St. Francis Novena, Day Three
As you remember your personal intentions, please pray for all those suffering from broken relationships and family struggles.
Solving Resolutions Peacefully
I officially began my formal education in kindergarten. I love to see my graduation picture in which 5-year-old me wore a white cape and mortarboard. Then followed eight years in primary school, followed by four years of high school. Then off to the Franciscan seminary I went for four years of college, where I studied philosophy. After I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, I headed off for four years of theology, where I earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts. By then I was ready for ordination and was sent to teach at Roger Bacon, our Franciscan high school in Cincinnati. While there, I was encouraged to pursue a master’s degree in education at Xavier University.
I do not remember the name of the course, but I remember well the name of the professor, which was Nick Seta. One Saturday morning he asked the class (all teachers) who had taken a course in listening. Not one hand went up! I never forgot that. In my 21+ years as a student in the classroom, I had never had a class in listening.
Solving resolutions peacefully can never happen without listening. Listening requires us to be quiet, stop talking, and really listen—not just hear what the other person is saying.
In 1219, during the Fifth Crusade, St. Francis departed Assisi, Italy, and headed for Damietta, Egypt, where he crossed enemy battle lines to meet with Sultan Al-Kamil, the leader of the Muslim forces. Can you imagine that journey and encounter? The two discussed interfaith conflict, war, and the search for peace. They listened to each other. Both men were transformed by the encounter.
PEACE AND GOOD is a hallmark Franciscan expression. Through the intercession of St. Francis, may we walk through life listening to one another. There can be no peace where there is no listening.
Fr. Jim Bok, OFM, is pastor of Mary, Gate of Heaven Church in Negril, Jamaica.
Pray the Novena to St. Francis of Assisi
Read by Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM
St. Francis knew of family strife first hand. You can 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.)
Glorious St. Francis, you acted as a peacemaker even in the face of extreme physical danger. Through your prayers, may we also be graced with the desire to find peaceful resolutions to the problems that plague us, even in the most trying of times. As an offering to our Loving God, I resolve to forgive all the wrongs I have suffered from others.
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 prayers on our Prayer Page.
Videos and articles on St. Francis at Franciscan Media.
We follow Jesus in the footsteps of St. Francis, learn more at Franciscan.org