downloadable pdf file: Women of Faith Resources October 2017
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” ~ Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta
October is a symphony of permanence and change.” ~ Bonaro W. Overstreet
We make progress in society only if we stop cursing and complaining about its shortcomings and have the courage to do something about them.” ~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Featured Feast Day: October 4 – St. Francis of Assisi
Born: 1181 ~ Died: October 3, 1226
Patron of animals, birds, merchants, and ecology
Lectio Divina: Scripture for spiritual reading and meditating from the Liturgy for the Feast of St. Francis
- Jeremiah 22:13–16
- Galatians 6:14–18
- Matthew 11:25–30
- Psalm 148:7–14
For reading on Contemplative, Centering Prayer, see Contemplative Network.
When considering Francis of Assisi’s life many themes can nurture contemplative prayer: his love of Creation is found in his Canticle of Creation:
Audio Divina: Music accompanied by images
YouTube has many music videos featuring Francis of Assisi or of his prayers. Here are three of them:
The Prayer of St. Francis (Make Me A Channel of Your Peace) Sung by Angelina, EWTN. This video was filmed in the hometown of the great St. Francis in Assisi, Italy. Angelina writes: “It was an honor for me to be able to film at such a holy place where St. Francis walked and preached the Gospel to the poor people of this land.”
Stone By Stone (with lyrics) Performed by Buddy Comfort. Stone By Stone was originally composed by Donovan for the 1972 movie Brother Sun, Sister Moon. The movie is a dramatization of the events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi – from before his conversion experience up to his audience with the Pope – and including his friendship with St. Clare of Assisi.
Oh Francis An MFVA Music Video. Listen to the life of St. Francis of Assisi in song and see his life in pictures. Oh Francis was composed by Fr. Joseph Mary of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word and performed by him, Br. Bernard Mary and Br. Patrick Mary.
Visio Divina: Art for Prayer and Meditation
“Visual images are another doorway to sacred awareness. They can touch into our desire to grow in intimacy with God. So, we encourage one another to let ourselves be touched by the colors, shapes, figures and symbols that capture our attention most as we are praying. While gazing at an image ~ a painting, a photo, an icon, a sculpture, a piece of pottery … something may leap out at us, calling our attention to something of God just waiting to reveal itself to us.”
(Ideas inspired by Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman in their book Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction. See also Abbey of the Arts.)
If you are standing in Creation as Francis is here, what in nature is all around you? What creature(s) might you be holding in your arms?
St. Francis preached to the birds. What might you say to the wonders of nature and the animals on your pathway?
Digital Art by Leslie Fuqua
The Prayer of St. Francis is needed more than ever today. As you pray each line, what comes to mind? Where do you see, what do you know about: hatred and sowing love? injury and pardon? Doubt and faith? Despair and hope? Darkness and light? Sadness and joy?
Continue through the prayer for a few days, applying each section to the situations and events of your daily life …
The San Damiano Cross ~ just who are those little figures?
(pinned by Franciscan Mission Service on Pinterest)
Gaze at this cross as did Francis. Let it speak to your heart. Let it call you to some service as did Francis.
For Spiritual Reading: to learn more about St. Francis of Assisi
The Spirituality of St Francis of Assisi ~ by Lawrence J. Cunningham, author and Professor Emeritus of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. To what elements of Franciscan Spirituality are you most drawn? How will you live one of these elements today?
Learn more about Francis at The Reluctant Saint
Understand more about the San Damiano Cross
For movie nights, watch:
Saint Francesco ~ Francesco is an Italian television movie written and directed by Michele Soavi. The film is based on real life events of Saint Francis of Assisi, a saint who was born rich, in the medieval Tuscany, and abandoned all his goods to live closer to the population and is nowadays remembered as the saint protector of Italy.
Or, you can rent:
Brother Sun, Sister Moon: Director Franco Zeffirelli’s film, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, focuses on the early years of Francis of Assisi, who sought communion with the natural world by renouncing his family’s riches to seek his own destiny unencumbered by material possessions.