instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A poor mention of an interesting book

Somewhere I've got a review copy of Jon M. Sweeney's Light in the Dark Ages: The Friendship of Francis and Clare of Assisi filled with bookmarks, just waiting to be used in the production of some real crackerjack posts.

But the liturgical calendar waits for no man, so I thought I'd make do on this Feast of our Holy Father Francis (that's on the Dominican calendar; the General Roman Calendar marks it as the Memorial of Francis of Assisi, Religious) by simply mentioning it.

Two points of note:

First, the subtitle is misleading. The book isn't about the friendship of the two saints, although it's certainly mentioned. The book is about St. Francis's personal vision of religious life, and St. Clare plays a supporting role.

Second, the main title is exactly right. Jon Sweeney sees the Thirteenth Century as a Dark Age of the Church and St. Francis as the light that saved the Church from that darkness. Moreover, if I'm reading him right, he sees St. Francis as the light that can save the Church from her present, persistent darkness, if only we go back to his original ideal.

I've read a few books on St. Francis, but this is the only one whose author is himself a Spiritual. It does make for a fresh take on the Poverello.