assisi


chesttitile1

I have said that St. Francis deliberately did not see the wood for the trees.
It is even more true that he deliberately did not see the mob for the men...
To him a man was always a man and did not disappear in a dense crowd
any more than in a desert. He honored all men; that is, he not only loved
but respected them all. What gave him his extraordinary personal power
was this; that from the Pope to the beggar, from the Sultan of Syria in his
pavilion to the ragged robbers crawling out of the wood, there never was
a man who looked into those brown burning eyes without being certain
that Francis Bernadone was really interested in him; in his own inner
individual life from the cradle to the grave; that he himself was being
valued and taken seriously, and not merely added to the spoils of some
social policy or the names in some clerical document.

St. Francis is the mirror of Christ rather as the moon is the image of the sun.

He knew that the praise of God stands on its strongest grounds when it stands on nothing.

It was the whole calculation, so to speak, of that innocent cunning, that the world
was to be outflanked and outwitted by him, and be embarrassed about what to do
with him. You could not threaten to starve a man who was ever striving to fast. You
could not ruin him and reduce him to beggary, for he was already a beggar. There
was a very lukewarm satisfaction even in beating him with a stick, when he only
indulged in little leaps and cries of joy because indignity was his only dignity. You
could not put his head in a halter without the risk of putting it in a halo.