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Sep 1
What a person is before GodIf this week’s readings contain any one warning about the human condition it is that too often we…View Post

What a person is before God

If this week’s readings contain any one warning about the human condition it is that too often we…

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Aug 2

Feast of the Portiuncula

Today (Aug 2) is a feast day special to all Franciscans—the Feast of the Portiuncula. St. Francis seemed to have a special attraction to old churches—particularly ones that were falling to ruin. When was struggling to determine what it was he was to do with his life, he prayed in the little church of San Damiano. There he heard a voice saying to him, “Francis, rebuild my church which you see is falling into ruin.” Taking that injunction very literally, Francis set about rebuilding the little church—stone by stone. He did the same with other abandoned churches in the area. One of those was the little church of St. Mary of the Angels. Francis called it the “little portion,” Portiuncula, and it became very special to him. It was there that he gained more a more concrete awareness of what God was asking of him.

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Jul 5

Francis of Assisi - The Young Man

The first article of the series about St. Francis essentially proposed that what most people think they know about St. Francis of Assisi is a very limited and romanticized version of the “poor man from Assisi.” Such versions often emphasize is Francis who loves animals, who was an ecologist before “ecology” was a word or a concern, and who wrote the “peace prayer.” The first article ended with a challenge: discover the “real” Francis whose story will challenge, inspire, unsettle, amaze, and maybe…. just maybe, change your world.

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Francis of Assisi - An Introduction

Every year – or so it seems – very good biographies of St. Francis of Assisi are published. The ones published in the last 10 years all share some great qualities: readable and increasingly historical – introducing the “real” St Francis of Assisi to the world. 

You might ask why I say the “real” St Francis? Did you know that statues of St Francis are the second most popular lawn/garden ornament sold every year – right behind pink flamingos.  Rather like the popular icon shown here.

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New St Francis Biography

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Many of the the biographies of St Francis - at least the modern ones - come with an bias (and I do not mean that in a negative way).  Just part of the landscape of trying to “retrieve” one of the most revered saints from the sources of his own writings, writings about him and the “legenda” accorded him.  I rarely recommend books, but Fr. Thompson’s book is well worth the read.  It comes in two part: (a) the story of Francis and (b) a consideration of all the “details” underlying what it means to write a new biography of St Francis of Assisi