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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

931: The God of Francis delights to be with the simple and those rejected by the world

Day 931: Monday, October 3, 2022

The God of Francis was a God “who delights to be with the simple and those rejected by the world.”

A Humble Mystery

Did you ever have one of those days where the whole idea of God was just too much to think about? As if trying to “get a handle” on God was like trying to kiss the moon? If the mystics are right (and usually they are because they see things much differently than we do) then you were probably closer that day to God than any other day in your life.

How is this possible, you ask? How can God be close to you (or you to God) when God seems so far away or not at all? . . . This is my answer to you: God is a mystery of humble love. It is a mystery that you cannot reason or try to figure out. You must simply live in the mystery. . . .

I think Francis of Assisi grasped something of the mystery of God and, in a particular way, the mystery of God’s humility. Although he was simple and not well educated, he had an insight into God that I can only say was profound. Francis did not study theology. . . .

The God of Francis was a God “who delights to be with the simple and those rejected by the world.”

He simply spent long hours in prayer, often in caves, mountains or places of solitude, places where he could distance himself from the busy everyday world. Thomas of Celano [c. 1185–1260], the first biographer of Francis, wrote: “Where the knowledge of teachers is outside, the passion of the lover entered.”

What Thomas perceived is that love, not knowledge, allowed Francis to enter into the great mystery we call “God.” As he entered into this mystery he discovered two principle features of God - the overflowing goodness of God and the humility of God. . . . How did a man as simple as Francis arrive at this mystery of God? The answer is Jesus Christ. Francis came to know the God of humble love by meditating on and imitating the poor and humble Christ.

Recognizing God’s loving humility, Francis mirrored the same:

As his life deepened in God, Francis made a constant effort to spend himself in love by giving himself to the other. He became bent over in love for every person, every creature, including tiny earthworms which he would pick up so that they would not be crushed underfoot.

By following the poor and humble Christ, Francis was formed into a “brother minor.” His followers said that he became “another Christ” because, like Christ, he was humble in love.

Following the footprints of Jesus, Francis found the God of humble love not among the popular and the proud, the arrogant and the rich or those who “stand out” in society but among the ordinary, the forgotten, the poor and sick and the marginalized. The God of Francis, Celano wrote, was a God “who delights to be with the simple and those rejected by the world.”

Reflection by Sister Ilia Delio

Announcement: Change Liturgy Time from 5:00 to 4:00?

We have discussed moving the time we meet each 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month from 5:00pm to 4:00pm. No one has responded negatively so far. Are we ready to make this move starting the 4th Sunday in October?

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