Feast of Francis of Assisi, Friar, Deacon, Founder of the Friars Minor, 1226 The great wonder is the living fountain of love and joy which Christ poured into and through this 'poor little man'. [Francis] always knew where the real miracle lay. It was not in things that happened to his body, though they were wonderful enough. It was not to be found in the fact that birds and beasts, even the wolf of Gubbio, felt the spell of his spirit. It was the radiance of light and love breaking across the darkness and hate of the world and his time. He loved lepers. He loved robbers and changed their lives. He loved beggars in their rags. He loved rich men, too, and members of the Church, who needed him as much as the robbers did. He brought Christianity out of forms and creeds and services into the open air, in action and into the movements of life. He changed the entire line of march of religion in the Western World. Brother Masseo, half jesting, asked him once why the whole world was running after him, not very comely, not very wise, not of noble birth. "Why after thee?" "God chose me," Francis answered, "because He could find no one more worthless, and He wished by me to confound the nobility and grandeur, the strength and beauty and learning of the world." But the real answer is that here at last in this wonderful man was an organ of that Spirit which was in Christ, and a marvelous transmitter of it to the world. The divine agape went out into men's lives through him. Here was a childlike lover of men, ready, if need be, to be crucified for love, but also ready in humble everyday tasks to reveal this love.
Quotes, by Rufus M. Jones