Secret to Happiness Saint Francis Reflections on Hope


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Biblical Joy

These men have shattered the stereotype of rigid, grim, calcified piety. They radiate something entirely different: Jesus was attractive, in the literal sense of the word. People wanted to meet him and hear him and follow him.

Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis had a similar effect, and if the three million people who showed up at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro are any indication, Pope Francis does too. The wisdom and faith of these men make them intriguing, to be sure, but their spirit of joy goes a long way in drawing these crowds. Christians, of course, are supposed to be joyful and attractive, for that matter. As mentioned in the last chapter, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is joy.


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Joy and peace appear to be at their best when they come in tandem. If peace is an absence of turmoil, strife, and discontent, joy is the presence of delight, fulfillment, and happiness.

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Though peace is no guarantee of joy, joy cannot subsist without peace. But Christians have access to both. Through our baptism, we are members of royalty, and that is cause for rejoicing! Thus, as opposed to the usual riches and power promised kings and queens, Jesus speaks about poverty and persecution: How strange that there should be a blessing in all of this!

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Yet this joy in the midst of suffering is part of what Christ won for us on the cross. One of the greatest gifts of the Christian faith is the ability to unite our inevitable sufferings to those of Christ and thus share in his glory. Christians believe that through Christ we can find joy in the crosses we must carry in our lives. Not only are we able to bear them, but we can actually rejoice in them! Saint Francis had a habit of leaping for joy at the most unexpected moments, and Pope Francis speaks clearly of the reality of joy even in the cross.

In this, they resemble the early Christians. It was thus that I glorified My Father, laid the foundations of My Church, and remedied the evils of pride. This is the path that thou must follow. What are we to repent?

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Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe?

St. Francis Teaches to Br. Leone The Secret of Perfect Happiness

Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor — He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist. In this way we will be able to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our Baptism. Enter again into yourself. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others.


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Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him. If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies. For the mind of one who is filled with food and drink is so borne down as not to be able to raise itself to the contemplation of God, or even to understand what prayer means.

He leads His child by the hand…as a sighted person leads a blind person.

Secret to Happiness  Saint Francis Reflections on Hope Secret to Happiness Saint Francis Reflections on Hope
Secret to Happiness  Saint Francis Reflections on Hope Secret to Happiness Saint Francis Reflections on Hope
Secret to Happiness  Saint Francis Reflections on Hope Secret to Happiness Saint Francis Reflections on Hope
Secret to Happiness  Saint Francis Reflections on Hope Secret to Happiness Saint Francis Reflections on Hope
Secret to Happiness  Saint Francis Reflections on Hope Secret to Happiness Saint Francis Reflections on Hope
Secret to Happiness  Saint Francis Reflections on Hope Secret to Happiness Saint Francis Reflections on Hope
Secret to Happiness  Saint Francis Reflections on Hope Secret to Happiness Saint Francis Reflections on Hope
Secret to Happiness  Saint Francis Reflections on Hope Secret to Happiness Saint Francis Reflections on Hope
Secret to Happiness  Saint Francis Reflections on Hope Secret to Happiness Saint Francis Reflections on Hope

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