The touch of Jesus. How it burned! And how sweet the sensation of this love in its searing penetration. Francis lay upon the cold ground of his hut at St. Mary of the Angels and felt nothing but the touch of Jesus in his feet and hands and side.
He would die with the brothers witnessing the way a traveler with Jesus dies. Poor. Broken in body. Radiant in the light of the Spirit glowing from his eyes and from the marks of Jesus’ touch. And the peace of his departing would seal the genuineness of their own vocations as Lesser Brothers of the Lord.
To be real at the end. In that the brothers would be sure they were also authentically on the road with Jesus. They need only persevere as Francis had and Christ Himself would touch them with his perfect Peace.
He looked around the hut and prayed for everyone he saw dimly standing above him and for the Lady Clare and her sisters. The Dream was theirs, the Journey lay before them.
—from the book Francis: The Journey and the Dream
by Murray Bodo, OFM