“Why do you love St Francis?” asked Jogersen to Kazantazakis.He replied “I love him for two reasons, first because he is a poet, one of the greatest of the Pre-Renaissance. Bending over even the most insignificant of God’s creatures, he heard the immortal element they have inside them: Melody”.
“And second?” asked Jogersen,
“Second, I love him because by means of love and ascetic discipline his soul conquered reality-hunger, cold, disease, scorn, injustice, ugliness-and succeeded in transubstantiation the reality a joyous and palpable dream truer than truth itself.”
He venerated the virgin eyes of St Francis which have never stolen the virginity of a flower even. In St Francis, he found the best example of human destiny “to transform the flesh into spirits”
GK Chesterton’s “St Francis” is an another book which captured the overwhelming spirituality of St Francis. When Chesterton wrote that St Francis was shipwrecked in God, we get a promotion of seaness of God and the blissful catastrophe that awaits man in him.
Thomas of Celano,The biographer of St Franciswho showed the life of St Francis in this revelation “an extremely thin partition separated France’s from eternity. That is why he heard the divine melody-through this delicate partition”
When we walk we are fulfilling our in the need for an exile. Walking makes you a bystander in your own body, Thus you become a clairvoyant of innerscapes. Walking is a way of being step with the world. Now, you become aware of the distant darkness that will fall about you. As you arrive and as you go out your heart surges with the responses. Walking doesn’t leave any traces, It gives the ability to skim over the surface of things and break away from solidity of matter. You keep yourself safe from all conglomerations.
Francis was a pedestrian. He walked miles and miles. He walked over his body, penetrating to its matter, dissolving into spirit. It allowed him to abandon himself to lilies of the field, songs of the birds, bending over he studied the difference between water and stone and stared at the world.
Thus he arrived at God.
Lover of Ruins
No one watches ruins except the sky; The only eternal cupola.Things ruins when man leaves and retreats. They inhabit our past. They languish in ages gone. Ruins are mythical, so sacred.
Frances found his God among ruins. He wept at the poverty and misery of his God. He knew that nothing is poor and ruined as God.
Love ruins you. Francis was ruined by the love of God. He might have heard Jalaludil Rumi, the great Sufi point sings from another time and another culture:
“Where there is ruins
there is treasure”
Catholicism is ludicrous.It speaks about powerlessness of God, his putting on the mantle of flesh and poverty. George Santayana defines religion as: the love of life, in the consciousness of impotence. Catholicism revolves around this weakness and importance.
St Francis loved this weak and impotent God of manger.For St Francis Catholicism was a search for a God who lies somewhere like a trampled flower.
Poetry is not some sort of literature, but it is an intention. It is an intention to renew the world. We all carry the vestiges of a lost paradise but a poet alone names it. We stumble upon power and riches while a poet stumbles upon words.
Francis was a poet of a lost paradise. Poems are the best way to honor him. Rainer Maria Rilke did it well:
“For all things on earth knew him
And found their fruitfulness in him”
“And when he died quietly, as though unknown
he was dispersed: in brooks his seed ran
and sang among the trees to see him shine
upward from the flower’s open span”
“I always know what is truth. But I never lived it because it is damn hard!” says Al Pacino in one of his movies. It is the paradoxical nature of truth: we cannot live it by knowing. But we can know it by living. Heidegger had great visions of truth when he said, “Truth is to walk on peripheries” But he never lived it instead he became a supporter of the Nazi regime and even betrayed his master Husserl to the hands of the Nazis.
Francis walked on peripheries knowing the truth that he never occupied cities, cathedrals and centre places, but only fringes of society. He called his community, “minority”. It is the another characteristic of truth. Truth is always a minority. The moment it becomes a majority, it is no more truth. When thousands of people begin to shout a truth, it becomes a mere slogan. Truth always recedes to a whisper.
Francis was a minor.