St. Francis Novena – Day Two
Today we pray to trust in God’s specific plan for each of our lives.
I grew up in a diocesan parish, but when I was a senior at Roger Bacon High School, I was faced with the question, “What do I want to do with my life?” I was considering studying architecture or engineering. When the Franciscan vocation director suggested that I consider becoming a Franciscan, my plans changed, and I enrolled at our Franciscan seminary college. After six years of formation, including a novitiate year, I made Solemn Vows as a Franciscan, and three years later I was ordained a Franciscan priest.
I remember in novitiate wondering if God was really calling me, and one day while praying I had a strong feeling that I was in the right place and God wanted me to be a Franciscan like the 25 friars who were my teachers in high school. Each of them was different, but they all worked together and supported each other. I was looking for that kind of fraternity and support—not living as a solitary diocesan priest.
Wherever I have been assigned, I appreciated the opportunity to minister as part of a team, whether teaching in a Franciscan high school, working in Franciscan formation with young men, serving as pastor in a Louisiana parish, caring for our older friars in a large friary, or serving as pastor in a rural parish as I do now. In all these places, I have been able to use my skills and talents in repair and remodeling of the buildings while ministering to the human and religious needs of the people.
Sometimes I have requested a particular ministry, such as teaching high school religion or serving in a Southern parish. Sometimes I have been asked to take on a particular assignment, such as being the director of formation, or a guardian of one of our larger friaries, or a temporary hospital chaplain.
In all these cases, my God-given interests, abilities, and skills have been put to good use. Many of these assignments have been challenging and have revealed to me aspects of my personality that I did not realize were part of me. God’s grace has certainly been active in all these cases. So I am a firm believer that God has specific plans for each of us, and the challenge is to listen to God’s call, which is given to us directly or through the people and circumstances in our daily lives. God is active in our world and in our lives, as well as in the lives of the people around us. The challenge is to listen and respond in faith.
(Fr. Carl Langenderfer, OFM, is pastor of Holy Family Church in Oldenburg, Ind.)
Pray the Novena to St. Francis of Assisi
Read by Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM
St. Francis was from a wealthy merchant family. He gave his riches to the poor and lived a chosen life of poverty. Post your prayer intentions to him on our Prayer page.
The Novena to St. Francis of Assisi
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Poor and humble St. Francis, through your kind intercession we seek to love God above all things. We seek the faith, hope, and love that moved you to joyfully renounce honors and riches and to radically follow our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pray for us, that we come to see the privilege of suffering with and for the poor after the example of Jesus. Help us to be always grateful for all the blessings we have received and give us the strength to overcome our most pressing concerns.
(Include your personal intentions now.)
Seraphic St. Francis, when you decided to walk in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ you entrusted your whole life to his Divine Providence. Inspired and encouraged by your example, I resolve to entrust the favorable resolution of my situation to God our Father, through your most kind intercession.
St. Francis, help us to continue praying for the grace to truly repent and change our hearts by actively seeking reconciliation with God and all those we have offended or hurt in any way. May the blessings we receive through your intercession deepen our faith and inspire us to store up treasures in heaven, where we hope to spend eternity with our loving God.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
Post your prayer requests on our Prayer Page.
Give alms on our Donation Page. Light a candle or offer a Mass here.
Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM, is a writer and poet. His book, Teaching the Soul to Speak, is available at Tau Press now.
Videos and articles on St. Francis at Franciscan Media.
We follow Jesus in the footsteps of St. Francis, learn more at Franciscan.org