Monday, July 16, 2012

The Example of St. Francis of Assisi

See how St. Francis of Assisi found God's will as written in "The Life and Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi" In this day and age, I can never imagine myself going about it this way.

Luckily for Francis, God was there to tell him exactly what he needed to do, and Francis was ready to listen. Together with his two new followers he went, on April 16, 1208, to ask a local priest to perform a sortes biblicae, a then popular method of divining the will of God on a specific matter. The priest performing the sortes biblicae would open the Bible up to a random page and read out the verse his finger landed upon. He would do this three times. The three verses would answer the question at hand. Because entire Bibles were expensive and not commonly held even by all priests, Francis had to have his answer divined from a copy of the New Testament alone, and because neither Francis, Bernard or Peter spoke Latin, the verses had to translated and interpreted for them by the priest.
            The first time the priest opened the book he landed upon these words of Jesus: “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21) The second commandment that the priest pointed to was: “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic.” (Luke 9:3) On his third attempt he came upon: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) Together, the four men agreed, the verses called for a fairly extreme renunciation of all worldly things. Francis, Bernard and Peter carefully committed the verses to memory and from that day onward those three verses would shape their lives. In essence, they were the core of the Franciscan form of life.

So much was at stake and just like that they became sure and committed. Mother Teresa went through a far more thorough and onerous process.

That's why I am in no hurry to judge what's is or isn't from the Lord. Alarming how some blogs and preachers decry City Harvest Church specifically and the Prosperity Gospel generally. Even to the point that these preachers and their flock are going to hell. Who knows? Those who judge might get to hell even faster. Better not get involved in such things. As if there aren't more pressing issues to attend to. I almost didn't want to write this post.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

1 comment:

  1. Lord Jesus has advised that it is incumbent upon us to lay aside any desires to condemn and punish sinners, and to ensure that any attempt at reprisals against sinners is contained. Everyone who has ever inhabited the earth plane has at some point behaved atrociously – no one is without stain of sin.