Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

St Francis Of Assisi - A Fundamentalist Catholic!

Today the Church remembers and celebrates the life and ministry of the little monk, St. Francis of Assisi. He is often remembered as one of the first hippies because of the stylized portrayal in Zifferelli's 70's era film "Brother Sun, Sister Moon." However, he was no "spiritual liteweight" and took the Gospel literally when he read that he should forsake all to follow Christ.

"Announce the kingdom! Possess no gold or silver or copper in your purses, no traveling bag, no sandals, no staff" (see Luke 9:1-3).

He completely emptied himself of all possessions literally removing all his clothes and returning them to his earthly father as a way of announcing his desire to forsake all and follow Christ. Boy, he sure took the Bible literally didn't he? He was known for his devotion to the Eucharist and his care for the poor and the sick. A story is told of his followers asking him to come and rebuke a worldy sinful priest that they were traveling to see. "What are you going to say to him when you see him Francis? they asked. "I am going to ask him to show me his hands so that I may kiss them because those are the hands that bring me Christ in the Eucharist." Wow! The Lord often brings that story to mind when I have critical thoughts about my pastor or a sermon that "didn't meet my approval."
One of the things that brings me no small pleasure is seeing all the creches in all the churches, regardless of denomination during the Christmas season. For it was that tradition of bringing live animals and a baby in a manger to the Church that St. Francis initiated as a way to honor the Savior during Christmas in 1223.
In the last 2 years of his life he received the stigmata and as he was dying asked to have his clothes removed so he would die as our Lord did, naked. His last words were "Be praised, O Lord, for our Sister Death." He looked forward to seeing his savior Jesus after a life of service to Him.

"Most High, Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of our minds. Give us a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity, so that we may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will. Amen."

St. Francis, I ask you today on your feast day, to pray for me to Jesus so that my heart will grow to love Jesus more than the things of this earth. Thank you!


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October 04, 2006 9:56 PM  
Blogger Prodigal Daughter said...

St. Francis is an amazing example of humility and self denial. Thank you Lord for the Communion of the Saints.

October 04, 2006 10:13 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Yes Prod ! He is!. At a time when there were many abuses and impiety rampant in the Church he chose the path of obedience. Rather than reject the Church and go his own way, he denied himself and with great humility went to Rome and submitted himself to the Pope. Initially he was even thrown out! Did he decide to start his own church? No, he waited patiently and God changed the heart of the Pope through a dream and invited Francis back where he was given full support to pursue his goal of rebuilding the Church!
The reformation could have started in the 13th century if this humble monk chose to follow his own authority and listen to the voices inside his head. He had a following of over 5000 brother monks in less than 10 years and had the persuasive skills to do go it alone on his own, but he submitted to the authority of the Church and worked within it. His order survices and flourishes throughout the world today and the franciscans are known for their personal piety and committment to poverty, celibacy and obedience. All because of the humility and self denial of this little monk 700 years ago! This Church today is much better for the life and continued prayers of St Francis.

October 04, 2006 10:26 PM  

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