Things Franciscan

As we enter into the celebration of the Transitus and the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, I thought it good to point the interested reader to a “page” of posts about St. Francis that were part of a series I did several years ago. You can find the complete list here.

There is also a series (from several years ago) on the Admonitions of St. Francis. The “lead” post can be found here. For the most part, you can use the “previous/next” arrows on the post to navigate.

Enjoy – and Happy Feast Day!

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A Pattern of Life

In a 13th-century text called the Il Foretti (The Little Flowers), a story is told about St. Francis in which a brother friar came to him and asked, “Why after you? Why is the whole world coming after you, wanting to see you, to hear you, to follow you?” Some 800 years after the life of St. Francis, this question remains. What is it about this unpretentious figure from the early 13th century that continues to exert such a perennial fascination for Catholics and non-Catholics, believers and agnostics alike? What is it that has made Francis the subject of more books than any other saint? Why has he inspired artists, ecologists, peace activists, and advocates for the poor to claim him as a patron? Why has he inspired countless tens of thousands of men and women to follow his Rule of Life in religious and secular communities? Continue reading

The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

saint-francis-of-assisi-cimabueHappy Feast Day to all Franciscans and those Franciscan at heart!

Over time I have posted a number of articles about the life of St. Francis – one day I even got ambitious and created a page on this blog where all the posts can be found. I thought perhaps the Feast Day would be a good time to let people know.  You can find all the posts collected here.

One day I will also be as motivated and collect all the posts on the Admonitions. Until then please use the WordPress search function to find them among all the other musings. They start on Oct 2, 2012

pax et bonum

Moving fences

Franciscans34“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

It is a great passage, a great image, but… I suspect when we hear that word “yoked” a particular image comes to mind. We imagine two or more beasts of burden, a huge twin harness joining them, while they pull the heavily weighted wagon, till the fields, and perform all manner of really hard work. Yet there is some comfort in the idea that the work is shared, the harness adjusted to fit, and together with a kind of family – all geared towards a common mission and purpose. Continue reading

Undressing at the Crossroads

Back in March, we all rejoiced as the white smoke billowed and jubilation erupted in St. Peter’s Square and around the world –habemus papem!  We have a pope.  When the name of the new pope was announced, given that he was a Jesuit, I assumed it was in honor of St. Francis Xavier, the great Jesuit missionary and saint.  That would have been a great choice to tap the tradition of his own order for a new evangelization.  But from the beginning, it was clear that there was something different here – “See I am doing something new.”  Even the first appearance on the loggia of St. Peter’s was different. Here was our new pope – and instantly I was struck by his appearance.  It was as though he was wearing the minimally acceptable papal wardrobe – and the pectoral cross seemed plain – and his demeanor unassuming. Continue reading