Saint Francis of Assisi

Peri and I are on our way to Israel. Since Tuesday we’ve been in Rome. Yesterday we took a train to Assisi to explore the world of an Italian prophet from the 13th century. Over the past year or so I’ve become fascinated by Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). I’ve read five biographies and listened to one lecture series on Francis. His conversion, his life, his impact upon society are profoundly inspirational. So we went to Assisi.

Saint Francis was a troubadour for the Lord.

His life was an exercise in sacred performance art.

He invented the illustrated sermon and the Nativity play.

In an age of avarice, greed and corruption he modeled simplicity, sacrifice and purity.

Through little more than deep humility, devotion to prayer and creative preaching he changed his world.

You must allow Saint Francis to be a man of his own time (as we all are).

But this “friar minor” from Assisi speaks powerfully to our own age.

To the age of technological therapeutic military consumerism, Francis is a powerful prophet.

His life challenges me.

Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument
Of your peace
Where there is hatred
Let me sow love
Where there is injury
Let me sow pardon
Where there is doubt
Let me sow faith
Where there is despair
Let me sow hope
Where there is sadness
Let me sow joy
Where there is darkness
Let me sow light

O Divine Master, grant that
I may not so much seek
To be consoled
As to console
To be understood
As to understand
To be loved
As to love

For it is in giving
That we receive
It is in pardoning
That we are pardoned
It is in dying
That we are born to eternal life.


Grace & Peace,


PS: I’m preaching in Rome tomorrow, then traveling on to Israel.

Here’s a picture we took while in Assisi.