Updated: Oct 4, 2022
by Father Chris Mason
“My God and my all.” These words were constantly in Francis’ heart and on his mind. I have several mantras that I have repeated over and over to keep my life centered in Jesus’ work as Lord and Savior. “My God and my all” is the one mantra that I have been repeating for the past decade. It is a prayer of adoration. The other mantra is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Both mantras reflect the life of Francis of Assisi, a sinner and a saint.
Francis was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant and a noble lady from France.
His youth was most likely without serious moral lapses, and his exuberant love
of life and a general spirit of worldliness made him a recognized leader. Francis
took part in the war between Assisi and Perugia which landed him in prison for
a year. Upon his release, Francis had a dream of being a new kind of knight. On
his return, he dedicated himself to solitude and prayer so that he might know
God’s will for him. Francis attracted followers and organized an itinerant missionary
group which later became known as the Franciscans (Society of St. Francis). St. Francis
loved the creatures of God and this fervor overflowed in numerous stories and visions
about the creatures. At the end of his life Francis received the marks of the stigmata
in his hands, feet, and side.
We celebrate the Feast Day of St. Francis (October 4) this week. I invite you to take time this week to reflect on Francis’ love of creation, and his life of simplicity, poverty, and constant prayer. What is God’s will for you? Write an aphorism that characterizes your spirituality for God. Try adding it to your daily prayers. Pray the lovely prayer attributed to St. Francis.
Prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; 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. Amen.
Scripture: Matthew 11: 25-30
At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’