At the heart of Francis’s and Clare’s biblical vision was the Sermon on the Mount, and most especially the Beatitudes. Just as Jesus turned the world upside down, ushering in God’s new age of shalom, liberating captives, and proclaiming God’s shalom (see Luke 4:18–19), Francis’s message of peace and simplicity turned upside down the divisiveness and violence of twelfth-century Italy and the opulence of the Roman Catholic Church.
Francis lived out the prophetic spirit of the Beatitudes, presenting an alternative vision to both church and state, as he sought to be God’s companion in healing the world, beginning with the transformation of church, and expanding his mission to include healing the whole earth, Christian and non-Christian, human and nonhuman. Francis invites us to embody the Beatitudes in our time.
—from the book Simplicity, Spirituality, Service: The Timeless Wisdom of Francis, Clare, and Bonaventure
Rev. Dr. Bruce G. Epperly