Thursday, April 2, 2015

Living a Perpetual Lent

Saint Francis of Paola (1416-1507), was the founder of an order of hermits known today as the Order of Minims. The life of the Minim Friars is one of extreme asceticism, a perpetual Lent. In their diet, the Minims abstain from meat and dairy products.

Saint Francis of Paola writes: “You must flee from evil, and drive away dangers. We and all our brothers, although unworthy, pray constantly to God the Father and to His Son Jesus Christ, as well as to Mary the Virgin Mother, to be with you as you seek the salvation of your souls and your bodies. I most strongly urge you to work for the salvation of your souls with prudence and diligence. Death is certain, and life is short and vanishes like smoke. Therefore you must fix your minds on the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ Who so burned with love for us that He came down from heaven to redeem us. He gave us a perfect example of patience and love. For our part, we too must be patient when things go against us. Put aside hatred and hostility. See to it that you refrain from harsh words. But if you do speak them, do not be ashamed to apply the remedy from the same lips that inflicted the wounds. In this way you will show each other mercy and not keep alive the memories of past wrongs. Remembering grievances works great damage. It is accompanied by anger, fosters sin, and brings a hatred for justice. It destroys virtue and is a cancer in the mind. It thwarts prayer and mangles the petitions we make to God. Be lovers of peace, the most precious treasure that anyone can desire. You are already aware that our sins drive God to anger, so you must repent of them, that God in His mercy may spare you. Turn to Him with a sincere heart. Live in such a way that you bring upon yourselves the blessing of God, and that the peace of God our Father may be with you always.”