Are you stressed out? Do you go through your days just trying to manage the stress from all the commitments that you have? Driving the kids to school and activities, going to work, making it to the grocery store in time to pick up something for dinner, cleaning the house, making the doctors appointments and so on are all tasks that people deal with everyday that can cause a lot of stress. Many people could use more peace in their lives because they never get a chance to really sit down, relax, and spend some quality time with their loved ones. But finding a way to get that peace seems impossible sometimes. Today people are busy all the time and the stress of dealing with jobs, families, long commutes, money problems, high gas prices and other problems mean that most people never really take the time to sit down and relax. The constant stresses of modern life can cause a lot of serious illnesses. Heart disease, high blood pressure, and even diseases like diabetes can be caused by stress. Other chronic disease like Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can also be caused by stress.
Doctors tell patients all the time that cutting down on the stress in their lives can make them healthier and help them live longer. So how can busy people get rid of some of the daily stress that they haves? You can get rid of stress and find some peace in your life by praying to St. Francis of Assisi regularly. Keeping a statue of St. Francis of Assisi in the house and taking just five minutes a day to sit quietly and reflect on the lessons that St. Francis taught and to pray for guidance and peace can be a great way to get rid of stress and focus on the things in life that are really important. When you first get up in the morning start your day with a prayer to St. Francis of Assisi in order to put yourself in a peaceful frame of mind all day. Or, if you need to get rid of some stress when you get home sit quietly, light a candle by the statue of St. Francis of Assisi and repeat St. Francis’ peace prayer until you feel calmer and more at peace. St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and the environment because he lived in harmony with both.
St. Francis came from a wealthy merchant family and he spent the early years of his life living a life of luxury helping his father with the family business. He joined the military and while on a military deployment he was captured and spent a year as a prisoner of war. During that time he started to delve more deeply into religion but it wasn’t until after his release and a serious illness that he had a real spiritual awakening. He went on a religious pilgrimage to Rome, where he had a vision. After his vision he felt an even stronger connection to God but seemed to flounder and didn’t really know how he was meant to serve God. The answer came in the form of a sermon from the Book of Matthew that changed St. Francis’ life.
He took literally the sermon’s admonition to go forth without so much as a staff or shoes and decided that a live of extreme poverty was the key to finding closeness with God. He rejected all physical comforts and began living among nature and the animals, forming a deep relationship with both. He founded a monastic order, the Fransiscan monks, who believed in living the way that he did and in demonstrating the virtues of poverty and charity. St. Francis had a deep love of the natural world and of animals, and his peaceful nature and strong connection to God make him the perfect saint to pray to when you need to be reminded of your connection to God and to the natural world.
Take a few minutes and each and pray to St. Francis and you’ll notice that you start to feel happier, more peaceful, and more connected to God and to nature. Today it we have named hospitals and schools after the saint.
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