From the ÂLetter to the FaithfulÂ of Saint Francis of Assisi
"Those who do not wish to taste how sweet the Lord is and who love the darkness more than the light, not wishing to fulfill GodÂs commands, are cursed; it is said of them by the prophet: Cursed are those who stray from your commands. But how happy and blessed are those who love God and do as the Lord Himself says in the Gospel: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.
Let us love God, therefore, and adore Him with a pure heart and a pure mind, because He Who seeks this above all things has said: True adorers adore the Father in Spirit and Truth. For all who adore Him must adore Him in the Spirit of truth. And day and night let us direct praises and prayers to Him, saying: Our Father, Who art in heaven . . . for we should pray always and not become weary.
We must, of course, confess all our sins to a priest and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ from him. Whoever does not eat His flesh and drink His blood cannot enter the kingdom of God. But let him eat and drink worthily because anyone who receives unworthily, not distinguishing, that is, not discerning, the Body of the Lord, eats and drinks judgment on himself. In addition, let us produce worthy fruits of penance. And let us love our neighbors as ourselves. And if anyone does not want to love them as himself, let him at least not do them any harm, but let him do good.
Let whoever has received the power of judging others pass judgment with mercy, as they would wish to receive mercy from the Lord. For judgment will be without mercy for those who have not shown mercy. Let us, therefore, have charity and humility and give alms because it washes the stains of our sins from our souls. For, although people lose everything they leave behind in this world, they, nevertheless, carry with them the rewards of charity and the alms they have given for which they will receive a reward and fitting repayment from the Lord."
Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God, give us miserables ones the grace to do for You alone what we know you want us to do and always to desire what pleases You. Inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, may we be able to follow in the footprints of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Chris, and, by Your grace alone, may we make our way to You, Most high, who live and rule in perfect Trinity and simple Unity, are glorified God almighty, forever and ever.
Prepared by the Pontifical Theological Faculty ÂSaint BonaventureÂ (Seraphicum)