Minute Meditations

A Love Divine

woman kissing a wooden cross

The spirituality of St. Francis is not so much about the heroic deed as it is about the heroic love with which even the smallest deed is done. That is very clear from the quintessential story of Perfect Joy. It is not what Francis and Leo endure from the abusive brother that counts. It is, as Francis says to Leo, when we bear such abuse and suffering, “remembering the sufferings of Christ, the Blessed One, and how He taught us to bear all things for love of Him, then write down, Brother Leo, ‘This is perfect joy.’” Francis loved Christ and wanted to die into his love who is the incarnation of how far God will go in his love for us. He wants to be one with the Beloved, even in his rejection and suffering and unjust death at the hands of those for whom he came to reveal the goodness and love of God.

It is the mystery of the cross of Christ, namely not what Christ endured, but why he endured. Love was the reason, a love that was divine and, as such, not only endured those three hours on the cross, but did so out of love, a love that embraced all human suffering.

—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis
by Murray Bodo, OFM

Surrounded by Love by Murray Bodo


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