Only When Necessary Use Words. . .St. Francis of Assisi

A member of the church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.

It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.

The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.

Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, ‘Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I will be back in church next Sunday.We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.

This article came from a Facebook Post by Fr. Joe Codori.  He gave me permission to print it.


I read this and thought, “this is just the message I needed to hear today.”  I have been in such a tremendous funk lately.  I just didn’t want to leave my house, I stayed home from Mass the last two Sundays. . .why is that???  I don’t know, but I’m asking God for help in discerning what is happening.

Sometimes I just don’t want to be around people. . .I’m really an introvert at heart, but I had to learn to be an extrovert when raising my children.  It’s a difficult thing to do and I know that I am not the only person who has ever had to do this.  I just like being in a quiet, alone place for spaces of time.

I have good friends that I love with all my heart and even those loved friends I need to be away from for a piece of time.  Perhaps it is the same with the God of my heart who I love even more. . .

I’m workin’ on it. . .I’ll be back to myself or “from” myself in time.

By the way. . .this homily above is just what St. Francis of Assisi talked about. . .he said, “Preach the Gospel and when necessary, use words!”  I just love that!!!

May you be blessed and be a blessing!

Sandy Ozanich (c) January 8, 2014

7 thoughts on “Only When Necessary Use Words. . .St. Francis of Assisi

  1. This came to me as I have been pondering if I should ever return to my home church of 21 years. I think the “sermon” you have shared makes perfect sense since the pastor visited. My problem with my church is no one visits at all…not even if you have had surgery…which is the case since my husband had surgery right before Thanksgiving. It is disconcerting to not be cared about by your own church “family.” Our church has turned cold since it now has three different services. No one knows anyone unless you attend the same service. Even if you are in small groups for Bible study there seems to be only a “connect” while in the classroom, otherwise, no one knows your name. It makes me long for the a country church where the congregation is small and welcoming. My fire for the Lord is not burning out so much as my fire for those who claim to be my sister and brother in Christ is just a flicker when it comes to belonging to a church.

    I say all this to let you know I understand how a person can get in a “funk.” I love that quote from St, Francis of Assisi, too.

    God bless you.

    • Hi, I hear you and I understand! I had a situation like that about 30 years ago. I just couldn’t find “family, home, compassion, welcome” there.
      I moved to where I am now because from the minute I entered that Monastery I knew I had “come home”. I still find it to be true today.
      I feel it is so important to feel at home when you worship and if you don’t find that, perhaps you do need to move on to another faith
      community. My perspective is this, if you walk away from a worship service feeling anger, unfulfilled, lonely, or unwanted, this place
      is not healthy for your spiritual self. . .your soul.

      There is a statement written on the wall of a Cathedral that says “You can have more than one Church home”. I believe that and I do worship
      with another community about once a week and I find it fulfilling, joyful and so very warm and welcoming.

      I hope you find the spiritual home you deserve!

      Be blessed because you are a blessing,

    • Thanks Jim!

      I heard that quote from my current boss, Fr. Jerry. He told me about that quote. I love it as well.

      Fr. Jerry is a Passionist priest. I don’t know if you ever heard of Passionists, but our founder had close ties to the Franciscans. St. Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionists was taught in his early years by the Franciscans. (I say our founder because I am a Lay Passionist, or Associate of our Passionist Province of St. Paul of the Cross in the Eastern coast of US)

      Be blessed, SandyO

      I invite you to visit my blogs:

      Blessed are the Cracked – for they are the ones who let in the light! When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then there will be peace in this world. . .

      > Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2014 01:34:00 +0000 > To: >

  2. You know what? I think you are right about having more than one church home and I plan to do just that. I need to be a part of something bigger and be able to worship and feel the love God intended with our fellow believers. Thank you. xo

    • You are more than welcome! I hope one day soon you can tell me that you have found what
      you were looking for and your worship of God is full, fulfilling, and causes you to move
      on to be a servant, a helper, a listener and a total fool for God!


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