Jesus 101 is straightforward. There is compassion and grace aplenty. Forgiveness is foremost. Have faith and practice love. I applaud Pope Francis for his back-to-basics style.
Pray for me, because I’m about to sin. That’s how angry I am at this woman.
There are some major errors in this story. First, St. Francis of Assisi was not a critic of the papacy of his time. In fact, he wrote in his Testament that he promised obedience to the Lord Pope and that his brothers were to do the same. He was submissive to Pope Innocent III, Honorius III and Gregory IX. Pope Gregory IX and he were personal and very close friends as Pope Gregory had served as the Cardinal Protector of Francis and his friars while he was Cardinal Hugolino. Francis was also a participant in the fourth Lateran Council along with St. Dominic. There is an old Church dedicated to St. Francis just outside of what is now the Vatican. It was here that Francis stayed when he visited the popes.
Francis had nothing to do with the construction of the Basilica in his honor. The construction was ordered by Brother Elias of Cortona who was the Minister General. Elias decided this one year after Francis’ death. The pope had nothing to do with it. The Church did not take advantage of Francis’ holiness. The basilica was built by the people of Assisi, not the papacy. Pope Gregory IX came to the unfinished basilica in 1228 to canonize Francis. It was the first time that he ever saw it.
The site was chosen because that’s where Brother Elias had hidden the body of St. Francis. He was afraid that the local people would steal it for relics and rightly so. The first generation of brothers died and the exact location of the tomb was lost somewhere under the basilica. When it was found, the basilica was expanded to include a crypt church where the relics of St. Francis could be venerated. This had nothing to do with the papacy. These were decisions made by the superiors general and the general council of the order.
To state that the basilica stands in contrast to Francis’ love of poverty is not to know Francis at all. Francis wrote to his brothers and sisters that our chapels were to use only the most precious metals, the best linen and the most delicate materials for the celebration of the Holy Mysteries and the reservation of the Most Holy Eucharist. That was the one luxury that the friars were allowed, anything for the glory of God. The basilica was build to reflect how God’s glory has shown through Francis of Assisi.
Finally, as to working with the poor, this has been blown out of proportion. Francis did not found an order to work with the poor. The Order of Friars Minor has always had one and only one ministry and it is clearly stated in the opening sentence of the Rule of St. Francis and it’s not working with the poor. The Rule begins, “The rule and life of the Friars Minor is to OBSERVE THE HOLY GOSPEL IN OBEDIENCE, without property and in chastity.”
When Anthony of Padua writes for permission to teach the brothers theology, Francis responds that he may do so provided that it does not extinguish the life of prayer. Observe Francis first concern in the rule is with obedience and poverty. His other concern in his letter to Anthony is with prayer. Service to the poor was a product, not the goal. When the brothers embrace the life of poverty, they live and work among the poor as one of the poor. The poor are not the beneficiaries of their charity in some condescending way at it is portrayed in this report. The poor are our brothers and sisters with whom we share our daily lives, this includes sharing our resources and their poverty.
We’re not an apostolic congregation like the Vincentians, not that there is anything wrong with them or the Missionaries of Charity. We’re poor men who live with and embrace the poor as Christ did. We make their poverty our own by giving up everything to be one of them. We have a holy envy for the grace that God has bestowed on the poor who share in the passion of Christ and at the same time, we extend to the poor the compassion of Christ through solidarity with them. Like Christ who became man to elevate man to holiness, we become one with the poor and together we rise above suffering and from our alienation from God and human dignity.
I’m soooooo angry that I could bite a bullet and not feel it. :mad:
Now I have to go to confession, because a Franciscan of LIfe must always be in complete control over his emotions and distant from his personal feelings on any subject.