Thursday, October 4, 2012

That joy!

"Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt."
St. Francis of Assisi

Happy Giovanni Francesco Bernadone Day! Say what? You ask... Well, today is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who was born Giovanni Francesco Bernadone. St. Francis said so many wonderful things that we still quote constantly, even though he died in 1226. But this quote struck me today as I was looking through them. The line that particularly hit me was "Where there is poverty and joy..." It seems inconceivable that we could have poverty and joy in the same sentence, doesn't it? But I remember reading of Fr. Richard Rohr's adventures ministering to those who have so little, but, as community, they have so much joy. The second part of that sentence, "there is neither greed nor avarice," was manifested by the way the people shared every little bit they had with each other. Fr. Richard Rohr speaks of going into a village and the hosts would prepare the last chicken they had and joyfully share the feast with everyone. That is community and that is the joy that comes from poverty. Today, as we celebrate St. Francis, let us rejoice in all he found wonderful in this world...the animals, the beautiful autumn gifts around us, and the simple life, as opposed to mindless accumulation. And, above all, let's celebrate the joy of St. Francis! Love, heidi

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