Day: March 8, 2016

LENT 24 ~ Breath In The Shadows


          A saint loved by millions, it was only late last year that St Francis of Assisi came to mean something to me, as I wrote in Why Him and Call of the Blue King. I will forever remember him as the saint who led me to Our Lady of Guadalupe. And after that, he left.

          After a silence of three months, on Sunday, at Mass, I felt a quick but firm tug of spirit towards St Francis again. I should have been ecstatic, but instead took a deep breath in wariness. Since last year, I have come to learn that when he ‘appears’ to me, it always means – Quieten Down, Listen Up.

          Oh dear, I thought guiltily, I haven’t been good.

          I went towards him, Speak to me, St Francis, signaling my readiness to listen. And I trudged back to the sentry post I had deserted over much of the weekend.

          I didn’t have to wait long. St Francis spoke through a commenter’s sharing that her favourite book was The Little Flowers of St Francis of Assisi. I had never heard of it. But something about flowers and St Francis lit a burst of sudden joy within me. To feel this way for no discernible reason could only mean one thing, and one thing only: get the book.

          My first day on Little Flowers, expecting a downy pillow for my spirit, St Francis spoke with an unexpected firmness:

          Beware of being angry, as thou appearest to be; for anger woundeth the soul, preventing it from discerning the truth.  ~ The angel at the gate to Brother Elias, Little Flowers of St Francis of Assisi, Part 1, Chapter IV

          Having a low boiling point, anger is always a struggle for me. Of late, sensing something ahead but caught in a shifting fog, not being able to discern, I’ve been praying for discernment. The fog clears, but for a wee while, before it’s waved back again by some entity. I blamed my discernment blights on people, situations.

          Now I know the culprit by its name: ANGER. The red mist that blocks the light of discernment.

          Unseen hands continued to lead me on.

          …the pride of Brother Elias made him unworthy to converse with an angel  Little Flowers of St Francis of Assisi, Part 1, Chapter IV.

          I had hidden a yearning in the deepest folds of my heart:  to see and be able to speak to my angel. I spoke about it to no one. But it was brought to the light. And now, I am told in the silver lance of truth that my pride puts me in the shadows, away from the counsel of angels.

          The arrow has found its mark again….yet again. There’s a part of me that seeks breath in the shadows. It’s not a fight I can ever win on my own.

          For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on me and on the whole world.