Thursday, March 14, 2013

Praise be to Jesus Christ: We have Pope Francis

Praise be to Jesus, we have a new Pope.  And he has chosen the name Francis.  Whether he chose this name because of Francis Xavier or after St. Francis of Assisi, the choice is most significant.  For the Jesuit Order was founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola and based largely upon the revolutionary spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi.

And so, at a time when the Church finds herself in crisis (and she has weathered other storms through the centuries), and when many within the Church have shown that they prefer the darkness to the light, I offer these passages from St. Francis of Assisi, the Mirror of Christ:

"Those who do not wish 'to taste and see how sweet the Lord is' and who 'love the darkness more than the light' by refusing to obey the commandments of God are damned: of them it has been said by the mouth of the prophet, 'Cursed are those who fall from your precepts.'  But how blessed and favored are those who love the Lord and do as the Lord says in the Gospel: 'Love the Lord God with all your heart and soul and your neighbor as yourself.'....

We must hate our own body with its sin and vice, for the Lord has said in the Gospel all sins and vices 'come from the heart,' and 'we should love our enemies and do good to those who hate us.'  We must observe the precepts and counsels of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We must also deny ourselves and put our body under the yoke of discipline and holy obedience, as everyone has promised the Lord." (A Letter to All the Faithful," probably written in 1215).

Notice what St. Francis says here?  We "must" [this is the solemn obligation of everyone who professes to be Christian] put our body under the yoke of discipline and holy obedience.

In this same letter, St. Francis insists that, 'We ought not be wise and prudent 'according to the flesh,' but rather we should be simple, pure, and humble.  We should hold our bodies in low esteem for, through our fault, we are wretched, broken, like worms....All those who live in this way and persevere to the end will have the spirit of the Lord dwelling in them as in a home.  They will be sons of the Heavenly Father and the spouse, brother, and mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.."

Contrast this with the pride of life we have witnessed in many corners of the Church.  Many have preferred darkness and the "wisdom of the flesh."  Obedience to Christ who teaches us through His Church has been replaced by many with self-assertion and self-affirmation.  Such have preferred their own opinions or those of dissenting theologians, Bishops, priests and religious to the authoritative teaching of Jesus Christ, made known to us through the Magisterium.

The Lord willing, we will now have renewal.  The Lord willing, we have begun a new day.  We are a Resurrection People.  If we haven't been already, let's start acting like it!


Steven Cass said...

Hey Paul, don't forget about St. Francis de Sales! All three have a link to this Holy Father. De Sales was trained by Jesuits, and he helped to reeveangelize Protestants.
When I first heard the name he was taking I immediately thought about the words Christ spoke to St Francis: "rebuild my Church" and I wonder, hope even, that Pope Francis had this in mind as well when choosing the name. Thanks for this reflection, and God Bless you Paul.
~Steven Cass

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Excellent point Steven! Shame on me for not mentioning St. Francis de Sales! And this when his Introduction to the Devout Life has formed so much of my own spirituality. I must have read it a dozen times at least.

Thanks and God bless!

Anonymous said...

Now we know it was chosen for St. Francis of Assisi :)
Paul, St. Francis de Sales is a favorite of mine, his Golden Counsels sits at my bedside :) (This is Cynthia M)

Michael F Poulin said...

Hi Paul,
Just got back from the Worcester Diocese Men's conference last night.
One abuse I and several of my friends witnesseed: When our section finished communion, the minister handed out the "extra" hosts like oreo cookies to men in the front row of our section to consume rather than taking them back to the altar for proper disposition. These men, who had already recieved in line the regular way, recieved these hosts siiting down and stuffed them into their own mouths.
Please say a prayer for reparations.
When will it end?

Unknown said...


Lord, carry us safely on Your shoulders
our feet hurt from the rocks and the boulders
the edgy stones, the thistles and the thorns
paved for us by coldhearted scorns

We feel total abandonment and rejection
we don't feel any compassionate affection

Father, why? Have You forsaken us ?
satan uses even his blunderbuss
to annihilate us, bringing us to despair
"he can't touch you, not even a single hair !"

Offer Me all your troubles and pain
I will change it into eternal gain
not only for you, but for many in need
of conversion, salvation, waiting to be freed

I see everything, I know everything about you
My children, I will never forsake you My beloved crew
but I need souls who willingly, freely sacrifice
and offer their sufferings so souls can win the price

Take courage, My little ones, it's only a short time
I love you, I love you, You are so much Mine
Your Father will NEVER abandon you, NEVER EVER
especially NOT in these times of dangerous stormy weather.

I love you so much, Your Jesus.

Rita Biesemans, written after Eucharistic Adoration and a waterfall of tears
September 28 2012

Unknown said...

Fatima, Hope of the world, Apocalyptic Vision
by Rita Biesemans

At Fatima in 1987 on May 13

O Woman, clothed with the sun
the moon under Your feet
You, in Whom Salvation begun
O Mary, Mary name so sweet

O heart so full of smarts
come defeat our self-conceits
renew our ungrateful hearts
O Gateway that to Jesus leads

O dearest Mother, Virgin pure
upon your children blessings shower
against the devil most effective cure
O come to annihilate satan's power

O sing with us a whole new song
of Unity and Godly Peace
Awaiting your Triumph all along
O help us fulfill the Heavenly pleas.

Rita Biesemans, Fatima May 13 1987

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