The Hidden Closeness of God

For the last six months, I’ve been working on a new book on St. Francis of Assisi, which is nearly completed.

For St. Francis, voluntary poverty was a way for him to always be dependent upon God for everything. When Francis experienced the self-emptying love of God, it awakened his desire to love God and God alone. He longed for nothing else but God. And most important, Francis put his full trust in the grace of God, the overflowing goodness of God. Every moment was pregnant with the grace to see the boundless love of God in everyone, and to return that love by loving others and all of creation.

In Francis’ eyes, everything that is good, every kind gesture, every act of mercy, every gentle touch, every gift of charity, every embrace of forgiveness, every moment of peace, flowed from God. Moreover, all loneliness, every disappointment, the very wounds of rejection, the bitter sadness of loss, and the times of suffering open us to the transcendent and allows us to experience the hidden closeness of God.

Without God
Francis knew he was
With God
he knew he lacked


1 Response to “The Hidden Closeness of God”

  1. 1 aliceny June 1, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Thank you, Mr. Straub.

    This is such a hopeful message, borne out of your hours of meditation and perhaps some hurts and disappointments along the way, when you experience the closeness of God and the Holy Spirit guiding your life.

    I DO believe that it is only through our times of unhappiness and despair – whether the direct result of our sin – or through the hurts inflicted upon us by others who pretend to love us or who claim to be our friends – that we experience the ‘hidden closeness of God.’ That ‘closeness,’ that feeling of pure unselfish Love and protection is a gift that is so difficult to explain to another person.

    I look forward to reading your new book – after it has been put to bed as they say in the publishing business.


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