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.