Thursday, October 3, 2019

From Mother Vicki

Collect for Saint Francis of Assisi
Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant your people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in your whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Saint Francis, who lived in Assisi, Italy from 1182 – 1226, is the most popular saint of all time.  Even people who are not Christian accept that his life was holy.  If Saint Francis had known this, he probably would have been quite surprised!  Two things stand out about his life.  The first was that he felt strongly that Lady Poverty was important to a life devoted to Christ.  Having been born into a wealthy family, he understood the temptation of trusting wealth instead of putting our whole trust in God.  Secondly, he understood the gift and beauty of the entire creation--including plants and trees, animals, mountains, oceans and celestial bodies.  Our gratitude is critical to a proper relationship with our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier.

If you are reading this in our e-blast, please join us on Saturday, Oct. 5 at noon in the parking lot (rain or shine) when we bless animals in Saint Francis’s honor!  This is a lovely brief service, followed by the individual blessing of pets or photos and their owners for this wonderful reminder of how present God’s love is in all of creation, and how pets can be a wonderful comfort and joy in our daily living.

Our next opportunity for Baptisms is on Sunday, November 3 at the 10:15 a.m. Service of Holy Eucharist.  If you know of someone who might be interested in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism either for themselves or a child or friend, please let me know (mothervsirota@gmail.com; 914 969 2969).

A translation of Saint Francis’s powerful prayer before the crucifix in the deserted church of San Damiano in Assisi and the beginning of his profound relationship with Christ is as follows:

“Most high, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me, Lord, a correct faith, a certain hope, a perfect charity, sense and knowledge, so that I may carry out Your holy and true command.”

Blessings and love,
The Rev. Canon Victoria R. Sirota

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