Hearts Afire

“I give you thanks, my Jesus, for your decision to become perfect Man, with a Heart which loved and is most loveable; which loved unto death and suffered; which was filled with joy and sorrow; which delighted in the things of men and showed us the way to Heaven; which subjected itself heroically to duty and acted with mercy; which watched over the poor and the rich and cared for sinners and the just. I give you thanks, my Jesus. Give us hearts to measure up to Yours!” ~St. Josemaria Escriva

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While traveling in Italy, the French bishop Jacques de Vitry (c. 1160/70 – 1 May 1240) came across a group of men engaged in the ministry of what today we might call “street corner evangelization.” These men, early followers of St. Francis of Assisi, were preaching about the love of God, and the need for penance, to anyone who would listen. The bishop was moved by the kindly manner with which the friars engaged the people. Later, as he reflected on the scene, the bishop would write in his diary that “it was like watching one loving heart set another on fire.”

People visit Little Portion Hermitage occasionally. Mostly they come for spiritual direction. They come to leave prayer requests. Some of them come to talk about their joys and their concerns, their successes and their failures. Some come to laugh; some to cry. They even come to join in the holy sacrifice of the Mass, on occasion, when a priest comes by to lead the celebration.

Because Little Portion Hermitage is home to a ministry rooted in the Franciscan spiritual tradition, a tradition rooted in the supreme goodness Who is God, it is hoped that when those who visit depart, they feel their hearts afire with the goodness and love of Christ.


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