The Catechetical Saints
Part 5

There was never a sermon quite like that given on August 2, 1216.  St. Francis mounted a makeshift
pulpit set up before the tiny chapel of St. Mary of the Angels outside of Assisi to announce to the assembled
crowd the granting of the famed Portiuncula Indulgence.  The enthusiasm in his voice matched the fire in his
heart as the Little Poor Man began by proclaiming:

 

I want to send you all to HEAVEN!

          Everyone longs for happiness – and St. Francis knew where it could be found for all eternity.  HEAVEN: the perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity 
this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed… the ultimate end and fulfillment
of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.
(CATECHISM #1024)

          HEAVEN was always on Francis’ mind.  Not just the starry firmament, but that HEAVEN which by His death and Resurrection Christ has opened
to us.
(#1026)   To live in HEAVEN is to be with Christ. (#1025)  And where Christ is, there is joy and light, peace and grace.  The life of the blessed
consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the Redemption accomplished by Christ. 
(#1026)

          Look to HEAVEN which beckons us on, wrote St. Clare to one of her spiritual daughters.  Like St. Francis, like St. Paul , the
Seraphic Mother knew that the sufferings of this life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us, in HEAVEN, in
God’s
own place
where we shall rest and see, we shall see and love, we shall love and praise for all eternity.  
                                                                                                                                            ( St. Augustine , quoted in CATECHISM #1720)

 

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