Notes on Chapter 3: Learning More about St Francis and Creation

Eager to loveChapter THREE, “Living on the Edge of the Inside: Simplicity and Justice”

Quote from page 33-34

Francis and Clare were not so much prophets by what they said as in the radical, system-critiquing way that they lived their lives. They found both their inner and outer freedom by structurally living on the edge of the inside of both church and society. …

Francis and Clare’s agenda for justice was the most foundational and undercutting of all others: a very simple lifestyle outside the system of production and consumption (the real meaning of the vow of poverty), plus a conscious identification with the marginalized of society (the communion of saints pushed to its outer edge). In this position you do not “do acts of peace and justice as much as your life is itself peace and justice. You take your small and sufficient place in the great and grand scheme of God. By “living on the edge of the inside” I mean building on the Tradition (“from the inside”) but doing it from a new and creative stance where you cannot be coopted for purposes of security, possession, or the illusions of power (“on the edge”).

Conversation Question

  • How does Francis and Clare’s life of simplicity and justice connect with your lifestyle?

Quote from page 38

When you agree to live simply you can understand what Francis meant when he said, “A brother has not given up all things if he holds onto the purse of his own opinions.’

Conversation Question

  • How do you relate to Francis’ quote?

Quote from page 40

When you agree to live simply, there is no long-standing basis for any kind of addiction. You are free to enjoy, but you never let any enjoyment become your master. You practice non-addiction every day by letting go, not needing, and not desiring anything in particular. Fasting, detachment, and simplicity were the original words for non-addiction in the spiritual traditions.

Conversation Question

  • How do you connect with this talk about addiction and non-addiction?