Friday, October 04, 2013

In Gratitude for St. Francis

Today is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi -- Giovanni Francesco di Pietro di Bernardone.  He was born in either 1181 or 1182, and died in his mid-forties in 1226.  He is known in some circles as Alter Christus -- the other Christ.  I know him as the religious figure who speaks most directly and powerfully to my own soul.  A charismatic preacher who yearned for a life of prayerful solitude; a holy fool, whose primary message might well have been Rejoice! and yet who himself knew such deep melancholy.  I could go on.

Last evening I was surfing the web for images of Francesco and came across this one on the FaceBook page of the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans.  I do not know (yet) who created it, but it is without a doubt my current favorite.  Here's why:

A number of years ago I had a revelation.  It came to me that the best image for God (at least the best image for my understanding of God) would not be a King, nor even a parent.  It would be a puppy.  A dog is joy unbridled.  No matter who you are, or how you are, a dog can't give you enough kisses.  And over and over and over again a dog calls out to you, "Play with me!"

So here is that holy fool of God, Francesco Bernadone, embracing and being embraced by that most playful of pups.

Pax tecum,

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Dave Dawson said...

I love this image!!! When I quit my Job job in 2010, I took a real job "walking dogs." It was wonderful to communicate with dogs for 18 months. Crumpet shared his love for chasing squirrels, Callan shared his love for rolling in long green grass, Blue shared his love for all things edible and they all put up with my grumbling in the rain.

arthurrashap said...

Fascinating. In one of my sessions where I experienced a "prior life" I was born in 1182 near Cologne (was it part of the Austrian Empire or whatever then?) I was recruited to be a priest and helped there while the Cathedral was being built. Because I wanted to work with the "common people" helping them including teaching reading and writing, I was imprisoned by the Church and died in prison in 1224. I don't remember having anything to do with St Francis and perhaps some of his magic attached to that soul that now inhabits this person.

yeah, it's somewhat nanu nanu, but the spirit said share this.
Arthur Rashap

RevWik said...

What a fascinating experience, Arthur. Thanks for listening to the spirit's dictate.