Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Francis in the Saga

I was thinking about Pope Francis I and Gilbert Keith FRANCIS Chesterton, whose wife was FRANCES Blogg... and I decided to give you just a brief and possibly relevant excerpt for your contemplation during the Triduum.
Sitting there in his dimly lighted room, Steve recalled (with the power of his trained memory) how St. Paul had written it: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.”[1 Cor 13:11]

Some time ago, Steve had spoken with Father Stensen about this, since he was a serious young man, and wanted to proceed with the approval of authority. Father Stensen had nodded solemnly, recalling the wisdom Pope Innocent III had shown to the enthusiastic John Bernardone[see below] and had first pointed out the famous contrary line in the gospel: “Unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”[Mt 18:3] He had then listened to Steve’s plans, and found them nothing more strenuous than the regimen undertaken by any serious athlete. Being a wise priest, and seeing Steve’s aptness for such discipline, he pointed out another verse from the book Steve had already quoted: “Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize. So run that you may obtain. And every one that striveth for the mastery refraineth himself from all things. And they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown: but we an incorruptible one.” The priest wondered, too, if this could be the sign of a vocation, and determined to keep a careful watch. Reassured, Steve proceeded to strive for the mastery.
[PJF The Tree of Virtues]

Note: John Berardone is St. Francis of Assisi. See GKC’s book St. Francis of Assisi, especially CW2:96-8 and 127-8, but the critical line is this: “...the Church could include all that was good in the Franciscans and the Franciscans could not include all that was good in the Church.” CW2:128

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