instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Pax et bonum

Who doesn't love St. Francis of Assisi?

People who don't love Christ and His Church, for starters.

Also, people who think of him as though he were St. Francis of Assisi, this summer's sleeper hit. "What was your favorite scene? I loved the part with the wolf!"

People who love St. Francis of An Outsized Personality, but don't even know (and so can't love) the man who actually lived and died and now intercedes for us in heaven.

As I wrote in the previous post, "If I love an imbalanced image of Jesus, then it isn't Jesus Himself that I love." The same goes for His servant Francis.

Granted, we don't have a whole bible full of divinely inspired scriptures through which to come to know St. Francis himself. But there is a library's worth of books -- starting, I suppose, with The Little Flowers of Saint Francis -- that will, at least, answer the question, "Who do these authors say that St. Francis was?"

Some of the books do present an imbalanced image of him. Somewhere in my house I have a biography written by a Protestant who paints a portrait of St. Francis as the first Reformer. But even such a misinterpretation as this is an attempt to interpret his life, rather than explain it away. St. Francis did challenge his fellow Catholics, hierarchy and laity, in the Thirteenth Century. If he doesn't challenge his fellow Catholics in the Twenty-First Century, is that because we've fully embraced his challenge, or because we've set it aside?