Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Feast of St. Francis
Secular Leadership vs. Spiritual Leadership
Issue Secular Leadership Spiritual Leadership How to gain influence Leverage power Love people How to possess confidence Compete and win Depend on God How to acquire authority Claim your rights and position Servanthood How to grow an organization Demand of people Develop people What vision drives you Temporal gain Eternal gain What is success Overcoming the competition Obeying the Lord The heart of Leadership The boss A Father
ST.FRANCIS was born at Assisi, in Italy, in the year 1182. His father, a rich merchant, intended him for trade, and Francis applied himself with aptness to this employment, in which, though fond of show, he exhibited, at an early day, a particular love for the poor. Agreeable and amiable, affable and kind to all, he was beloved by all around him, and the world sought to draw him to its side. But, enlightened from above, and by heavenly apparitions rendered attentive to the call he was about to receive, he followed the leadings of grace which drew him on to imitate Christ in poverty and humility. Hearing one day at Mass the words of the Gospel “Do not possess gold, or silver, or money in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, nor two coats, nor shoes, nor a staff” (Matt. x. 9, 10), he began to regulate the whole manner of his life according to this precept of the Gospel, and at once began to preach penance with such evangelical poverty, and with such power, that all who heard him were moved to tears. Disinherited by his father, who was greatly displeased at his poverty and open-handedness towards the poor, he threw himself altogether upon the providence of his Father in heaven, dividing with the poor the alms he thus received. The extraordinary manner of his life soon brought around him disciples, and as the number of them increased daily, he wrote for them a rule, and then set out for Rome, to procure from the Pope a confirmation of it. He came back, rejoicing in the Lord that everything at Rome had gone according to his wish, and established himself about a mile from his native city, at a small church belonging to the Benedictines, which he called Portiuncula (little portion). Here he led a life of the severest penance here he prayed day and night, and here he laid the foundation of that Order which has filled the world with the splendor of its virtues. Here in this church, dedicated to the virgin Mother of Jesus and to the holy angels, he received from Christ Himself the celebrated indulgence known throughout the whole Christian world as the Portiuncula Indulgence, for while the saint was praying there with glowing devotion, on the day of the dedication of the church, in the year 1221, the Lord appeared to him and said “Francis, ask whatever thou wilt for the salvation of the nations.” He answered: “I desire the remission of guilt and punishment, a plenary indulgence for all who shall visit this church with contrite hearts and sincerely confess their sins. The Lord replied, Go then to My representative, the Pope, and ask the indulgence in My name. “Forthwith he went to Pope Honorius III., who first, by word of mouth, and afterwards by a proper bull, confirmed to him the indulgence. The same indulgence was, at a later day, extended to all churches of the Franciscans, and by Pope Pius VII to all parish churches (at least to all in Bavaria), and may be gained on the first Sunday in August of every year. Burning with desire for the salvation of the people, St. Francis with his brethren, whom he sent out two by two to preach penance and the peace of God, labored to establish everywhere the kingdom of heaven. His love for sinners, and his ardent zeal for the salvation of souls, impelled him to visit remote parts of the world to preach the Gospel to unbelievers. For this he was rewarded by God with miraculous graces, among which there is particularly to be mentioned that which was granted him upon Mount Alverno. While he was there engaged, separated from the world, in fasting and praying for forty days, as he was accustomed to do often, the Savior appeared to him in the form of a seraph on the cross, and imprinted the five wounds of His own body on the body of St. Francis. On account of this, and for his ardent love for Jesus crucified, St. Francis received the surname of Seraph. After this event the saint lived two years in manifold bodily distress and sickness, without murmur or complaint, with perfect resignation to the will of God. Sometime before his death he caused his will to be written, in which he left to his brethren poverty as an inheritance in which they should find great treasure for heaven. As the hour of his dissolution drew nigh he had the passion of Christ read to him; he then said the one hundred and forty-first psalms, and at the words, Bring my soul out of prison that I may praise Thy name, he expired happy in the Lord, October 4, 1226, in the forty-fifth year of his age. St. Francis founded three Orders, the first and proper Order of Franciscans, or the Order of Friars Minor, then the Order of Franciscan nuns, or Clares, so called from St. Clare, their first superior and lastly, that called the Third Order, for people in the world, of both sexes, who aim at perfection, but do not desire to make the vows of the cloister. This last Order, which has been approved by many Popes, particularly by Gregory IX., Innocent IV., and Nicholas IV., has spread throughout the whole world, and is becoming in our day more and more flourishing.