Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Francis: Cultivate a Peaceful Heart

Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

Deuteronomy 4:1, 5–9;
Psalm 147:12–13, 15–16, 19–20;
Matthew 5:17–19

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”
—Matthew 5:17

Francis holds his followers to the highest standards of the Gospel. Like the great St. Augustine, who said, “Love and do what you will,” Francis knows that if the Lesser Brothers strive for the ideal, they will be unlikely to break the more basic commandments.

And this is my advice, my counsel, and my earnest plea to my friars in our Lord Jesus Christ that, when they travel about the world, they should not be quarrelsome or take part in disputes with words (see 2 Timothy 2:14) or criticize others; but they should be gentle, peaceful, and unassuming, courteous and humble, speaking respectfully to everyone, as is expected of them…. Whatever house they enter, they should  first say, “Peace to this house” (Luke 10:5), and in the words of the Gospel they may eat what is set before them (Luke 10:8).

Whenever he preached, Francis first prayed for peace for his listeners, saying: “The Lord give you peace.” He always most devoutly announced peace to men and women, to all he met and overtook. For this reason many who had hated peace and had hated also salvation embraced peace, through the cooperation of the Lord, with all their heart and were made children of peace and seekers after eternal salvation.

A peaceful attitude can go a long way toward living the message of the Gospel. If we think (and pray) before we speak or act, we will save ourselves and others a great deal of misunderstanding and heartache.


Where there is Love and Wisdom, there is neither
Fear nor Ignorance.
Where there is Patience and Humility, there is neither
Anger nor Annoyance.

Live Like Saint Francis

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