Saint Francis and Saint Clare made what most would call negative or disadvantage shimmer and shine by their delight in what the rest of us ordinarily oppose, deny, and fear: things like being small, poor, disparaged, being outside the system of power and status, weakness in any form, or what Francis generally referred to as minoritas.
This is a different world than most of us choose to live in. We all seem invariably to want to join in the “majority” and the admired. Francis and Clare instead make a preemptive strike at both life and death, offering a voluntary assent to Full Reality in all its tragic wonder. They make a loving bow to the very things that defeat, scare, and embitter most of the rest of us. You might call it “dying before you die,” which is always the secret of the saints, and the heart of any authentic spiritual initiation.
—from Richard Rohr, author of the book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi