Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Feast of St. Francis

Sadly, it was not an evening conducive to a Franciscan blessing of the resident four-legged beast at Casa LutheranChica this evening -- my dog wilfully whizzed in the house not once but three times, eliciting some non-celebratory commentary on my part and leading to his repeated exiles to the back yard -- but I did spend some time thinking about St. Francis, a man who literally abandoned everything to follow Christ.

It's hard for me to comprehend the holiness and wholeheartedness of Francis. But there's a little part of me that wonders if I would find a face-to-face encounter with Francis compelling or off-putting. I often feel uncomfortable reading about the great heroes and heroines of Scripture and Church history, and suspect that if I met some of them I'd be repelled by them -- by their single-minded fervor, by their odd behaviors, by their "otherness."

On the other hand -- history records that Francis was a friend to peasants, to lepers, even to the wild animals...less of a plaster saint and more of a fellow traveler. Maybe, if he'd been visiting me tonight, he'd have gotten out the stain remover and sponge, rolled up his rough-woven brown sleeves and helped me clean my carpet.

Here are some prayers for the day, as well as a reflection on Francis' legendary encounter with the wolf, and the broader implications of that story.


zorra said...

I think Francis would not only have helped you clean the carpet, he also would have had a productive chat with Cody about the situation.
The story of Francis and the wolf of Gubbio is one of my favorites. Here is another thought-provoking meditation based on that story.

Andy said...

I was thinking the other day about how much the world needs a St. Francis today, and my conclusion was that if we had one we might not notice. I suspect that one of the most miraculous things about St. Francis was that the people of Europe loved him.