Why Francis? (Part One)

In time, we all see it, all know it…the world is often an ugly place, filled with violence and all forms of evil. We far too easily and far too often place personal or national gain above the good of the whole. The beauty and innocence of childhood quickly fades, and we are left with isolation and loneliness. Life is hard, filled with dashed hopes and painful experiences. Suffering visits every life. Some lives know nothing else but suffering.

It is all very confusing, and in the womb of darkness that surrounds so much of life, dreams of another world, a better world, are born. We dream of a world of justice and peace, a utopian world where people live in harmony as brothers and sisters. But this dream, which is common among all people, is not new. In fact, it is a faint memory of something lost long ago. The Old Testament tells us of a paradise known as Eden, where Adam and Eve had everything they needed. Abundance was theirs. But it was not enough. Reaching for more was their original sin. And ours also. In sinning, paradise was lost, for them, for all of us.

But there was a man, so filled with a longing for God, he showed us that Eden was not lost forever, that Eden was simply a way of living. That man was, of course, Francis of Assisi.

But why Francis?

Because in his innocence, Francis talked with birds. We have lost all sense of innocence, replaced by scepticism and doubt. In taming the wolf, Francis confronted the ferocity of evil that was within him and around him. The peace that was within Francis, was so real, so genuine, people believed him when he preached of the importance of personal, social and political peace. We accept the violence of war as a normal and needed part of life. Sometimes we just need to kill, even though Jesus told us to put down the sword and to love our enemies.

Francis looked at the world we all look at, but he saw it differently. He saw the beauty of creation and the hand of the Creator. Where we might see a sunflower, if we are not too busy, Francis saw not only the flower, but also the Love that created the flower, a love that grows best in the divinely fertile soil of harmony and community. And the flower became his sister.

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1 Response to “Why Francis? (Part One)”


  1. 1 Steve Vos July 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Thak you for your posts! They consistently speak to my heart. I often forward them to friends and family as they are also things the Spirit has taught me, but you are MUCH better at expressing them. Thanks again!
    Steve Vos


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