Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Lord, Hear My Cry For Mercy

October 4, 2011

Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi

By Beth DeCristofaro

When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out. (Jonah 3:10)

(Martha) had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. (Luke 10:39)


Out of the depths I call to you, Lord. Lord, hear my cry!

May your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.

If you, Lord, keep account of sins, Lord, who can stand?

But with you is forgiveness and so you are revered. (Psalm 130:1-4)


In a fitting juxtaposition, Francis of Assisi is an inspiring blend of Mary plus Martha. However while Mary is serene, reclining at Jesus’ feet in the seat of a beloved disciple, Francis is a clown, inebriated with his love of God. He was a contemplative in action who “chose the better part” yet retained the no-nonsense generosity of Martha as he gave away his own garments to someone poorer than himself. He lived the love of God with every breath. He saw the greatness of God in all whether they be tiny birds or poor, uneducated peasants.

Francis had something in common with the Ninevites and Jonah as well. Francis experienced a conversion, throwing off the evil ways of his youth. God’s patience, mercy and forgiveness was his as it was for the citizens of Ninevah and the obstinate, sulky Jonah. Reading the psalm, one could imagine the psalmist also experiencing God’s mercy and coming to the awesome understanding and liberation found through repentance and forgiveness.


Francis of Assisi wrote a beautiful paraphrase of the Our Father. Read over and commit to carry in your heart the phrases which describe how we might live God’s love in our every day (“Thy will be done...) . You will find the prayer at the Franciscan Archive: http://www.franciscan-archive.org/index2.html.