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Franciscan Advent & Christmas

Franciscan JPIC Article December 2023 Franciscan Fraternity Canticle

Blessed Advent to each of you!
Let us begin with an Advent Prayer from Franciscan Action Network (FAN) that was adapted from Thomas of Celano, The Life of St Francis, Ch. 30. "Lord Jesus, as we await the celebration of your birth, we recall how Francis of Assisi reminded us of the humility of the Incarnation, how You took on the discomforts of our Flesh and gave Yourself to us with Supreme and Indescribable Love. At Greccio as in Bethlehem, simplicity was given a place of honor, poverty was exalted, and humility was commended. May it be so in our lives, today and always. Amen. And for your Christmas meditation, here is a passage from Advent with Francis, by Diane M. Hudak, (December 25th, All Creation Rejoices, pg 70-71) "The Celebration of Christmas begins on Christmas Eve and extends through the feast of Epiphany. This gives us almost two weeks to celebrate the Incarnation! For Francis, the wonder of the Son of God becoming a vulnerable human child shaped his approach to all creation. On this day Francis wanted the poor and the hungry to be filled by the rich, and more than the usual amount of grain and hay given to the oxen and asses. "If I could speak to the emperor," he said, "I would ask that a general law be made that all who can should scatter corn and grain along the roads so that the birds might have an abundance of food on the day of such great solemnity, especially our sisters the larks." He would recall, not without tears, what great want surrounded the poor Virgin on that day. Once when he was sitting at dinner, a certain brother talked about poverty of the Blessed Virgin and recalled the want of Christ, her Son. Francis immediately arose from the table and, with great sighs and many tears, ate the rest of the meal on the bare ground." May the Presence of Incarnational Love inspire each of you this Holy Season, May we find Peace in our love for others, May we feed the hungry and donate time to contribute to the Justice that Christ brings, and May the birds and squirrels feast with you this Christmas! Let us Rejoice with all of Creation! Mandy

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