loving God in neighbor

see Proper 24 (year A)
“the Great Commandment”

I spent the weekend at a Franciscan retreat house with contemplatives. We studied NOTHING – that is, apophatic mysticism through Jung/ Derrida/ Marion via Russel Holmes, a Jungian analyst from Boston. I was in apophat heaven! At the back of my mind, though, Proper 25 and today’s web and blog posts on loving God and neighbor flickered around the edges of my consciousness.  I wish I could start gathering the meditation prompts again, surrounded by images of Francis all over the retreat house. But I’ll stay with what I have, needing to move quickly into to Proper 26 squeezed into a busy week ahead. Not much NOTHING happening … -sg

Here’s a quote from a favorite source, Donald Spoto’s Reluctant Saint.

St. Francis Maestro di Frate Francesco, Capella di San Gregorio, before 1224

With this single act of charity, Francis was apparently transformed, for when he returned to Umbria he not only resumed his restoration of San Diamiano but also began to nurse lepers, a task rarely undertaken by anyone.  This involved not only begging food on their behalf and feeding them, but carrying them to a nearby brook or stream to wash their sores. “For God’s sake, he served all of them with great love.  He washed all the filth from them, and even cleaned out the pus of their sores.” His care, in other words, meant more than merely not showing revulsion.  It meant a willingness to be with them precisely because they were outcast.  It meant taking with grave literalness the standard of the Gospel that to minister to the needy was to minister to the lonely, naked and dying Christ. …

In nursing the world’s outcasts, Francis had begun to rise to the genuine nobility he had long sought, which was to be discovered not in armor, or in titles or battles, glory or contests.  Honor would be found not in associating with the strongest, the most attractive, the best dressed or the most secure people in society, but with the weakest, the most disfigured, those who were marginalized, dependent and despised.

-Donald Spoto
Reluctant Saint: The Life of Francis of Assisi

One Response to “loving God in neighbor”

  1. loving God in neighbor – fullarmorofgodblogs Says:

    […] EXCERPTED FROM Full Armor Of God source https://ammaguthrie.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/loving-god-in-neighbor/ […]

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