Nurtured by Contemplation

My films present excruciating suffering. The suffering I’ve filmed around the world was caused by severe, unjust, chronic poverty. Following St. Francis led me to the worst slums on earth, where I witnessed the deepest and most profound levels of poverty imaginable. In these horrific slums I discovered what radical dependency on God truly means. Following Francis into the depths of unjust poverty has been a long, lonely journey, during which I’ve struggled with periods of doubt and intense spiritual dryness. And too often, sadly, my longing for God has waned and I’ve thirsted for things other than God.

But during those times of doubt and dryness I renewed myself by following Francis into stillness and silence. We know of St. Francis’ profound love of poverty, but he had an equal love for solitude. The Saint spent half of his adult life in prayer and deep contemplation, often in far-off, mountain-top hermitages. It was in stillness and silence that St. Francis entered deeply into unity with God…and as a result into unity with all of creation. St. Francis understood that while finding God in the world, in pain and suffering is essential, we must always remember that social action needs to be tempered and nurtured by contemplation.

The story of St. Francis of Assisi is an authentically human drama with universal appeal, a story of an ordinary man who accomplished extraordinary things while transcending his time and place on his way to becoming a true saint of incarnation. His life was a visible manifestation of the conversion process that was going on inside of him. His life was his sermon.

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2 Responses to “Nurtured by Contemplation”


  1. 1 krebsjoan January 12, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    “His life was his sermon.” Amen. “… tempered & nurtured by contemplation” (however these are defined). Amen, again.

  2. 2 Dona-Marie Triandafilou January 13, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Thank you for your ‘reality checks’. Your posts remind me we each have our journey to travel & at times lose sight of the path. I pray you continue to have the strength & graces to comfort you on your journey.


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