The Feast of St. Francis was this past Sunday in many liturgical churches. On the heels of Pope Francis’s visit to the U.S., it seemed a bit more meaningful, I am sure. I also was finishing up a reprint and updated edition of My God and My All: The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi by Elizabeth Goudge. The book was initially published in the 1950s. Plough Publishing updated the edition and I received a review copy from Handlebar Marketing.
The Feast of St. Francis is commemorated through the blessing of the pets. Francis was known for his communication to animals. It’s a bit sad, for me, that this is the main way we choose to remember Francis. He was a man who surrendered everything. He stripped himself, literally, to take up the call of following Christ. He learned to completely rely on the generosity of others and in turn became generous with what was passed through his hands.
He set up orders for men, women, and laity so all could follow Christ in simplicity. He was involved in one of the Crusades, trying to mediate between the Muslim and Christian armies.
The book is written in a novel style and is very readable.
It is a fresh reminder of radical obedience. Francis readily admitted that God would demand sacrifice of him beyond his capability, but that was where he found the strength of the Lord. It was in holy obedience he best found the presence of God.
A good reminder.