Novena in Honour of St Francis of Assisi: Br Richard Hendrick OFM Cap.

Novena in Honour of St Francis of Assisi: Br Richard Hendrick OFM Cap.

Day 9

Thought for the day

 

At the heart of the life of Francis, at the centre of his sanctity, is his desire to become one with Christ in Love. Through his meditation upon the humility of the Incarnation and the emptying of self in love that it implies in the Crib, the Cross and above all in the Eucharist, Francis finds his way to the heights of holiness by following Jesus into the depths of His love for all creation. To be one with Christ is to be one with Him in this self emptying so that he might be filled with His Love and become brother to all.

Meditation:

Today allow the meditation of Francis to be your meditation too. Allow his prayer of praise, love and longing to rest in your breath as we pray with him, “My God and my All.”

Prayer of the Companions of St. Francis:

Draw us to yourself, most worthy Father Francis, that we may run after your fragrance of holiness. As you know, we are lukewarm because of our sloth, languid because of our idleness, half-alive because of our negligence. This little flock is following you with hesitant steps. Our weak eyes cannot bear the dazzling rays of your perfection.

Renew our days as from the beginning, O mirror and model of perfection, and do not allow us, who are like you in our profession, to be unlike you in our lives.
Holy Father, remember all your sons and daughters, who surrounded by inextricable danger, follow your footsteps though from so great a distance. Give us strength that we may resist; purify us that we may gleam forth; fill us with joy that we may be happy. Pray that the spirit of grace and of prayer be poured upon us; that we may have the true humility you had; that we may observe the poverty you observed; that we may be filled with the charity with which you always loved Christ Crucified, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns world without end. Amen.


Day 8

Thought for the day:

Francis is known as the great peacemaker saint. His ability to bring people together and resolve conflict arose from his awareness that real peace comes living in right relationship with God, with self and with all creation. Today let us ask the way of peace together by seeking the peace that only God can bring.

Meditation:

today let the greeting revealed by God to St. Francis, “The Lord give you His peace!” dwell in your breath as you meet others and above all as you meet your inner self.

Prayer of the Companions of St. Francis:

Draw us to yourself, most worthy Father Francis, that we may run after your fragrance of holiness. As you know, we are lukewarm because of our sloth, languid because of our idleness, half-alive because of our negligence. This little flock is following you with hesitant steps. Our weak eyes cannot bear the dazzling rays of your perfection.

Renew our days as from the beginning, O mirror and model of perfection, and do not allow us, who are like you in our profession, to be unlike you in our lives.

Holy Father, remember all your sons and daughters, who surrounded by inextricable danger, follow your footsteps though from so great a distance. Give us strength that we may resist; purify us that we may gleam forth; fill us with joy that we may be happy. Pray that the spirit of grace and of prayer be poured upon us; that we may have the true humility you had; that we may observe the poverty you observed; that we may be filled with the charity with which you always loved Christ Crucified, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns world without end. Amen.


Day 7

Thought for the day:

As Francis advanced in contemplative illumination he dwelt in the awareness that every being and all that exists has its origin from Love, is held in existence by Love, and has as its ultimate destiny the revelation of itself as a word from Divine Love. All creation became a ladder of love returning the one who contemplates them to their origin.
Dwelling like Francis in this sacramental vision of creation we too become aware of every being as a brother or sister in the Love that is God.

Meditation:

Today allow the cry the heart of St. Francis that “Love is not loved!” to rest in your breath and so invite you to see every creature you meet as an expression of Divine Love to be received with love in return.

Prayer of the Companions of St. Francis:

Draw us to yourself, most worthy Father Francis, that we may run after your fragrance of holiness. As you know, we are lukewarm because of our sloth, languid because of our idleness, half-alive because of our negligence. This little flock is following you with hesitant steps. Our weak eyes cannot bear the dazzling rays of your perfection.

Renew our days as from the beginning, O mirror and model of perfection, and do not allow us, who are like you in our profession, to be unlike you in our lives.

Holy Father, remember all your sons and daughters, who surrounded by inextricable danger, follow your footsteps though from so great a distance. Give us strength that we may resist; purify us that we may gleam forth; fill us with joy that we may be happy. Pray that the spirit of grace and of prayer be poured upon us; that we may have the true humility you had; that we may observe the poverty you observed; that we may be filled with the charity with which you always loved Christ Crucified, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns world without end. Amen.


Day 6

Thought for the day:

 

From the moment of his encounter with the Leper on the road Francis was a man filled with a desire to serve Christ in the least, and the lost, in those on the edges of society. Labouring as a healer and a peacemaker he would reach out to all he met seeing first in them a brother or a sister in need, a temple of the Holy Spirit. In recognising their essential goodness he invited them to make space in their lives for great healings and conversion to take place.

Meditation:

Today let the greeting of Francis, “Good-morning good people!” rest in your breath as a reminder of the fundamental goodness in God of every sister or brother we encounter along the way.

Prayer of the Companions of St. Francis:

Draw us to yourself, most worthy Father Francis, that we may run after your fragrance of holiness. As you know, we are lukewarm because of our sloth, languid because of our idleness, half-alive because of our negligence. This little flock is following you with hesitant steps. Our weak eyes cannot bear the dazzling rays of your perfection.

Renew our days as from the beginning, O mirror and model of perfection, and do not allow us, who are like you in our profession, to be unlike you in our lives.
Holy Father, remember all your sons and daughters, who surrounded by inextricable danger, follow your footsteps though from so great a distance. Give us strength that we may resist; purify us that we may gleam forth; fill us with joy that we may be happy. Pray that the spirit of grace and of prayer be poured upon us; that we may have the true humility you had; that we may observe the poverty you observed; that we may be filled with the charity with which you always loved Christ Crucified, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

 


 

Day 5

Thought for the day:

It was in the encounter with the Crucified Christ of the ruined chapel of San Damian that Francis found his call to “Go and Rebuild the house of God”. At first he saw this as a literal call to rebuild a ruin but over time God deepened his awareness that his call was first to the conversion of his own heart and then to call others to such a conversion. However God used his limited understanding to establish a home for the first sisters who would join him later. Reminding us that God can use every aspect of our lives, even our misunderstandings if we let Him.

Meditation:

Today allow the prayer of Francis before the crucifix to dwell with you in your breath and surrender your limited understanding of yourself to Divine Wisdom:

“We adore you O Christ here and in all your churches throughout the world and we bless you, for by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.”

Prayer of the Companions of St. Francis:

Draw us to yourself, most worthy Father Francis, that we may run after your fragrance of holiness. As you know, we are lukewarm because of our sloth, languid because of our idleness, half-alive because of our negligence. This little flock is following you with hesitant steps. Our weak eyes cannot bear the dazzling rays of your perfection.

Renew our days as from the beginning, O mirror and model of perfection, and do not allow us, who are like you in our profession, to be unlike you in our lives.
Holy Father, remember all your sons and daughters, who surrounded by inextricable danger, follow your footsteps though from so great a distance. Give us strength that we may resist; purify us that we may gleam forth; fill us with joy that we may be happy. Pray that the spirit of grace and of prayer be poured upon us; that we may have the true humility you had; that we may observe the poverty you observed; that we may be filled with the charity with which you always loved Christ Crucified, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns world without end. Amen.


Day 4

Thought for the day:

As he entered ever more deeply into prayer St. Francis was often seen to be absorbed in contemplation such that preaching, or praying he was always in the presence of God and sought that his brothers would always be open to the Holy Spirit in the same way:

Meditation:

Today rest in your breath with the ancient Absorbeat Prayer, used and taught by St. Francis and ask that we may always be present to the One who is always present to us.

“May the power of your love, Lord Christ,
fiery and sweet as honey, so absorb our hearts as to withdraw them from all that is under heaven. Grant that we may be ready to die for love of your love, as you died for love of our love. Amen”

Prayer of the Companions of St. Francis:

Draw us to yourself, most worthy Father Francis, that we may run after your fragrance of holiness. As you know, we are lukewarm because of our sloth, languid because of our idleness, half-alive because of our negligence. This little flock is following you with hesitant steps. Our weak eyes cannot bear the dazzling rays of your perfection.
.
Renew our days as from the beginning, O mirror and model of perfection, and do not allow us, who are like you in our profession, to be unlike you in our lives.
Holy Father, remember all your sons and daughters, who surrounded by inextricable danger, follow your footsteps though from so great a distance. Give us strength that we may resist; purify us that we may gleam forth; fill us with joy that we may be happy. Pray that the spirit of grace and of prayer be poured upon us; that we may have the true humility you had; that we may observe the poverty you observed; that we may be filled with the charity with which you always loved Christ Crucified, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns world without end.

Amen.

 


Day 3

Thought for the day: Mercy

In the early days of his conversion the prayer of Francis was often for mercy. We are told he would spend the whole night in the forests around Assisi in prayer for mercy for himself and for others.
Mercy for the Christian is not just forgiveness of sins but the healing of the self such that it returns to right relationship with God, with others and with the whole cosmos.

 Meditation:

Today unite your breath with the ancient prayer for mercy that Francis and so many saints have used:
“Lord Jesus Christ, son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.”

Prayer of the Companions of St. Francis:

Draw us to yourself, most worthy Father Francis, that we may run after your fragrance of holiness. As you know, we are lukewarm because of our sloth, languid because of our idleness, half-alive because of our negligence. This little flock is following you with hesitant steps. Our weak eyes cannot bear the dazzling rays of your perfection.

Renew our days as from the beginning, O mirror and model of perfection, and do not allow us, who are like you in our profession, to be unlike you in our lives.

Holy Father, remember all your sons and daughters, who surrounded by inextricable danger, follow your footsteps though from so great a distance. Give us strength that we may resist; purify us that we may gleam forth; fill us with joy that we may be happy. Pray that the spirit of grace and of prayer be poured upon us; that we may have the true humility you had; that we may observe the poverty you observed; that we may be filled with the charity with which you always loved Christ Crucified, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns world without end. Amen.


Day 2

Thought for the Day – Solitude

In the early days of his conversion Francis began to feel a pull to be alone with the Lord. He would seek out lonely places like hilltops, forests, caves and abandoned churches to spend time in silence listening for the voice of the Lord. Let silence call you into peace today.

Meditation:

Today let the prayer of Francis in his solitude settle into your breath and try and create a cave for prayer in your heart:
The Prayer of the Cave:
Most high and glorious God,
bring light to the darkness of my heart,
and give me, right faith, certain hope and perfect love, sense and knowledge that I may carry out your holy and true command.

Prayer of the Companions of St. Francis:

Draw us to yourself, most worthy Father Francis, that we may run after your fragrance of holiness. As you know, we are lukewarm because of our sloth, languid because of our idleness, half-alive because of our negligence. This little flock is following you with hesitant steps. Our weak eyes cannot bear the dazzling rays of your perfection.

Renew our days as from the beginning, O mirror and model of perfection, and do not allow us, who are like you in our profession, to be unlike you in our lives.
Holy Father, remember all your sons and daughters, who surrounded by inextricable danger, follow your footsteps though from so great a distance. Give us strength that we may resist; purify us that we may gleam forth; fill us with joy that we may be happy. Pray that the spirit of grace and of prayer be poured upon us; that we may have the true humility you had; that we may observe the poverty you observed; that we may be filled with the charity with which you always loved Christ Crucified, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

 

 


Day 1 – Thought for the Day:

The first real prayer of Francis we are told about is the great cry of his heart to God while trying to discern his future, “Who are you my God and what am I!” It is a reminder that the first step of the spiritual journey is to allow God to be God in our lives so as to illumine the mystery of our being. To know who and what we are is only possible in the light of divine grace; but for this to break through we may have to face seeming disaster or tragedy just as Francis did that wakes us up to reality as it is… a quest for the revelation of Divine Love!

Daily meditation:

Today take for yourself the prayer of Francis: Who are you my God and what am I… allow it to settle with you in your heart through your breathing, then pray the novena prayer below:

“Prayer of the Companions of St. Francis”

Draw us to yourself, most worthy Father Francis, that we may run after your fragrance of holiness. As you know, we are lukewarm because of our sloth, languid because of our idleness, half-alive because of our negligence. This little flock is following you with hesitant steps. Our weak eyes cannot bear the dazzling rays of your perfection.
.
Renew our days as from the beginning, O mirror and model of perfection, and do not allow us, who are like you in our profession, to be unlike you in our lives.
Holy Father, remember all your sons and daughters, who surrounded by inextricable danger, follow your footsteps though from so great a distance. Give us strength that we may resist; purify us that we may gleam forth; fill us with joy that we may be happy. Pray that the spirit of grace and of prayer be poured upon us; that we may have the true humility you had; that we may observe the poverty you observed; that we may be filled with the charity with which you always loved Christ Crucified, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns world without end. Amen.