Saint Francis: An Instrument of Joy

To Francis everything in him and around him was a gift from his Father in Heaven. He expected nothing, so he was grateful for everything. Even a piece of earth was cause for rejoicing, and he thanked God always for everything that was. He held everything to his heart with the enthusiasm of a child surprised by some unexpected toy. The air he breathed, the sounds he heard, the sights and smells of all the world entered his grateful soul through senses perfected by gratitude and purity of heart.

Nothing was evil, for everything came from God, and evil came only from a heart that chose not to love. 

—from the book Francis: The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo, OFM


Francis the Journey and the Dream Franciscan Media

At Play in the Fields of the Lord

Praise and adoration take us from our self-preoccupation and lead us outward to God and to the creation that bears God’s perfect imprint. This is the key to the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, who praised God through Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Brother Wind and Sister Water and all creatures.

Like Saint Francis of Assisi, the spirit prompts us to celebrate our brotherhood and sisterhood with other creatures and praise God, not in isolation from creation, but through sunlight, rain, wind, trees, and flowers. Now is a good time for us to praise God in the woods, a garden, a valley, a lake, or at sea.

–from the blog “Pathways to Prayer” by Friar Jack Wintz

Finding God in His Creation

While both Clare and Francis left the world to pursue God insofar as they abandoned their status, wealth and security, never did they renounce the world for the sake of God. Rather, they realized that the created world was the world embraced by God; thus God could not be found apart from the world. The world, not the monastery, was the true cloister.

—from the book Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love

A Spirit of Joy

The secret of Saint Francis’ joyful spirit was his vibrant belief in a God of overflowing goodness and love. Francis was so in love with God that at times he would pick up two sticks from the ground, tuck one under his chin like a violin and move the other over it like a bow. Then, in an ecstasy of joy, he would sing in French songs of love and praise to God.

Francis used to say that he wanted his followers to go about the world like strolling minstrels, “to inspire the hearts of people and stir them to spiritual joy.” They give us an example to follow in our own day!

–from the blog “The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis”

 

Meeting God in the Upper Room