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Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul by Thomas of Celano: First Book, Chapter 6, FAED, Book 2, page 249.

With his heart already completely changed – soon his body was also to be changed – he was walking one day by the church of San Damiano, which was abandoned by everyone and almost in ruins. Led by the Spirit he went in to pray and knelt down devoutly before the crucifix. He was shaken by unusual experiences and discovered that he was different from when he had entered. As soon as he had this feeling, there occurred something unheard of in previous ages: with the lips of the painting, the image of Christ crucified spoke to him. "Francis," it said, calling him by name, go rebuild My house; as you see, it is all being destroyed." Francis was more than a little stunned, trembling, and stuttering like a man out of his senses. He prepared himself to obey and pulled himself together to carry out the command. He felt this mysterious change in himself, but he could not describe it. From that time on, compassion for the Crucified was impressed into his holy soul.

For Reflection

How are you feeling called by Christ to be of service to others? To the church? To poor people?

Have you a memory of being called by God that felt real and personal? Describe this experience.

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