But here was little Francesco and his little group of followers who laid down any claims they might have to ‘stuff’ and a comfortable life. And they grew and added to their number and they spread, both men and women followers, those who withdrew and those who stayed within their contemporary culture.
I've come away from this morning wondering how we can say “too hard” when this is precisely the sort of life that Jesus called his followers to live.
Don’t dismiss the question by its practical implications. That’s too easy. We've run as fast as we can to find a way to make the church as much like culture as we possibly can so it will be easy for people to join. Perhaps that’s exactly why the lines are not so long?
A prayer in the manner of St. Francis of Assisi:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen