Thought of the day
8/9/2019 5:56:54 AM

Thought Of the Day


"Whoever wishes to come after me must... take up his cross, and follow me"

Two years before he gave his spirit back to heaven..., Francis understood that just as he had imitated Christ in the actions of his life, so he should be conformed to him... in his Passion... He was in no way terrified, but... by the Seraphic ardor of his desires he was transformed into him who chose to be crucified because of “the excess of his love” (Eph 2:4). On a certain morning about the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, while Francis was praying on the mountainside, he saw a Seraph with six fiery and shin­ing wings descend from the height of heaven. And when in swift flight the Seraph had reached a spot in the air near the man of God, there appeared between the wings the figure of a man crucified, with his hands and feet extended in the form of a cross and fastened to a cross... When Francis saw this, he was overwhelmed and his heart was flooded with a mixture of joy and sorrow. He rejoiced because of the gracious way Christ looked upon him under the appearance of the Seraph, but the fact that he was fastened to a cross “pierced his soul with a sword” of compassionate sorrow (Lk 2:35). He wondered exceedingly at the sight of so unfathomable a vision, realizing that the weakness of Christ's passion was in no way compatible with the immortality of the Seraph's spiri­tual nature. Eventually he understood by a revelation from the lord that divine providence had shown him this vision so that, as Christ's lover, he might learn in advance that he was to be totally transformed into the likeness of Christ crucified, not by the martyrdom of his flesh, but by the fire of his love consuming his soul.