I’ve tried hard to ignore the way Francis moves my heart. I love Benedict and the Cappadocians. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila move me. But I can’t get away from Francis.
It has been said that Francis is the only Christian the world has ever known. That, of course, is an overstatement, but who can resist the little friar of Assisi for his ‘strong tenderness?’ While the crusaders were trying to stem the tide of Islam through military action, Francis was preaching in Muslim lands. While the church was in bed with materialism, Francis began in ministry ‘fleeing’ to the forest naked. While Christianity was tempted by power, Francis loved the lepers and the other ‘least of these.’
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
3 thoughts on “An Instrument of Peace”
I try to ignore him as well, and it is getting more difficult.
May God melt mine iron hear.
Correction. It should read “heart”, but maybe the typo is accurate by mistake.
Yes, Francesco di Bernardone—he is the irrefutable, living proof text against every form of “prosperity gospel” ever preached or known to man and, like Jesus, came (ironically) “not to bring peace but a sword,” despite his famous prayer, “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace…” If you don’t believe me, remember what happened when Chiara, his most devoted woman disciple, came to live the life of poverty—her male relatives, like “the mob” of those days, tried to take her back by force, as they did when her younger sister and her mother later came. And this kind of thing is happening to this very day. I know a man in Christ whose wife has all but abandoned him, considering him a non-Christian, because he refuses to follow her in accepting the prosperity gospel and rejecting the ancient faith of Orthodoxy, which she pretends to, all the while entranced by the shamans of Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Francesco was rightly acclaimed by the people, and by God, by virtue of the miracles wrought in him, and on him, and remains to this day a mystery of humility and reconciliation that all applaud but few imitate.
Through the prayers of our little brother, Francesco of Assisi, may Christ save us in these last days.