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Learning Patience
Diane M. Houdek
Source: Bringing Home the Word
Published: Sunday, February 3, 2013

Francis’ biographers tell us that when he was in his early 20s, he rode off to battle against the nearby city-state of Perugia. He was captured and imprisoned for a year. He returned home sick and spent the next year virtually bedridden. When he recovered from his illness, they tell us, he spent time simply wandering the area, praying in abandoned chapels, walking in the woods and on the slopes of Mount Subasio, spending time in caves listening first to the silence and then to the voice of God. He’s not the first saint to have encountered God during an illness. There’s something about serious illness that forces us to confront our mortality and then to question our priorities. Francis had longed to be a knight, a soldier, to do great deeds on the field of battle. When he lost that opportunity, he had a choice between spending the rest of his life depressed at his ill fortune or listening to the plans God had for him. Tuck this story away in the back of your mind, and then next time you’re feeling beaten down by life’s difficulties, ask St. Francis to help you listen patiently for God’s word.

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