Saint Francis Didn't Say


#1

Hi,
I have been doing research, and have been asking people for years, to tell me where Saint Francis said, "Preach the gospel always, and if necessary use words.
Saint Francis preached all the time, and so should we.

I am changing the saying, that’s right, I’m going to change the saying. My saying would be and is just a valid as the saying that the liberal Catholics drove down our throats in the 1960’s, in a effort to keep us from speaking the truth.

I think, Saint Francis said “Preach the gospel always, and it is usually necessary to use words!”

If anyone can show me where Saint Francis said “Preach the Gospel always and if necessary use words”, I will be amazed. He just didn’t say it…

Catholic Answers, I bet can’t show me that he said it.

Obedience,
John


#2

[quote=john654]Catholic Answers, I bet can’t show me that he said it.

Obedience,
John
[/quote]

I don’t get it…Why woud CA care one way or another?

Your point? :confused:


#3

[quote=john654]Hi,
I have been doing research, and have been asking people for years, to tell me where Saint Francis said, "Preach the gospel always, and if necessary use words.
Saint Francis preached all the time, and so should we.

I am changing the saying, that’s right, I’m going to change the saying. My saying would be and is just a valid as the saying that the liberal Catholics drove down our throats in the 1960’s, in a effort to keep us from speaking the truth.

I think, Saint Francis said “Preach the gospel always, and it is usually necessary to use words!”

If anyone can show me where Saint Francis said “Preach the Gospel always and if necessary use words”, I will be amazed. He just didn’t say it…

Catholic Answers, I bet can’t show me that he said it.

Obedience,
John
[/quote]

I think we can ask you to prove that he didn’t say this but I have a totally different question than that for you.

Why? Why make such a statment and then demand that those who believe he did say this prove it to you?

I have to say, the quote you deny, “Preach the gospel always, and if necessary use words.” fits the spirituality of St Francis more than what you claim the quote is, “Preach the gospel always, and it is usually necessary to use words!”

On second thought I will ask you that one too. Prove that he said what you think he said rather than what everyone else knows he said.


#4

For one, I’m not sure the quote means that we should seldom use words, but that we should be “preaching” by our orthodox behavior even when words aren’t appropriate.

Secondly, his quote is just a little more fun and ironic.

Thirdly, the quote may not have been his exact words, but your version doesn’t really fit the entire story from which it comes:

"St Francis received several new brothers into the order. Wanting to see for themselves their father’s public preaching (as the Saint was wont to do) they asked for permission to accompany him on his next trip to the town.

The Saint agreed, and called them one day to accompany him. As they walked to town, their father led them in many hymns, joyfully singing praises to God. Along the way, Francis begged for love of God among the rich. They stopped in the parish church, and gave homage to the Eucharistic Lord. As they entered town, he gave of all that he had begged to the poor. Lepers greeted him in the home he established for them, and he lovingly bathed their wounds, kissed them, and turned to return to their house.

As they returned along the road, the brothers asked the Saint when it was that he would begin his preaching?

He replied, “What do you think we have been doing since we left? I tell you that we are to preach the Gospel always, but only use words when necessary.’”

Fourth, this story predates the liberal theology you referred to.

And lastly, this story, itself can’t be documented and proved beyond doubt, but neither can many things that we accept through tradition (little “t”). But gosh, why ruin all the good stories just because we got a point to make. I mean, who wants to start telling elementary school kids that when George Washington go caught cutting down the cherry tree, his answer was, “It seemed to have some sort of parasite, Dad, and wanted to make sure it didn’t infect the other cherry trees.”


#5

John, As a member of the SFO I have studied a lot about Francis’ life. While it is true nobody was following him around writing things down, such a statement would be within his personality to say. He would chose words sometimes to lead your thoughts in one direction and to think you knew what he was about to say only to surprise you by giving you something else to think about.


#6

Ok, I am going to put on my superman suit and start flying at supersonic speeds, going counter to the earths spinning motion until the earth starts spinning backwards, we can then go back in time so you can hear it with your own ears.
I guess if that doesn’t work we may be forced to rely on the storys that were passed down.
I can see how you would be hesitiant to believe early Monks that gave up every worldly possession in order follow Christ. I have a hard time trusting them too!


#7

I think that was a fair question. Maybe someayalls feathers was ruffled in the manner of the asking, but it’s a good question.

Undoubtedly, it’s a little too much to just “change” the quote out of disbelief or rebellion. But still, a good question.


#8

[quote=Mike Dye]Ok, I am going to put on my superman suit and start flying at supersonic speeds, going counter to the earths spinning motion until the earth starts spinning backwards, we can then go back in time so you can hear it with your own ears.

[/quote]

Mike,

You know, ever since I saw that scene in Superman 2 was it, I forget, I’ve harbored some doubt about whether reversing the earth’s rotation would actually “turn back time.”

Maybe it was part 1, they all run together now. Anyways, what do you think>>>???

Hey, I know you were kidding… I’m just glad to see somebody that remembers that. Sometimes I think of that scene, and everytime I’m like

“And why is that supposed to reverse time???”:confused:


#9

I believe he said it, and Fransiscan tradition would indicate that he did. Can you prove that he didn’t say it?


#10

In a letter to abbot Jonathan:
"…I hear your faith is strong though many around you seem to doubt, stand firm for Christ. Preach the gospel always, and if necessary use words. "(Letter #32, Life and works of St Francis)


#11

I don’t really think it makes a difference whether or not St. Francis really said that, do you? Although, personally, I believe he would say something like that.

In our parish, a young protestant girl got up to talk about the importance of donating blood and how it saved her live. She mentioned the quote in question here but gave credit for the quote to her pastor. At first I was a little surprised but then amused by it all.


#12

Hi,

Peace to all of you. I didn’t think that anyone could show me where he St. francis said thath. I also didn’t think that anyone would really care.

That sayin was one of the worst sayings to ever be used against the word of God. It validated relativism.

This is what the saying meant in the 60’s: Live your life the way you want to. Live and let live, and don’t say anything to me. It’s not necessary to say anything to me, Jesus loves me the way that I am. In the Bible it say “come as you are”. St Francis wasn’t judgemental like you, he was at peace with the world around him. He would never say anything about sin, he just led a good life.

John


#13

[quote=john654]Hi,

Peace to all of you. I didn’t think that anyone could show me where he St. francis said thath. I also didn’t think that anyone would really care.

That sayin was one of the worst sayings to ever be used against the word of God. It validated relativism.

This is what the saying meant in the 60’s: Live your life the way you want to. Live and let live, and don’t say anything to me. It’s not necessary to say anything to me, Jesus loves me the way that I am. In the Bible it say “come as you are”. St Francis wasn’t judgemental like you, he was at peace with the world around him. He would never say anything about sin, he just led a good life.

John
[/quote]

Didn’t you read Catholic Dude’s post?? He told you where St Francis said that!


#14

I believe that Saint Francis’s quote is useful in living out our lives in a Christian manner and spreading the message.

But the OP makes a valid point in how the message has been subverted into more a feel good message, and not standing up for the faith. I am in a pretty liberal parish with people advocating female priests to the nuns there and nothing being said about it. We need good catechesis, and a spreading of the gospel, not watered down doctrine.

Now I fully believe in the quote as it is intended (even if wasn’t really his quote). We need to preach the Gospel and live it. Words are just words if there is nobody living it. People are touched by love not just words. But there needs to be truth and clear messages spread.

Now about Superman, I am not so sure about the reversing of the world thing. That might have been just an illustration of time being reversed, and the world reversing as a result of his influencing the time and space occupied by the world. Still pretty shoddy science, since the world moved a lot and it looked like just several minutes to an hour or so changed. (wouldn’t the world have just moved about a quarter turn or so?) That is what bothered me about that scene.

God Bless
Scylla


#15

[quote=john654]Hi,

Peace to all of you. I didn’t think that anyone could show me where he St. francis said thath. I also didn’t think that anyone would really care.

That sayin was one of the worst sayings to ever be used against the word of God. It validated relativism.

This is what the saying meant in the 60’s: Live your life the way you want to. Live and let live, and don’t say anything to me. It’s not necessary to say anything to me, Jesus loves me the way that I am. In the Bible it say “come as you are”. St Francis wasn’t judgemental like you, he was at peace with the world around him. He would never say anything about sin, he just led a good life.

John
[/quote]

What??? Didn’t you read any of the posts???
First, just because some in the 60’s may have mis-interpreted it doesn’t invalidate what the verse means. It ABSOLUTELY does not mean “don’t say anything to me”. It simply means that even when we are not using words we should preach through our actions, but we use words when someone is needing instruction.
But my goodness, I got to say, the I-told-you-so tone of your posts really drip with some arrogance, especially in the way you are assuming that anyone who uses this quote is a permissive, liberal Catholic. I hate to have to point that out, but as St. Francis would say, this is one of those instance when it is neccesary to use words.


#16

I think what he meant about no one showing him was he did not expect Catholic Dude to actually get it. I think he read it.


#17

It doesn’t really matter who said this–the idea is a good one. Of course, like everything it could be twisted, but what could be better than show what Christianity is by BEING a good Christian for all the world to see

I had no idea this was attributed to St. Francis. I first heard this quote at a Baptist wedding about 6 years ago and it’s stuck with me ever since.


#18

[quote=scylla]I believe that Saint Francis’s quote is useful in living out our lives in a Christian manner and spreading the message.

Now about Superman, I am not so sure about the reversing of the world thing. That might have been just an illustration of time being reversed, and the world reversing as a result of his influencing the time and space occupied by the world. Still pretty shoddy science, since the world moved a lot and it looked like just several minutes to an hour or so changed. (wouldn’t the world have just moved about a quarter turn or so?) That is what bothered me about that scene.

God Bless
Scylla
[/quote]

And just how fast would Superman have to fly in order to reverse the rotation of the earth??? No matter how fast he went, I’m not sure it would even effect the earth’s mass and rotation, not enough to reverse it!! Yeah, I’m with you, pretty shoddy science.

BTW, I don’t think we should exegete St. Francis in terms of 60’s hippy modernism, or 80’s and 90’s post-modernism. His teachings and life are best applied today the way he applied them. I think that’s reasonable.


#19

[quote=Mike Dye]Ok, I am going to put on my superman suit and start flying at supersonic speeds, going counter to the earths spinning motion until the earth starts spinning backwards, we can then go back in time so you can hear it with your own ears.
[/quote]

The backwards rotation of the Earth wasn’t due to Superman reversing the Earth’s rotation. Instead, when he broke the “time barrier,” it appeared as if the Earth was rotating backwards because Superman was moving back through time.

Such silliness.

By the way, even if the conventional wording of the alleged quote isn’t found in any of Saint Francis’s writings, this one is: “Let all the brothers, however, preach by their deeds.”

– Mark L. Chance.


#20

I would present a few scriptures that, to my mind, communicate closely what St. Francis’s statement communicated to me.

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that speck from your eye’ when all the time there is this plank in your own.”

“Not everyone who cries out ’ Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of God, but only those who do the will of my father in heaven.”

“A tree is known by its fruit”

And I would add, with no particular knowledge of where the quote comes from but with the knowledge of a lifetime of experience

Actions speak louder than words.

I suppose that does mean we are fundamentally limited in what we can accomplish here in an electronic forum where all we have are words

Whatever the source, the message seems very clear to me.

peace

-Jim


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