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Stella Matutina » Love and Praise, the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis blog
The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis
Stella Matutina

May 7, 2005

Love and Praise

Filed under: Morning Star — Bruce @ 9:15 am

Praise to you Most High God,
all creation You have made,
Your Providence cares for us,
enduring Love always stayed.

All praise, all glory, all honor, all blessing to Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is good, all good, the supreme good!

St. Francis loved and praised God constantly. It was his sole purpose in life after his conversion. To do all things for God, in God, through God. He did nothing that he did not give to God, and always in full consecration to the most holy Mother of God, Mary. In this there is an example for all who love St. Francis, and a tremendous challenge. The challenge to remain constantly aware of God, whatever we are doing in our day, or whereever we are at, and in this awareness to praise and love Him always and at all times. What makes it easy is creation, for in His creation we can see him all the time and because of that have a great accountability. No one can escape it.

We are rational creatures, which means we can reason and think. We can see with our eyes, and sense with our senses, the world around us. We know nothing like this world could ‘just happen’. It is inate in our nature, and part of God’s gift to us, to know that He exists and created all things. We cannot deny the reality of creation. We live in it, we breath it, we work in it, and we are part of it. We look in the mirror often and each time see the greatest of God’s creation, ourselves. We know that God has made us all. St. Francis saluted creation at every step. He recognized his brotherhood with all creation, even inanimate objects. The sun was Brother Sun. The moon was Sister Moon. The wolf was Brother Wolf. He was one with everything around him, but it was not his focus. His focus was on God, and he celeberated Him in all that He made. Like him we must do the same. We may work in our gardens, but when we do we should hold the creator of all that we put in that garden in awe.

And there is more. God’s incredible Providence. That word means one thing in the sense of being Franciscan in spirit. “The care, guardianship, and direction exercised by God.” “This is a message for all people. As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides.” (Lk. 12: 29-31) We must trust in God, but even if we don’t, He cares for us as He made us, and He loves us even if we don’t love Him.

And it is that love, that incredible, indestructible, enduring, unconditional love, that God has for us that should be our constant joy. We should stand in awe of it, but we should rejoice in it and praise and thank God always for it in complete confidence and joy. What have we done to deserve it? Nothing! It is his gift to us. He loves what he created, or He would not have created it, for He is in complete control and does nothing without cause or reason. His will is supreme and perfect power. As He wills so it is! He is who is! We are they who are not, that is nothing. We owe it to God to be always grateful to Him for all things. No matter what our condition. No matter what our problems, God’s love is there for us. It is enduring. It is a purifying. It is fire; the fire of life. God is love and His love is life and he calls us to eternal life in eternal love, with him and all others, and without love we would all tend toward destruction and evil for evil came into the world through men but love through God, and in person in Jesus Christ our Lord.

So heed well all. St. Francis loved the enduring God, and his followers must all do the same, and the love of God is a verb. It calls us to love and serve others, to forgive and not worry about being forgiven, to give all we have away in at least our hearts so as to open them to God alone, and to care for each other however we can. We are called to be like God in this. We are called to love with reckless abandon, every soul, and every thing, He made. To show a love that is enduring. To make light of ourselves for the good of others, and for the good of ourselves. Blessed are they who think little of themselves but much of others. We need to become love. Enduring, indestructible, unconditional, incredible love. The love of God moves within us, and we move within Him, if we but love Him and seek to be His servants as St. Francis was. The Rule St. Francis gave us, the Rule of 1221, helps us to become this love. To pray, deny ourselves, and take up our cross daily. In this we become disciples of Christ, and all that God wants for us, and to accomplish through us, will happen, for He will never abandon His own.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mt. 16:24)

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