Ministry of St. Francis of Assisi

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A little story about St. Francis of Assisi

Posted by Ministry of St. Francis of Assisi on February 10, 2015 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

St. Francis of Assisi was born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone around the year 1181.  Francis' father was a very wealthy, very shrewd businessman who was a silk merchant.  Francis' father nicknamed him "Francesco" which means "the Frenchman" because much of his success came from doing business in France where his silk was in great demand.  Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history and there is no record that he was ordained.  Francis was a preacher and founder of several religious orders along with Chiara Offreduccio who is better known as St. Clare of Assisi.  Prior to his conversion, Francis lived the high-spirited life of a wealthy young man with lots of wine, women and song that not only lasted well into the night, but his partying was said to carrying on for days at a time.  Francis was a fighter who enlisted as a soldier fighting for Assisi as well as an arms merchant.  Francis was a genius when it came to creating weapons for war again Perugia.  In 1204, Francis had a vision that directed him home to Assisi where he put aside his worldly life, began living in poverty, began his life as a street preacher and gathered followers eager to preach the Good News of Christ.  In 1228, Francis was proclaimed a saint by Pope Gregory IX less than two years after his death in 1226.  

Unleashed 2014: St. Tammany Humane Society

Posted by Ministry of St. Francis of Assisi on August 3, 2014 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)

The St. Tammany Humane Society, located in Covington, Louisiana, is located on what is locally affectionately called Dog Pound Road (it's actually Harrison Ave.).  The St. Tammany Humane Society is the only no-kill animal shelter in the parish (Louisiana's counties) of St. Tammany and one of the largest in the state of Louisiana.  STHS has a low-cost veterinary clinic.  The mission of STHS is to save the life of every adoptable animal in the local community through education, adoption, and spaying/neutering.  The St. Tammany Humane Society does not receive any tax-payer funds and operating costs are met by donations, fundraisers and income from the vet clinic.  The St. Tammany Humane Society is active in working towards a goal of becoming a No-Kill Parish (County).  On Saturday, September 27th from 7pm-11pm, STHS will host their annual large fundraiser called, "Unleashed 2014" which will be held at the Vintage Court in Covinton, Louisiana.  Once a year, the staff, supporters and animal lovers of St. Tammany come together and have a great time for a great cause.  The evening offers complimentary food from the finest local restaurants, silent auction items (many tailored to the hopelessly inclined animal lovers!) and great music by Bobby Cure and The Poppa Stoppa Band.  In this coming year, STHS celebrates 61 years in operation!!  It is through the love and support of our local community as well and the love and admiration of those from afar, that STHS has been so wonderfully successful in saving countless lives each and every year.  If you'd like to be a part of this FUN fundraiser by contributing a silent auction item or attending this event, please visit www.sthumane.org.  

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary

Posted by Ministry of St. Francis of Assisi on July 23, 2014 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Dogs are truly our teachers!!  We care for them by providing them food and shelter and what we get in return is amazing!!!  We get loyalty, trust, love and we also get lessons on life from them that no other can teach us.  But, what happens when life doesn't go as it should for them as they are growing older...owners die, families lose their homes, people lose interest...and these beautiful dogs end up on the streets or in animal control where their fate is often sealed with a euthanasia date.  Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary of Mt. Joliet, Tennessee has created lifetime homes for senior dogs within a 100 mile radius of their home-based sanctuary.  Currently, they have 37 dogs on-site and about 50 dogs in forever foster homes.  Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary strives to raise awareness of the joys and challenges of living with aging dogs.  According to Zina Goodin, "While never forgetting where these dogs have come from, we want to emphasize the positive aspects of their life in retirement."  Old Friends Senior Dog Santuary provides for each of these dogs a loving home, good food, high quality vet care, compassion and comfort to these beautiful dogs for the remainder of their lives.  No matter where you are, you can help Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary by being a part of their upcoming fundraiser on Friday, October 10, 2014 by logging onto www.dogartforoldfriends.org.  You can also visit them on their website at www.ofsds.org or simply go to their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OldFriendsSeniorDogSanctuary and give them a LIKE.  The Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary creedo is "We do not concern ourselves with the quantity of time that they have left, rather the quality of life that we can provide them for that time."  God bless you, Zina.  God bless the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary.


Tiger Bait Raw Whole Foods For Pets

Posted by Ministry of St. Francis of Assisi on July 20, 2014 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

About 10 years ago, Jessica DeVun noticed that her aging dog was needing help.  Jessica took it upon herself to discover everything that she could about nutrition for dogs and cats!!  She read books, consulted with veterinarians and pet nutritionists and decided that there had to be a better way than kibble-in-a-bag.  Jessica began creating her own foods for her beloved dog and, over-time, began seeing improvements in her dog's quality of living that she had not seen in a while.  Jessica's work with her own dog became the basis for her creation of TIGER BAIT Raw Whole Foods For Pets.  TIGER BAIT provides complete and balanced nutrition for dogs, cats, and other carnivores using a recipe made by nature itself. Her recipe is made from 10 all-natural and organic human-grade ingredients, packaged raw, and frozen to preserve freshness and is modeled on the prey diet, using only the highest quality ingredients like whole ground fresh raw chicken and organ meats, organic Hawaiian spirulina and hand-whipped raw whole local organic yard eggs, TIGER BAIT is designed 100% with your pet's total health in mind.  TIGER BAIT'S growing line of products includes a variety of treats, skin care products, and dog chews.  TIGER BAIT is available in three convenient sizes and can be purchased Farmers' Markets at the Mandeville (Louisiana) Trailhead or Covington (Louisiana) Trailhead on Saturdays.  TIGER BAIT can be purchased any time from Good Dog Naturally in Covington, Louisiana.  If you are not local to Louisiana, then you can visit www.goodeggs.com/tigerbait to have TIGER BAIT delivered directly to you!!  You can also contact Jessica by email at [email protected] and let her know your questions.  Jessica DeVun is dedicated to creating the best product for your pets!!

Frugal Family Traveling

Posted by Ministry of St. Francis of Assisi on July 16, 2014 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

We all need a break from time-to-time.  Sometimes, that break can do a lot to "break" the bank!!  Frugal Family Travelers was created to keep that from happening.  Frugal Family Travelers provides much information for you and your family to create that break, that time away, that much needed vacation and still have a few dollars left in your pocket.  You can find Frugal Family Travelers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/frugalfamilytravelers or visit their blog at frugalfamilytravelers.blogspot.com.  You can get great ideas on vacation get-aways, stay local for stay-cations or taking a weekend jaunt for adventure and/or relaxation.  Pay Frugal Family Travelers a visit and I promise that you won't regret.  They are helping us by saving our pennies as well as working to secure a more secure, sound environment...all through frugal traveling!!

Dachshunds: By The Dogs, For The Dogs

Posted by Ministry of St. Francis of Assisi on July 9, 2014 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dawn Michael, president of The Rescued Rescuers: Dachshunds and Friends of the Emerald Coast.  They are located in the panhandle of Florida and they were founded to rescue dachshunds and occasionally other breeds that are in need of loving, safe and healthy homes.  Their mission is to save dogs in kill shelters, turned over by their owners, or confiscated by the authorities from "backyard breeders".  They are not a shelter, but a network of volunteer fosters working together to provide safe, nurturing family environments until the dogs are adopted into their forever homes.  Every dog is vetted which means that they are cared for by a trusted veterinarian providing each dog with good and complete medical care.  The Rescued Rescuers are not just about fostering dachshunds, however.  They are also about creating a community from their own community in the way of FUNdraisers!!  They have a full slate of events that are meaningful to those looking to add to their family as well as those who are seeking a good time while in the company of these fun dogs!!!  For more information on The Rescued Rescuers, please visit their website at http://werescuedogs.org/  You can also find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheRescuedRescuers

We Can Create Peace - For Just One Day

Posted by Ministry of St. Francis of Assisi on July 6, 2014 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

We can all make a difference in our own way. It may re-creating the capacity to care for someone in need. It may be opening our eyes to the plight of those around us. Somehow, someway, we can take those qualities that are deep within us and rise above the negative to create - once again - the virtues that make us uniquely, compassionately human.  On Monday, July 7th, beginning at 7am your time, I am asking that you create within your own minds thoughts of compassion and peace. It may be lighting a candle. It may be taking a few moments to clear your mind in meditation. It may be saying written prayers. It may be just what you need in that moment because it may be as simple as stopping... negative thoughts, stopping angry words, stopping... before beginning a new day of peace, hope, and love for yourself and all of God's creation. Together, we can quietly create peace... even if it's just for one day.

 


What Is Love?

Posted by Ministry of St. Francis of Assisi on June 29, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

 In Matthew 22:36-40, we read - “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

In the New Testament, Jesus was all about love and compassion and kindness.  Love is our greatest commandment.  What is Love?

In reality, YOU are love. Love is far more than an emotion as it is a state of being in which you allow a greater flow of creative energy in your life. One way to look at the experience of love is as an alignment of your energy (focus) in physical reality with your Self. Self love is accepting that energy into yourself, recognizing it as a part of yourself and knowing that you have never really been separated from it.  As a conscious creator, when you step into this state, miracles literally happen.  Events and things you have been focusing on may suddenly appear without effort, and old problems may vanish in the same manner.  Allowing love into beingness makes it easier to focus on your desires.  

Being in a state of love within physical reality does not mean sitting passively in a blissed out state while the world continues on around you. Love is energy. Love is creative. Love is aggressive. Focusing on love does not mean sacrificing your own happiness for others, always being pleasant, or trying to "get the word out" to others so that we can all know this state. Being in a state of love is knowing that following your own joy can only have a beneficial effect on others - whatever state you experience is what you radiate around you. Being in a state of love is, pointedly, simply being YOU in every moment, no judgments about your expression, just you flowing YOU.

If you can't imagine what you would be like without those limitations, that's okay.  You can begin the process just by sending yourself love and forgiveness to these areas of yourself.  Monitor your thoughts during the day, and when you catch yourself being harsh or critical, take a breath and forgive yourself.  Give yourself a mental hug, the hardest thing for many of us has been to forgive ourselves, often in areas where you would forgive a stranger without blinking an eye.  Remember to praise yourself as well, when something goes right, give yourself a pat on the back for it.  You are an amazing human being.  You are LOVE!



 

Unconditional Love

Posted by Ministry of St. Francis of Assisi on June 7, 2014 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

John Lennon wrote, "All you need is love, love. Love is all you need."  With that said, what is LOVE?  It is said that "love is something that cannot be kept to oneself."  We need to give it in order to receive it.  And despite the external appearance of some, at heart, we all want to be loved.

For those of us on the spiritual path and especially for those of us who are animal lovers and advocates, we talk a LOT about unconditional love.  But what is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE?

Quite simply, unconditional love is love without conditions. It is love without requiring anything in return, love no matter what. A classic example might be the undying love of a mother for a wayward son regardless of what human sins he might commit.  

It's easy to love those closest to us. Easy to love that with which we are familiar. But true unconditional love places no conditions such as "I'll love you because you're my partner, child, parent."  It is love for every part of the material and spiritual realm - regardless for whether we may know that which we love and regardless for how that which we love may have behaved towards us in the past.

Unconditional love represents our true spiritual goal. It is the love of all others regardless of race, religion or deeds for by truly giving unconditional love we recognize that we are part of that great oneness that is spirit, that is God. As it has been said and written, "In loving another we really love ourselves."

Practicing Unconditional Love is hard.  Life is hard. This is why our bodies, sophisticated as they are, are designed to wear out because we would never be able to return to our true home in the realm of God.

To attain the state of unconditional love while clothed in human flesh is extremely hard, if not impossible. Those that have come close include spiritual masters such as Buddha and our Lord Jesus Christ.  More modern examples are Gandhi and Mother Theresa.

We can do this in how we live our lives by showing our appreciation to those that help us by saying "please" or "thank you" or a smile abd by saying "good morning" or offering assistance to a stranger in need abd even the expression of positive views in conversation with friends and acquaintances.  In all of these ways, we can express our love for our fellow beings with no strings attached.

We recognize the immense difficulty of attaining unconditional love in this world and that is why God gave us dogs. Remember the old adage that a "stranger is only a friend we've yet to meet."  Our dogs offer to us many, many lessons on how to live a life of unconditional love.  Just pay attention.  

When a loved one comes home, shower them with love!!  Offer to help with anything they are carrying.  When they are angry, it may not be at us!!  Offer them quiet patience instead of verbal solutions or criticism.  Forgive them - period.  We all do dumb mistakes.  You want a life of unconditional love?  Follow your dogs lead.  All they ask for in return is a walk or a yummy snack or just a belly rub.  All you need is love and love is all you need.  Namaste'  

    

Julian of Norwich

Posted by Ministry of St. Francis of Assisi on May 8, 2014 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Julian of Norwich is regarded as one of the most important Christian mystics. She is venerated, but Julian was never canonized. Julian is not even her real name, but a name that she most likely gave herself. Julian was born in 1342 during the Black Plague which was a time of oppression, death, unrest and poverty. Julian was not a nun, but she lived a solitary life in a 3-windowed cell in the church of St. Julian in Norwich. It was during this time that Julian began to write "Revelations" - a book about God's love which was shown to her through visions. Julian was shown God's love creates all that exists. God's love sustains all and redeems all. God's love is unfailing even in time of sorrow and trial. God's love is unconditional. God's love is plentious beyond imagining. God's love is all powerful and all embracing and in God's love there is no place for anger or wrath. God's whole purpose is to bring all into the bliss of heaven so that "All Shall Be Well." Julian of Norwich's book, "The Revelations of Divine Love' is the first book written in English by a woman. The feast day for Julian of Norwich is May 8th which was the day in 1373 when she was so close to death that a priest paid her a visit to prepare her with last rites and then the pain suddenly left her leaving her with 15 revelations over the next 12 hours of God's love convincing her to devote her life totally to God. According to Julian, God is both father and mother - an idea that was also revealed to us by St. Francis of Assisi in the century prior to Julian's life. Whether you call her St. Julian or Lady Julian, all that matter is that Julian brought to us writings to sustain that God is love and that love is unconditional.



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