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From the “Letter to the Faithful” of Saint Francis of Assisi

"We must also fast and abstain from vices and sins and from an excess of food and drink and be Catholics. We must also frequently visit churches and venerate and revere the clergy not so much for themselves, if they are sinners, but because of their office and administration of the most holy Body and Blood of Christ which they sacrifice upon the altar, receive and administer to others. And let all of us know for certain that no one can be saved except through the holy words and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which the clergy pronounce, proclaim and minister. And they alone must minister and not others. Religious, however, who have left the world, are bound to do more and greater things, but not to overlook these. 

We must hate our bodies with their vices and sins because the Lord says in the Gospel: All evils, vices and sins come from the heart. We must love our enemies and do good to those who hate us. We must observe the commands and counsels of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must also deny ourselves and place our bodies under the yoke of servitude and holy obedience as each one has promised to the Lord. And let no one be bound to obey another in anything in which a crime or sin would be committed. Instead, let the one to whom obedience has been entrusted and who is considered the greater be the lesser and the servant of the others brothers. And let him have and show mercy to each of his brothers as he would want them to do to him were he in a similar position. Let him not become angry at the fault of a brother but, with all patience and humility, let him admonish and support him. 

We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh, but, instead, we must be simple, humble and pure. And let us hold our bodies in scorn and contempt because, through our own fault, we are all wretched and corrupt, disgusting and worms, as the Lord says through the prophet: I am a worm and not a man, the scorn of men and the outcast of the people. We must never desire to be above others, but, instead, we must be servants and subject to every human creature for God’s sake. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon all those men and women who have done and persevered in these things and It will make a home and dwelling place in them. And they will be the children of the heavenly Father, Whose works they do. And they are spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are spouses when the faithful soul is united by the Holy Spirit to our Lord Jesus Christ. We are brothers, moreover, when we do the will of His Father Who is in heaven; mothers when we carry Him in our heart and body through love and a pure and sincere conscience; and give Him birth through a holy activity, which must shine before others by example."

 

Prayer:

You are the holy Lord, the only God, who work wonders. You are strong. You are great. You are most high. You are the Almighty King, You, O Holy Father, King of heaven and earth, You are three and one, the Lord God of gods; You are good, all good, the highest good, Lord God, living and true. You are love, charity. You are wisdom, You are humilty, You are patience, You are beauty. You are meekness, You are security. You are quietitude, You are joy. You are our hope and gladness. You are justice, You are temperance. You are all our riches to the full. You are beauty, You are meekness. You are protector, You are guardian and defender; You are strenght, You are refreshment. You are our hope, You are our faith, You are our charity; You are all our delight. You are our eternal life: The great and wondrous Lord God Almighty, merciful Savior.

Prepared by the Pontifical Theological Faculty “Saint Bonaventure” (Seraphicum)

         

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