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The Poor Man of Assisi

He was the freest man in the world. Ties could not bind him. He had nothing so he had nothing to lose. What was there to fear? The Poor Man of Assisi had nothing, no projects or clear ideas about his future, not even ideals.

And here lay the grandeur and drama of the prophet. Here was a poor man launched on a path by a superior force that no one had yet traveled, with no guarantees of a final success, and no inkling as to the dangers that lurked at the next crossroads.

And since he did not have a clue, he had no idea how to show his loyalty to God from one day to the next. He was content to show his faith a minute at a time, to follow a path, step-by-step, obstacle after obstacle, without knowing the next step he would take. He would open his eyes each morning and begin his solitary walk on unknown paths....

When all means of security are lost, when all human support systems collapse, when finery and clothing are no longer within reach, man, naked and free, having barely made an attempt, finds himself in God’s hands.

A naked man is a man who has surrendered himself, like the flightless birds that are joyously perched in the warm hands of the Lord. When one has nothing, God becomes everything.

God is always at the core. When vestments fall, God appears. When When all hope is lost, God raises the arm of hope. When scaffolds fall, God transforms himself into support and security. Only the poor possess God.

Extracted from de book “Brother Francis of Assisi”


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