Christian Spirituality Essay

Submitted By gfuote
Words: 1690
Pages: 7

Allowing God in My Life Throughout this semester in Christian Spirituality, we had to read three books: God’s Joyful Surprise by Sue Monk Kidd, Reaching Out by Henri J.M. Nouwen, and Living the Wisdom of St. Francis by Wayne Simsic. I enjoyed reading all three of these books, although while reading each I had a hard time understanding some parts to them. My least favorite book was Reaching Out because it wasn’t an easy read for me. The other two books had specific people each author focused on and Reaching Out was a more general focus. Over all I have to say, Living the Wisdom of Saint Francis was my favorite book to read because I already had some knowledge of St. Francis coming from Catholic schools my whole life. Previous knowledge of Saint Francis of Assisi before this class was that he was the patron saint of animals and came from a wealthy family. After Francis had a vision one day he became the helper of all lepers for healing. I also know that St. Francis loved nature and singing. In grade school Francis’s singing was a big part of his life to him, and all his followers. With singing came joy and praise for Francis and the followers. Saint Francis’s father, Pietro, pushed him to follow in the footsteps of himself and carry on the family wealth. Now that this class has broadened my knowledge, I now know there is a much more greater story with more meaning behind it. Not only was Saint Francis’s father a wealthy, known man, but also the last thing he wanted for his son was to make him a follower of God and who lived in town knew it. Pietro Bernardone wanted his son, Francis, to become a merchant as he was so Francis could reflect his craze with France. Throughout his entire life, Saint Francis enjoyed the easy life with a rich father. The town loved Francis and his father and it was known because Francis was always a happy, joyful, singing man. As he got older he was a leader of the wild party people, but Francis knew this was going to change. One day Francis decided to carry on his dream of becoming a noble knight. One day while being a knight he always dreamed of, Saint Francis had another dream, and this time it was even bigger; a dream where God told him to return home. Because of this call from God, Francis’s village and even his father poked fun at them. One day Francis was riding through the streets on a horse and came across a leper and suddenly kissed his hand, and the leper disappeared. The people standing around watching this still did not believe Francis, especially the other lepers because he came riding in on a horse, and most people would not. None of the villagers or lepers took Francis seriously in his conversion. After his conversion Francis found himself at San Damiano, where an ancient church stood. While praying there Francis claims the cross-talked to him and told him, “Repair my church”. Francis took this literally and wanted to rebuild the structure of the church at San Damiano, but God was really telling him to rebuild the community with joy and praise. Because Francis mistook God’s word, Pietro Bernardone brought Francis before the bishop in front of the town and demanded Francis not rebuild the church with “stolen” money. Francis was told by the bishop to return all the money and God will provide. Francis gave the money back and stripped in his footsteps and said, “Pietro Bernardone is no longer my father. From now on I can say with complete freedom, 'Our Father who art in heaven.” Soon Francis started to preach; he preached about returning to God and obedience to the Church. Soon the Church was rebuilt. The theme that deals with this part of the book of Living the Wisdom of St. Francis is finding God’s calling. St. Francis goes from loneliness to solitude. His loneliness was when he was taken prisoner for being a rich knight and there, Francis had his dream of God calling to him. St. Francis subverted everything he had and was supposed to be a