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Suffering Saint: The shadows cast over Francis of Assisi | Holy Post | National Post

Anyone who has any experience with the devastation of suffering, grief and horrors of war would understand the demons that tormented this saintly man. I see the same humility forged and tested in fire when I read Eli Weisel's 'The Night Trilogy', Viktor Frankl's 'Man's Search for Meaning' or Bonhoffer's famous 'Ethic'. Francis was not unique in being challenged to remain faithful to is beliefs. He 'chose' each day, each moment to believe, especially when he found himself alone in his dark and silent soul. He lived out that faith by putting himself among the least of his brothers for he knew the capacity of evil and sin to reach to the very depth of any man's soul. He is most certainly among many others who 'shook hands with the devil' (thank you Romeo Dellaire); who were suffered upon but strove to never be the cause of another man's suffering. There will be many of them who are among the saints. God most certainly will reward the good.

I appreciate that it demeans God to equate him simply with the 'good', but surely there is much that's good in God (if I can steal a platonic concept of God being the very 'form' of 'Good) such that we can discern his presence quietly peaking through the faithful lives of good men as Francis His witness of embracing the 'law of unexpected consequences' by remaining faithful day after day to a commitment freely entered, stands as the example for everyone who enters into such sacred commitments as marriage or the religious life.

It would be a better world for everyone if we tried, no matter whether one believed in God or not. We all share the 'good' in common either way.

Fr. Tim 

Suffering Saint: The shadows cast over Francis of Assisi | Holy Post | National Post


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