ABOVE: The original Crucifix from the Church of San Damiano which was an old shrine in Assisi which was a bit neglected and falling apart during the lifetime of St. Francis. It was here that Francis was in the habit of praying before the crucifix. One day, while at prayer, he heard a voice in prayer saying to him, "Francis, do you not see that my house is in ruins? Go and rebuild it for me."
St. Francis than promptly went and sold his own horse in order to start getting funds to physically rebuild the San Damiano Church. He also zealously took several bales of his father's clothe (stole) and sold them for the same purpose. This lead to a dramatic quarrel between Francis and his own father that ended up being taken to the bishop. The bishop told Francis that he had to restore the money to his father because no blessing could follow a good work done by unjust methods.
Francis then proceeded to tear of all his garments but his hair shirt and tossed the money on top of the pile and took off into the winter woods and began his radical religious life which would eventually lead to the Fransican Order.
ABOVE: Reliquary of St. Clare of Assisi's remains in the Basilica of St. Clare.
What a great time in Assisi for retreat!
Believe me, "In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself," Mother Theresa.
Sometimes we are preoccupied with so many earthly things that we think are great and maybe they are, but none of these will give us the real happiness, love, and joy that we need. But finding some little time and visiting the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament-the beating heart of any parish community, you will find all that you need.
-Deacon Charles Mugabi, Kabale Diocese, Uganda, Africa. Ordination to the Priesthood is this Summer.
ABOVE: Rev. Mr. Charles Mugabi at the doors of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the mother and head of all Churches.