I am enjoying extensive study of St. Francis of Assisi (ll81-1826), because I believe that he reveals the best pattern of church healing and renewal, as well as the way to healing of the nations. Few would deny that the church needs healing and renewal, and no one can deny that the nations need great healing.
If you are interested in learning more about this man who was called a “saint” by the ordinary people of Italy long before he was pronounced a saint by the church, I would recommend two books. Of course there are many good books about him, but you may want to begin by reading what he said in his own words, written by him. Francis of Assisi: The Essential Writings, translated by Jon M. Sweeney. In addition, G. K. Chesterton’s St. Francis of Assisi will help you understand the rationale of how Francis lived and spoke, and his importance today.
Contrary to popular belief, St. Francis did not write the prayer, “Lord, Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace.” It was not written until the early 1900’s. But it does summarize his life very well.
One thing St. Francis did write was An Admonition of Virtue and Vice. Here it is:
“Where there is charity (love) and wisdom, there will be no fear or ignorance.
Where there is patience and humility, there will not be anger or indignation.
Where there is poverty (chosen as a lifestyle) and joy, there will be no greed or materialism.
Where there is quiet and contemplation, there will not be anxiety or restlessness.
Where there is the fear of the Lord to guard our home, no enemy will be able to enter.
Where there is mercy and discretion, there will no longer be extravagance or stubbornness.”
May the Lord bless you today.