, he was famous for his mastery of many languages.  Because of this, he was sent into various European countries, on preaching missions.  He became known as an effective and forceful preacher.

As an ordained deacon in the Catholic Church, one of my ministries is to proclaim the Gospel during the celebration of the Eucharist; and occasionally to preach on that reading from the Gospel.  The above quote from Saint Lawrence strikes a chord within me; because the act of preaching can have an effect not only on the congregation hearing the homily, but also on the preacher himself.  I prepare a week before I am scheduled to preach, prayerfully going over the Scripture readings for that Sunday.  I try to open my mind and my heart to what the Word, Jesus Christ, wishes to reveal to me.  I reflect on how the Gospel speaks not only to myself, but how it will speak to those sitting in front of me.  What is that they need to hear; what words of comfort they need to experience.  There have been times that I will delete a whole written page, because I have been inspired to take a different tack.

To preach is far different than any other type of public speaking.  I stand behind the pulpit, with my written text; as I look over the people before me, I whisper a little prayer.  Then, more often than not, the Holy Spirit takes over, guiding me, inspiring me; the words on the paper, takes on a life of their own.  When I am done, I know that for me, it was a holy, sacred moment.

I have come to realize that there are many ways one can preach the Good News.  It is why I am attracted to blogging; it is another way to share my experience of God’s love.  And it is becoming a means of hearing about others experiences.  And finally, the other means we all have to preach the Gospel, by the way each one of us strive to live in our daily lives; with our families, in our workplaces, in the stores, and on the streets.

A Different Type of Cardinal

Cardinal Sean Weed WhackerThe Boston Pilot reported that on May 11th, 2015,Cardinal Sean O’Malley OFM CAP, Archbishop of Boston, joined staff members of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center, at St. Mary of the Angels Parish in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston.  They were participating in Parish Service Week, where Pastoral Center employees spend the day at an inner city parish, helping to spruce up the parish grounds.  It is an opportunity for the staff to have contact with the urban parishes; get a sense of what is happening on the local level, and see what their needs are.  Cardinal Sean, after some instruction, went to town with a weed whacker, clearing the over growth around the parish buildings and yards.  He even cleared the brush around a statue of St. Francis of Assisi

Pope Francis has stated that he expects bishops and pastors to have the smell of their sheep.  It seems that Cardinal Sean is trying to live up to that expectation.  It is one of the reasons I have a great deal of respect for my fellow Franciscan.