Bishop's Blog

Friday, October 4, 2013

St.Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi, he is rightly famous for his profound love of evangelical poverty. But, in his own day he is almost infamous for his fierce insistence that poverty stopped at the doors of the Church. Folks often miss the sharp polemic of his witness against the heresies of his era: the anti-sacramental Waldensians, the anti-material Albigensians. Along with his enthusiastic preaching of the Kingdom, his sheer delight in the natural world, and his direct service to lepers and to the poorest of the poor, Francis continued to collect stones and rebuild churches and chapels, almost to the very last year of his life. He certainly scandalized some folks, by spending a share of the money he and his friars had begged, in order to purchase precious vessels, elaborate linens, and expensive sacred art in order to glorified and beautify the house of God. For Francis, and so many of the Catholic saints that came before and after him, what is spiritual and interior needed to be celebrated in this world by what is material and external. Consecrated sacred space signifies the beauty and glory of a new heaven and a new earth in world that is yet to come.