Dec 1, 2010


Cover of "The Way of St. Francis: The Cha...
Murray Bodo's "The Way of St. Francis" contains a wonderful section in Chapter 23 addressing how Francis moved from looking too high up and too far away for God and realized He was here inside creation: "Francis becomes one with God through the difficult process of becoming one with himself and all of creation, and he does it the only way he knows how: by following in the footsteps of Jesus and saying yes to everything the Lord has already effected. And Francis does not set out on his own initiative; the initiative is God's. It is God himself who leads him among lepers, God Himself who speaks to him through His Word. And Francis goes where God leads, which is where and when we begin to get nervous, to hold back, to rationalize and question. The tension in our lives derives mainly from holding back the movement of our hearts, from restraining our spontaneous inclination to go all the way
and follow the Lord wherever He leads us. Because we are afraid, we stay with the others who are afraid, while people like Francis move ahead onto that frightening road where they meet all those creatures that we think are our enemies but really are our friends because of the reconciliation accomplished by Christ. The way of St. Francis is the frightening way of communion with our supposed enemies; it is learning to live again with the lion and the snake that lie in the heart and in the dark woods around us. We are already friends, but we never really know it until, like Francis, we see for ourselves by walking in the footsteps of Jesus. What is so unique about Francis is that he does what we would like to do, and he does it in such a simple, ingenuous way that we know we could do the same if only we would." Bodo knows fear is a persuasive tool to keep us isolated and paralyzed: "neither hot nor cold". See Comfort Zones  JMJ. Mick, SFO