Monday, October 04, 2010

When St. Francis renounced the world and its seductions.


"My God and my all." - Prayer of St. Francis
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When St. Francis removed the clothing his father had provided for him and donned the rough garb of the penitent, he really and truly renounced absolutely everything.  There is a maxim from St. John of the Cross which says, "Sell your will, give it to the poor in spirit, come to Christ in meekness and humility, and follow him to Calvary and the sepulcher."  St. Francis had pretty much already done that by the time he was brought before the Bishop... Calvary and sepulcher would come later.  The fact is, Francis renounced the world and its seductions by faith, burning with seraphic love... 
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In renouncing his patrimony and all support - even food and shelter, Francis was like the ancients St. Paul wrote about in his Letter to the Hebrews:  "He thereby condemned the world and inherited the justice which comes through faith." [Heb. 11:7]  His poverty was complete.  Even as the first companions gathered around him, they lived in abject poverty, "they wandered about in deserts and on mountains, they dwelt in caves and holes in the earth." [Heb. 11:38]
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"The world was not worthy of them."  [Heb. 11:7]
Brother Leo's cave at Eremo di Carceri, Assisi

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