Thought of the day
8/13/2020 5:58:41 AM

"Seventy-seven times"


Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)

Founder of the Friars Minor

Letter to a Franciscan provincial (©Classics of Western spirituality)

"Seventy-seven times"

May the Lord bless you (cf. Num 6:24a)! I speak to you, as I can, concerning the state of your soul. You should accept as a grace all those things which deter you from loving the Lord God and whoever has become an impediment to you, whether [they are] brothers or others (...) And love those who do these things to you. And do not expect anything different from them, unless it is something which the Lord shall have given to you (...) And by this I wish to know if you love the Lord God and me, his servant and yours - if you have acted in this manner: that is, there should not be any brother in the world who has sinned, however much he may have possibly sinned, who, after he has looked into your eyes, would go away without having received your mercy, if he is looking for mercy. And if he were not to seek mercy, you should ask him if he wants mercy. And if he should sin thereafter a thousand times before your very eyes, love him more than me so that you may draw him back to the Lord. Always be merciful to brothers such as these. And announce this to the guardians [of our communities], as you can, that on your part you are resolved to act in this way.