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Words of Wisdom

Living Righteously: From Writings by Saint Francis of Assisi (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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The venerated Saint Francis of Assisi, born in late 1181 or early 1182, was an Italian Catholic friar, deacon, and preacher, and the founder of the Franciscan Orders.

In 2014, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of Saint Francis’s notable influence. “You know, just to be reminded that St. Francis of Assisi, he was vegetarian, well known, and he loved animal-people. Everybody knows that. The whole world knows that. And the Italian people, they love him. Maybe that’s why it’s ingrained in their culture to be kind to animal-people. And also, if people are kind to animal-people, they normally are kind also to humans.”

Today, it is an honor to share excerpts from the book “The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi,” where the wise and compassionate Saint expounds on the importance of gratitude to God and having love and humility in all that we do.

“Consider, O man, how great the excellence in which the Lord has placed you, because He has created and formed you to the image of His beloved Son according to the body and to His own likeness according to the spirit. And all the creatures that are under Heaven serve and know and obey their Creator in their own way better than you. And even the demons did not crucify Him, but you together with them crucified Him and still crucify Him by taking delight in vices and sins.”

“Let us all, brothers, consider the Good Shepherd who, to save His sheep, bore the suffering of the Cross. The sheep of the Lord followed Him in tribulation and persecution and shame, in hunger and thirst, in infirmity and temptations and in all other ways; and for these things they have received everlasting life from the Lord. Wherefore, it is great shame for us, the servants of God, that, whereas the Saints have practiced works, we should expect to receive honor and glory for reading and preaching the same.”

“The Lord says in the Gospel, ‘Love your enemies.’ He truly loves his enemy who does not grieve because of the wrong done to himself, but who is afflicted for love of God because of the sin on his [brother’s] soul and who shows his love by his works.” “How much interior patience and humility a servant of God may have cannot be known, so long as he is contented. But when the time comes that those who ought to please him go against him, as much patience and humility as he then shows, so much has he and no more.”
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