St. Francis Quotes - More Than Just An Animal Lover

I often feel people reduce St. Francis to just an animal lover.  He was more than that. Chesterton said of him - 
To most people ... there is a fascinating inconsistency in the position of Saint Francis. He expressed in loftier and bolder language than any earthly thinker the conception that laughter is as divine as tears. He called his monks the mountebanks of God. He never forgot to take pleasure in a bird as it flashed past him, or a drop of water as it fell from his finger: he was, perhaps, the happiest of the sons of men. Yet this man undoubtedly founded his whole polity on the negation of what we think the most imperious necessities; in his three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, he denied to himself and those he loved most, property, love, and liberty. Why was it that the most large-hearted and poetic spirits in that age found their most congenial atmosphere in these awful renunciations? Why did he who loved where all men were blind, seek to blind himself where all men loved? Why was he a monk and not a troubadour? These questions are far too large to be answered fully here, but in any life of Francis they ought at least to have been asked; we have a suspicion that if they were answered we should suddenly find that much of the enigma of this sullen time of ours was answered also.
St. Francis did have tremendous compassion
If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” 
But it exceeded beyond animals ... there is more to learn and take from his example.

He was also about walking the talk
The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today” 

He was about heaven
 Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have received--only what you have given.” 

He was about the wisdom of submitting and trusting in God
 Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, he courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” 

He spoke about transforming ourselves
Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.” 
About striving for Sainthood
 Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.” 
He recognized sin and rather than diminish it with some live-and-let-live mentality he advised we own up to it and it's harm
Nor did demons crucify Him; it is you who have crucified Him and crucify Him still, when you delight in your vices and sins. ” 
St. Francis was the first Stigmatic and taught the value in suffering
 And St. Francis said: 'My dear son, be patient, because the weaknesses of the body are given to us in this world by God for the salvation of the soul. So they are of great merit when they are borne patiently.” 
And finally -   
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
when there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;

and where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying [to ourselves] that we are born to eternal life.” 
*UPDATE - The origin of the Peace prayer


Nancy Shuman said...

Wonderful! Thanks for posting this.

The Mad-Eyed Monk said...

Love this post about St Francis. What an inspiration. So good to find your site! I am enjoying your posts!

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