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November 7th, 2019 - 09:36 AM
Nov 7 - “St. Francis, Father of the Poor” © icon by Br. Robert Lentz, OFM.
The writings of St. Francis are filled with an insistence that God alone is good. His entire spiritual life was based on this realization. Whatever we accomplish, whatever good we see in ourselves or in the world around us, is the free gift of God. Because all humans and all of creation depend so radically on the good God, we are all related as sisters and brothers.
Once when St. Clare and her nuns kept insisting that Francis come and preach to them in person, he surprised them with a symbolic action that encouraged them to look beyond his person to the goodness of God. He asked for a bowl of ashes which he scattered in a circle on the ground. He sat down in the circle and scattered the rest of the ashes on himself. He then prayed a penitential psalm to acknowledge what we would be without God, and walked away in silence. The nuns understood him completely.
How often the daughters of St. Clare have reminded the world of the values of poverty and humility. First to receive the sermon of the ashes, they have kept it alive through the centuries, drawing us back to what is true. Franciscan friars presented this icon in gratitude to Mother Mary Francis and the Poor Clare nuns of Roswell, New Mexico, on July 26, 2004.
His feast day is October 4.