Francis’ Great Passover
“Who are you, and who am I?” Francis repeated all night long. A question? It was something more than a question. An affirmation? It was much more than an affirmation. It was admiration, wonder, jubilation, astonishment. It was the sacred vertigo, an experience that is beyond description.
Francis peered over the precipice that dropped forty meters in front of him under the moonlight. He felt a peculiar and contradictory sensation: the abyss called to him as though it were screaming: Jump! But at the same time, another force was pulling him back. It was vertigo.
Whenever Francis joyfully accepted that “God is”, which occurred every night, he would succumb to a deep intoxication and his life would become one of omnipotence and plenitude, participating in God’s eternal and infinite vitality. This transformed Brother Francis into a troubadour of a complete and absolute novelty: “God is”. Who are you and who am I?
Upon joyfully accepting that “God is” and I am not, the distance was bridged. And at that moment, the distance and the presence merged. Francis was a man who was seduced by God’s abyss. He was also a man who was broken and defeated by the weight of Glory. He was always in a state of wonder. God was always a novelty to Francis. He was always captivated: coming outside of himself and entering Another. He was essentially a paschal man.
This is the beginning of Francis’ great paschal festival: Brother Francis in a state of tension and openness, coming out of himself and moving toward the Admirable. When his soul “went” toward God, he had at his disposal only a monotonous stream of reiterated words, completely incapable of conceptualizing what was lived: “Almighty, most holy, omnipotent, alive, all, great, true, glorious, eternal, just, good, direct, divine, honorable, admirable, blessed, immutable, invisible, inexpressible, ineffable, unintelligible, sublime, noble.
From the book “Brother Francis of Assisi” by Fr. Ignacio Larrañaga