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Stella Matutina » Books and money bound together , the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis blog
The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis
Stella Matutina

July 27, 2005

Books and money bound together

Filed under: Morning Star — Bruce @ 3:14 pm

Books and money bound together ,
echoes both of our minds,
destroyers of a simpler way,
proud glimmers of these times.

Fr. Thomas Dubay, who has written many books himself, says that books should not be written unless they are needed. St. Francis would not even allow his first friars to have books except for the Bible and their breviary. Today, there are authors sprouting everywhere and among them many explaining the Franciscan life as if they were St. Francis himself! Burn the books! Live the Rules that St. Francis gave us, among them the Rule of 1221 for the laity! That is the simple way to holiness!

And as to money? Nothing needs to be said of it either. The Lord said you cannot serve God and money, and to St. Francis it was completely off limits for those who would follow his way. Many modern authors of the Franciscan way write for one main reason…to make money. Books and money bound together…destroy the Franciscan way because invariably almost anything written today promotes a life of relative ease and comfort, not the life of penance that St. Francis outlined for us.

The ancient writings on St. Francis point to the life that he, himself, gave us. There is enough written about St. Francis in those original works on the Saint written by Thomas of Celano, St. Bonaventure, and others to fuel your spiritual life in a powerful way. Use these works to grow in the way of life that St. Francis himself gave us, which is itself also outlined in those original works much more clearly than in anything written these modern days.


  1. Amen…for me to read the words of Francis written by the “original” Old Masters…is what the definition of prayer is in the Catholic Catechism…p.615…”When I read the words of Francis and words about his life by those who knew him;and lived with him; and suffered with him…is like this for me…”it is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” It moves me so! Francis was all prayer…and still is! Alleluja! I’m shouting again…O sweet Brother Francis. I never knew thee.

    Comment by Adelle — July 29, 2005 @ 4:08 pm

  2. Bruce,

    I sort of agree with you. But, unless you get me out into a hut like Talbot’s or a cave like Francis’ any day soon, I will still be reading my books. Cannot walk,remember? The inspirations for anything I do comes from my reading. It is reflected in the way I treat my husband and kids. So, the books must be good!

    Books, the stuff of Caesar? That is for sure.

    However, they also do a lot rendering to God for some of us who are always housebound.

    So, in a sense, I think you should qualify some of the statements about radical poverty in books.

    Books are my life! That is the way that God speaks to me!(along with Scripture, mass and rosary) It is the way that keeps me on the path! They tell me things! I am a whole lot better with the books than without the books.

    Ciao, Brother.

    Comment by Ellen — July 30, 2005 @ 2:59 pm

  3. Amen! Amen! I say to you-AMEN!

    Comment by denis — September 14, 2005 @ 8:38 am

  4. Books are necesary. And there are new reflections and ways of explaining St. Francis’ and other holy peoples’Rules, words and ideas so that they reach more people. But for the readers too discretion is required. Wanting to own and read all books can be a bad habit. We should and can read in moderation and putting to practice what we read. I don’t think a motive to sell books is not wrong. But it shouldn’t be the only motive or even the primary motive. But religious need the money and so do their missions. As long as they are teaching the right things in their books, God will take care of the rest.

    Comment by shiro — September 20, 2005 @ 2:03 pm

  5. We all need to read! But, I don’t think that was the point of the message! If I am wrong, please correct me…is not the message about the prolific writings on a saint by authors of this generation…that have never known Francis…but are gleaning old news and wrapping it up in a newer newspaper? Reading to me is as beneficial to my soul as prayer. I sometimes make a good prayer and I sometimes make a prayer full of distractions. Mary covers them all with Her goodness…for to offer all in the Divine Will of the Creator…nothing is wasted!

    Comment by Adelle — September 25, 2005 @ 5:10 pm

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