Daily Reading for October 4 • St. Francis of Assisi, Friar, 1226
We should never desire to be above others, but ought rather to be servants and subject “to every human creature for God’s sake.” And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon all those who do these things and who shall persevere to the end, and He shall make His abode and dwelling in them, and they shall be children of the heavenly Father whose works they do, and they are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are spouses when by the Holy Ghost the faithful soul is united to Jesus Christ. We are His brothers when we do the will of His Father who is in heaven. We are His mothers when we bear Him in our heart and in our body through pure love and a clean conscience and we bring Him forth by holy work which ought to shine as an example to others.
O how glorious and holy and great to have a Father in heaven! O how holy, fair, and lovable to have a spouse in heaven! O how holy and how beloved, well pleasing and humble, peaceful and sweet and desirable above all to have such a brother who has laid down His life for His sheep, and who has prayed for us to the Father, saying: “Father, keep them in Thy Name whom Thou hast given Me. Father, all those whom Thou hast given Me in the world were Thine, and Thou hast given them to Me. And the words which Thou gavest Me I have given to them; and they have received them, and have known in very deed that I came forth from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I pray for them: not for the world: bless and sanctify them. And for them I sanctify Myself that they may be sanctified in one as We also are. And I will, Father, that where I am, they also may be with Me, that they may see My glory in My kingdom.”
And since He has suffered so many things for us and has done and will do so much good to us, let every creature which is in heaven and on earth and in the sea and in the abysses render praise to God and glory and honor and benediction; for He is our strength and power who alone is good, alone most high, alone almighty and admirable, glorious and alone holy, praiseworthy and blessed without end forever and ever. Amen.
From “The Letter to All the Faithful” by Francis of Assisi (1215) in The Writings of St. Francis of Assisi, translated by Paschal Robinson (1905); found at http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/wosf/wosf12.htm