St. Francis of Assisi–An otherwordly falling in love

Tomorrow, Grace will have a Blessing of the Animals at our 10:00 service. It is one way in which we honor St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast day is October 4. St. Francis is fondly remembered for his love of creation and especially of animals, but he was much more than that. Here is an excerpt from a reflection on America’s “In all Things” blog:

The story of Francis encountering the San Damiano crucifix wonderfully illustrates what the great Jesuit theologian and philosopher Bernard Lonergan called “the Law of the Cross.” What was that?

When Lonergan pondered our salvation, he rejected the idea that the Father causes it through any act of external intrusion into history.   For Lonergan salvation isn’t something God accomplishes without our cooperation. God certainly doesn’t declare our alienation to be at an end because we’ve killed the Son. On the contrary, God saves us through our being drawn by love into the cross of Christ. The knowledge of the Son’s gift upon the cross compels our conversion, because it calls us to love. Lonergan defined conversion as “otherworldly falling in love.”

We’re meant to look upon Jesus, as Francis did in that Umbrian chapel, and fall in love. And having fallen in love, as any lover knows, the entire world is changed.

The entire post, written by Terrance W. Klein, is available here.

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