The Renunciation of the Family
‘St. Francis’s father was a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi. Francis grew up to be a privileged young man-about-town, indulging in quite a bit of merrymaking and revelry with his cronies. When a war broke out between Assisi and Perugia, the idealistic Francis marched off to fight for his city. He was among those captured and held as a prisoner of war for a year. During Francis’s captivity, his compatriots questioned his loyalty to Assisi because he was always so cheerful.
After he was released and returned to Assisi, Francis’s behavior grew strange. He began walking alone all over the hillsides, singing and praying. He spent time in caves. There was talk that he had gone crazy. During this time Francis experienced a spiritual visitation. He heard God’s voice commanding him to “Rebuild my church.” Francis took the command literally to mean that God wanted him to rebuild the dilapidated San Damiano, which is set on a slope outside the southeastern gate of Assisi. In order to purchase the materials for the repairs, Francis sold some cloth from his father’s shop without permission. The priest at San Damiano thought it best to inform Francis’s father, who became enraged.
On a winter day, Francis’s father arranged for Francis to be called out into the town square in order to lambaste him. After this public humiliation, Francis said to his father something like this: “You are no longer my father. God is my father. I give you back my name, all of my earthly belongings, even the clothes on my back.” With that, he removed all of his clothing. Some accounts say he was wearing a basic loincloth underneath; some say he was wearing a hair shirt; and others say that he was naked.
Then Francis walked off barefoot into the snow to begin his life as a monk.’
His rule was “To follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in his footsteps.”
Being Lambasted in a public square feels somewhat familiar to me.
This Wednesday I want to go to my Cathedral, it is the Chrism Mass. I want to strip naked and ask to be clothed in a diocesan robe; a robe that is of Magdalenian cloth with Dominican/Franciscan/Carmelite thread, made with Marian Love. I already call all fathers by their Christian name, because my Father in Heaven is my One Father. Just as my Daddy is my one Dad. And then I am going to spend my earthly life in intimate relationship with my Beloved as Mary Magdalene did with Jesus.
St Francis left us with many words of wisdom ~ here are but a few –
“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”
“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.”
“Preach Christ — and if necessary, use words.”
. . . and I too will leave you all with a few last words ~
~ God is Love and Spirit.
Love tenderly my friends, for this is the only key that will open doors beyond doors beyond doors within the Eternal Kingdom.
Worship in Spirit and Truth.