Yesterday's Heavenletter was Rejoice and Be Glad, #4271.
Bernie Siegel, M.D., sent me a story about St. Francis of Assissi he had also received that day. Bernie wrote:
Same message on same day. God is interesting.
I wrote back to Bernie:
Dear Blog Readers, I love stories, don't you? I'm going to post this oh so marvelous powerful story that Bernie sent to me here:
Where there is injury, let me sow pardon.
– Saint Francis of Assisi
Once, in wintertime, it is said that Francis and his disciple Brother Leo were making a hard journey on foot through the snowy countryside of Italy. They had been walking along in silence for a long time when Brother Leo turned to Francis and asked him, “How can we find perfect joy?”
Francis stopped and replied, “Even if all our friars were perfect in their holiness and could work all kinds of miracles for others, we still would not have perfect joy.”
He turned and walked on, and Brother Leo ran after him. “Then what is perfect joy?”
Francis stopped again, “Even if we could speak with the birds of the air and the beasts of the field and know all the secrets of nature, we still would not have perfect joy. Even if we could cure all the ills on the face of the earth, we would still not have found perfect joy.”
Brother Leo was practically shouting: “Then please, Father Francis, what is the secret of perfect joy?”
“Brother, suppose we go to that monastery across the field and tell the gatekeeper how weary and cold we are, and he calls us tramps and beats us and throws us out into the winter night. Then, Brother, if we can say with love in our hearts, Bless you...’ then we shall have found perfect joy.”
Oh, to be like Saint Francis of Assissi.