Enduring Troubles

St Francis of Assisi by Master of Saint Francis

St. Francis of Assisi had these things to say about the trials and tribulations we face in this life:

“Holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of the world and the flesh.”

“There is a secret bitterness hidden beneath the allurements of the world, for the love of worldly things always produces many fruits of sorrow.”

“Happy that servant of God who is not troubled or put out by anything in the world, and who leads a holy and detached life.”

“I exhort all brothers in our Lord Jesus Christ to guard against pride, vainglory, envy, avarice, the cares and anxieties of the world, slander, and murmuring.”

“Let us not, for the hope of obtaining some pleasure, satisfaction, or advantage, expose ourselves to the danger of withdrawing our minds from God; but I beg you, brethren, by holy charity, which is the spirit of God Himself, to reject as far as possible the cares, preoccupations, and turmoil of the world, and serve, love, and honour God in purity of heart and mind; this is what He demands before all else.”

“Let us beware of the malice of Satan, who wishes to prevent man from keeping his heart and mind raised to God; but goes about trying to seduce the heart of man by the love of pleasure or of some worldly advantage, and thus seeks to efface from his mind the remembrance of God’s Word and Commandments, and to blind his heart with worldly cares and anxieties, so that he himself may dwell there.”

In his Testament, St. Francis left us this inspiring prayer: “Our Lord gave me such faith in His churches that I would simply adore and say: ‘We adore Thee, O most Holy Lord Jesus Christ, here and in all Thy churches throughout the world; and we bless Thee, because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.'”

Francis’ close friend Blessed Egidius of Assisi added: “He who endures troubles with patience for God’s sake will soon arrive at great perfection; he will be master of this world, and will have one foot in the other.”

Egidius wisely observed: “The more we complain of our trials the heavier our burden grows; if, on the contrary, we humbly and lovingly bear them, the burden becomes light and agreeable.”

Quotations from Flowers from the Garden of Saint Francis for Every Day of the Year (London: Burns and Oates, 1882).

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