Friday, October 1, 2021
Francis was born in Italy in 1180 to a rich family. His father was a cloth merchant. In his youth, Francis lived in luxury and dissipation. But captivity in war and illness caused the young man to realize that life was empty and fleeting. So, he decided to heed what Jesus said to the rich man, “Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Luke 18:22, NLT).
Francis consequently donned a poor man’s clothing. He founded three orders of friars, and later traveled to the Holy Land, where he witnessed and preached with great courage to the Muslim ruler Sultan al-Kamil.
Holy, holy, holy are you Lord, God Almighty, the One who always was, and who is, and who is still to come! (Revelation 4:8). Thank you for the life and legacy of this great man. I ask you to give me the grace and sensitivity to hear your voice speaking to me. I pray for courage to obey and follow your direction.
When Francis heeded your Word, he abandoned earthly comfort and gave himself totally to your service. Help me, Lord, to honor you above all worldly attachments.
When Francis witnessed the bloodshed of the Crusades, he realized that Muslims can be won to Christ only by the power of the Word of God. Help me too, O Lord, to understand the power and importance of your Word and use it to win Muslims to Christ.
As I close this supplication, I draw on one of Francis’s prayers:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy. Amen.
When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The LORD your God, who brought you safely out of Egypt, is with you! (Deuteronomy 20:1, NLT).