Sunday, September 10, 2023

September 10--Live and Love Like St. Francis

Love is the opposite of power. That's why we fear it so much. 
--Gregory David Roberts

    This is from Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation of September 8, 2023. 

Brian McLaren and Patrick Carolan call for a renewal of the Franciscan way (living like St. Francis of Assisi) in Christianity:

We have a proposal that addresses both the crises in the world at large and the crises in the Christian church: the possibility of a Franciscan Renaissance…

A Franciscan Renaissance would be ecological, nonviolent, economic, and inclusive.

First, at this time of ecological crisis, the Franciscan legacy is powerfully ecological…. We need a spiritual vision that integrates love for God and love for our neighbor with love for the earth….

The ecological vision of Francis was about … the interconnectedness of all creation, so that we see every creature as sister or brother.…

Second, in this time of violence, this time of school shootings and war in Europe, this time when many politicians seem to believe that the more guns we have the safer we’ll be, or the more bombs we have the safer we’ll be, we need St. Francis’ message and example of nonviolence as never before….

Over the centuries, many forms of Christianity have become religions of fear. But Christianity wasn’t always like that. It began as a nonviolent peace movement, a community known for love, a community gathered around a table of fellowship and reconciliation, a people armed with the basin and towel of service, not the bomb and gun of violence. A Franciscan Renaissance would invite us to become, in the language of St. Clare, not violent warriors, but nonviolent mirrors of Christ for others to see and follow.

Third … the Franciscan vision is deeply economic. Today, a larger and larger percentage of wealth is being concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer individuals and families…. St. Francis arose in the early stages of modern capitalism, and he saw its potential dangers. He exemplified an alternative value system where the poor, the leper, and the outcast matter more than money, luxury, and power. Our current economic model places no intrinsic value on creation, except as a source for raw materials that we consume…. A Franciscan Renaissance would help us “redeem”—which means to re-assess and revalue—everything, so we rediscover the priceless beauty of the earth and its creatures, including our neighbors and ourselves.

Fourth, we live in a time of exclusion, division, classism, racism, and religious prejudice. We need the example of St. Francis and St. Clare, who clearly modeled deep inclusiveness and solidarity…. In this spirit of solidarity, I see that my life and your life are interconnected. I refuse to settle for my own happiness, because my life is in solidarity with yours as my neighbor.

The relationship between Francis and Clare modeled this: we’re all equal—male and female, rich and poor, healthy and sick, well-clothed and clothed in rags, Pope and Bishop and lay person. Francis even teaches us to refuse to discriminate between Christian and Muslim, Jew and Atheist, for we all are beloved by God.

    This would be living in love, a blessing for all. 

Tiny fungi sprouting bountifully on 
Auburn Hills Golf Course

No comments:

Post a Comment