#1 - 01 - Dedication and January
Flowers from the Garden of Saint Francis for Every Day of the Year
Here is a collection of 365 short spiritual reflections and moral admonitions of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) and other notable Franciscans. One might conclude that, while some of these admonitions are applicable to almost anyone, others seem too rigorous, or at least inappropriate for certain vocations or stations in life. This may be explained by recalling that these words of advice and spiritual direction were directed primarily to friars and cloistered nuns. Thus, we detect in these words a great concern for the development of profound personal humility, meekness, celibate chastity, and sorrow for sin. Moreover, some of the admonitions exhort the friars and nuns to obey, in accord with their vows of obedience, the religious superiors who have been put in charge of their friaries and convents. To make this spiritual wisdom relevant to a wider group of spiritual wayfarers, many of these sayings and admonitions have been adapted for laypersons who serve humankind in various walks of life. Consequently, Franciscanism has found a home not only among religious men and women but among laypersons as well, not only among Christians of all denominations but also among non-Christians and even non-believers. Its universal appeal is, perhaps, epitomized in the benevolent old Franciscan greeting "Pax et bonum!"—"Peace and all good be with you!"—which resonates even today in our society, a society quite diverse in creed and culture.
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