Notes on Chapter 13: Learning More about St Francis and Creation

Eager to loveChapter THirteen, “Francis: A Natural Spiritual Genius”

Quote from page 191, 204

If your only goal is to love, there is no such thing as failure. Francis succeeded in living in this single-hearted way and thus turned all failure on its head, and even made failure into success. This intense eagerness to love made his whole life an astonishing victory for the human and divine spirit, and showed how they can work so beautifully together. That eagerness to love is the core and foundation of his spiritual genius….

Love is not love until you stop expecting something back. The moment you want something in return for your giving, all love is weakened and prostituted. This is the nature of the divine energy that transforms; it is inherently contagious, and it is holiness itself. This is Francis and Clare.

Conversation Question

  • Do you agree with these statements about love? Explain.

Quote from page 196

Most church life, and even much religious life, has been a belonging system that gave good people a workable self-image, which is a necessary place to start in the first half of one’s life. But it is not close to the radical and risky, and often dark, search for God and faith that characterizes Francis and so many saints and mystics.

Conversation Question

  • Do you agree? How would you describe your current church life?

Quote from page 209-210

I believe that Francis was unique and ahead of his time for loving and relating to both the historical Jesus and the eternal Christ at the same time, surely without fully realizing that was what he was doing. Francis just “knew” it and lived it….

Most Christians were never encouraged to combine the personal with the cosmic, or Jesus with Christ; nor were we told that we could honor and love both of them. Nor were we told that it is the same love but just in different frames. To love Jesus makes you an initial believer; to love Jesus Christ makes you into a cosmic believer.

Conversation Question

  • Is this your theology or would you describe your understanding of Jesus Christ differently? Explain.