St. Francis Novena, Day Eight
As you remember your personal intentions, please pray we are guided by a radical trust in God, just like St. Francis.
It is the dark of night. All is quiet in the house. The children are tucked snuggly in their beds and parents are fast asleep when a young child is stirred awake. She opens her eyes to look about the room. Though it is familiar, everything is different. Though it is quiet, the clanking of pipes and windows are startling. The faint moonlight casts shadows in the room and her imagination runs wild. Are there monsters under the bed? In the closet? And fear takes hold of her tender heart. Just as it seems the darkness is pressing in, without thinking she cries out, “Mom…Dad!” A few moments later, the light is on and she is in the arms of loving parents. The monsters are gone and she is safe.
This image often comes to mind when I think of trust in God—the kind of trust that St. Francis exemplified. Children of loving parents cry out without hesitation. When hurt or frightened or playful and joyous, they cry out. For that is how it ought to be. A child is so vulnerable and needs care and guidance. It is written in their very hearts to trust they are given what they need.
It is only when others fail us, that we learn to be silent—learn we are “on our own.” But that is not what we are made for. We are God’s children, and he wants us to cry out to him. When we are joyous, we sing to God. When we are alone, we speak to Him by our side.
Francis could brave foreign lands, live without property, and even embrace death as a sister, because he learned to be a child—a child who knows a loving Father. He trusted the one who brings the light, makes monsters flee, and holds us in his arms.
(Fr. Clifford Hennings, OFM, is a pastor at Holy Family Church in Novi, Mich.)
Pray the Novena to St. Francis of Assisi
Read by Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM
When Francis was in the process of conversion, he entered the small church of San Damiano and from the cross heard the words of Christ, “Francis, go and repair My House, which, as you can see, is falling into ruin.” And St. Francis took that as his mission. 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.)
Holy St. Francis, you spent your life preaching and living the Gospel and won over many people to God. We beseech you to have pity on us poor sinners, that through your intercession, God may grant that our doubts be replaced with the certainty that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide us through life’s many trials towards God’s eternal kingdom.
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.
Videos and articles on St. Francis at Franciscan Media.
We follow Jesus in the footsteps of St. Francis, learn more at Franciscan.org