December 22, 2006

take time

words written by st francis of assisi in the 13th century. may they encourage your heart as much as they did mine. peace! :)

My Dear Sister Clare,
How kind of you to ask how you can help the brothers in Assisi prepare for Christmas while I am away preaching in the country.
I know there is much to be done. Food must be prepared for the many brothers and sisters who will return from work to celebrate the feast with us. And food must be prepared to share with the poor. The townspeople will expect us to arrange another manger scne and Midnight Mass. We must locate animals and torches, even a baby! We must find a priest for Mass and deacons to assist.
You know that in my heart Christmas, the feast of love, is my favorite feast - the one I wish would never end. It is the time when the poor should be treated royally and the animals are not only welcome but necessary to our worship.
But, dear Sister Clare, do not let yourself or any one of us get caught up in busyness. That is false preparation for the great Christmas feast. God would have us prepare quietly, in our hearts and in our living. We must pray and wait for the Incarnation but be prepared for it at any moment. Look at the faces of the lonely and befriend them. See Jesus in the hungry and feed them. Put seeds on the roads for the birds. And stop to thank God for the beauty of the moon on a cold dark night.
This is how to prepare for Christmas.
Pax et bonum!
Your little brother, Francis

Quoted from Jeff Smith's "The Frugal Gormet Celebrates Christmas,"
William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1991.


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