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“Francis was becoming a happy man, not giddy, but a man whose whole being radiated joy. He had endured hatred and abuse in patience for two years already, and yet his spirit seemed more steadfast with the passing weeks and months and years – and Bernard looked and listened, and then one day he saw. He saw that what was happening to Francis was not madness but a great grace of God—a grace that had begun to draw Bernard himself. He began to see that what was happening was the religious conversion of Francis Bernardone. Bernard remembered the words of the Gospel he’d heard at Mass. The priest said that they were the first words of Jesus. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news” (Mark 1:15).”

—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis

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“If you suffer with Him, you will reign with Him. If you cry with Him, you will have joy with Him. If you die with Him on the cross of tribulation, you will possess the eternal dwelling place in the splendor of the saints. And your name, written in the book of life, will be glorious among men.”

— St. Clare of Assisi

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“The soul, enlightened by faith, judges of things in a very different way to those who, having only the standard of the senses by which to measure them, ignore the inestimable treasure they contain . . . the soul that recognizes the will of God in every smallest event, and also in those that are most distressing and direful, receives all with an equal joy, pleasure and respect. It throws open all its doors to receive with honor what others fear and fly from with horror. The outward appearance may be mean and contemptible, but beneath this abject garb the heart discovers and honors the majesty of the king. The deeper the abasement of his entry in such a guise and in secret the more does the heart become filled with love.”

— Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

 

 

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