Simple, Beautiful Love

Simple, Beautiful Love

Simplicity is a hallmark of Franciscan living and spirituality, and during my pilgrimage to Assisi, I became aware of the prayer—and perhaps the act—that illustrates that most clearly for me.

Our group visited LaVerna, a mountaintop sanctuary to which Francis retreated for solitude six times. It was at LaVerna, in 1224, when he received the Stigmata, the five wounds of Jesus Christ.

The Stigmata was a mystical experience I never fully understood until our leader, Father John Quigley, OFM, described it more or less this way: When you have a beloved friend, you’re able to share your deepest pain with him. You can open up about anything because of the love and trust between you. That’s how Jesus felt about Francis. Thus, our Savior shared his deepest human pain with the little man who loved and understood him so well.

Love received, then shared

Francis was overjoyed at receiving the Stigmata and being truly able to comprehend the infinite love Christ had in his heart. That love led to compassion for Francis’ own cherished friend, Brother Leo.

Brother Leo was depressed, and Francis wrote for him a short, simple prayer that expresses something truly beautiful.

It might be brief, but could any words convey a wish more caring and profound?

May the Lord bless you and keep you;

May he show his face to you and be merciful to you.

May he turn his countenance to you and give you his peace.

May the Lord bless you, Brother Leo.

Your closest friends

Today, think about your closest friends and what you have shared with them over the years. Consider offering them the prayer to Brother Leo or sharing with them some other sign of your love and appreciation.

Time is short. Never miss an opportunity.


About the Author

Jennifer Scroggins works in Marketing in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Dpsf

    I love this has always been one of my favorites

  • walsh2

    Hello wonderful people,
    St Francis was quoting from the bible, Numbers 6 24-26:

    The LORD bless thee,
    and keep thee:

    The LORD make his
    face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

    The LORD lift up his
    countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

    The above translation if from the King James Version, all translations can be helpful.
    I particularly like John Rutter’s choral setting; if you haven’t heard it you might really like it.  

    Best wishes, thank you for all you do.