Thought of the Day October 1, 2018 To know the joy of the Lord

By 9:50 AM

Another way to experience the joy of the Lord. is by embracing the mystery of the cross in the daily moments of my life without taking my eyes off Jesus on the cross. Once when St Francis was coming from Perugia to St. Mary of the Angels with Brother Leo in the cold of winter, he said to Brother Leo: "Brother Leo, if all t~e brothers set a great example of holiness and of good edification that is not perfect joy. If a brother should give sight to the blind, make straight the crooked, cast out devils, make the deaf hear, the lame to walk, and the dumb to speak, raise the dead~ to life, that is not perfect joy.  Even if a brother knew all languages, all the sciences, and all the Scriptures, so that he was able to prophesy and to reveal even the secrets of consciences, that is not perfect joy. If a brother should be able to preach so well that he should convert all the infidels to the faith of Christ, this is not perfect joy. " By this time Brother Leo said: "Father Francis, in the name of God tell me what is perfect joy?” Francis said: When we get to St. Mary of the Angels, we will be cold and wet from the rain, dirty and afflicted with hunger. When we knock at the door, the doorkeeper will say, 'Who are you?' and we shall say, 'We are two of your brothers.' If he says, 'You are lying. You are not my brothers; you are trying to disguise yourself as brothers' and then not open to us, but leave us out in the cold and rain, still hungry. then, if we shall bear such great wrong and cruelty and rebuffs patiently, without murmuring against him, but rather think humbly and charitably of him, that is perfect joy.  And if we persevere in knocking, and he comes out to drive us away with insults and spiteful words. If we shall bear this patiently and with joy and love, that is perfect joy.

If we because of our hunger and cold, we shall continue to knock and shall call and beseech for the love of God, with great weeping, that he open the door and let us in, but then beat us with a club; if we shall bear all these things patiently and with cheerfulness, thinking on the sufferings of Christ the blessed, which we should bear patiently for love of him, this is perfect joy.

This is the message, Brother Leo, above all the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit, which Christ grants to his friends, is that of self-conquest and of willingly bearing sufferings, injuries and reproaches and discomforts for the love of Christ; because in all the other gifts of God we cannot glory inasmuch as they are not ours, but of God; But in the cross of tribulation and of affliction we may glory, because this is our own; and therefore the Apostle says: "I would not glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Francis had learned what the early Apostles came to realization. Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostles, who were before fearful of the same fate of arrest and death, now boldly proclaim Jesus as Lord and Messiah. When they are threatened with punishment by the whip, “they left the Sanhedrin full of joy that they had been judged worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of the Name.” Acts 5:41). (To be continued)

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