At SD Care, we look for inspiration in St Francis and great souls like him.
But most of all we look at the world around us and sometimes we find it in the very people we choose to serve – simple, anonymous and good folk.
The little chapel of San Damiano sits about a mile outside the walls of Assisi. The path descends the slope of Mount Subasio as it heads down to the lush green valley below, passing lovely olive groves and ancient cypress trees. The original church was built around AD 1030 in honour of Saint Damian, who along with his twin brother Cosmos, was martyred in AD 303. Built atop Roman ruins dating a century before Christ, this tiny chapel has a simple gable façade constructed of irregular stones with an off-centre circular window.
It was to this decrepit, decaying church, that Francis repaired to seek God’s will after his cathartic experience of having embraced a leper. He was torn between whether to dedicate himself to a life of prayer and solitude or to serve the poor and spread the gospel. Light flooded in through the partially collapsed roof as Francis humbly knelt in prayer in front of a large Byzantine cross which hung above the altar. Following a long period of intense prayer, the dead silence of the abandoned church was broken by a voice emanating from the Cross which said,
“Go Francis and repair my house which you see, is falling into ruins.”
At first Francis took this order literally and set himself to rebuild this dilapidated church and several others like it nearby. Brick by brick, begging for supplies from all and sundry, his journey into faith and spiritual conversion began. St Francis responded to God’s call by renouncing his private world of vanity and lust for money, fame and glory. He was filled with a burning mission to help others receive God’s grace to rebuild their lives and those of others in the community and the world. Today the spirit of St Francis of Assisi invites us to rebuild our lives as he did when he responded to Christ’s call on that fateful day when the eerie silence of San Damiano was broken. Francis’ mission was clear:
“Help people find peace and reconciliation with themselves, others and God…stone by stone, rebuilding individual lives, communities and the world.”
At SD Care we seek to continue St Francis’ mission of responding to God’s call by serving the sick, frail and elderly.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born
to eternal life.
Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing,
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no human is worthy to mention Your name.
Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.
Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.
Most High, Glorious God,
Cast Your Light into the Darkness of my Heart,
Give me Lord,
And profound Humility,
With Wisdom and Perception,
So that I may carry out,
What is truly
Your Holy Will
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