Joy at the Heart of the Franciscan Alleluia

I believe the joy that is at the heart of the Franciscan alleluia proceeds from this inner realization, which descends upon us at ever deeper levels as we walk our faith journey. This deepening is the only real goal of Christian contemplation, and is the heart of the Perennial Tradition of wisdom. This is how Francis and Clare, and all contemplatives, “know” things: “The soul itself is an image of God, to which God is so present that the soul can actually grasp God, and ‘is capable of possessing God and of being a partaker in God” (Saint Bonaventure). With that we can move forward. In fact, we can move far and wide and confidently forward.

–from the book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi

The Hiding Place for God’s Spirit

Our outer world and its inner significance must come together for there to be any wholeness—and holiness. The result is both deep joy and a resounding sense of coherent beauty. What was personified in the body of Jesus was a manifestation of this one universal truth: Matter is, and has always been, the hiding place for Spirit, forever offering itself to be discovered anew.

Francis and Clare carried this mystery to its full and lovely conclusions. Or, more rightly, they were fully carried by it. They somehow knew that the beyond was not really beyond, but in the depths of here.

–from the book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi

The Gospel Calls Us to Live Simply

When you agree to live simply, you can understand what Francis meant when he said, “A brother has not given up all things if he holds onto the purse of his own opinions.” Most of us find out that this purse is far more dangerous and disguised than a money purse, and we seldom let go of it.

–from the book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi

Meeting God in the Upper Room