St. Francis was a revolutionary. That’s why I like it. It was in the truest sense of the word. Not a frickin’s son of flowers as a certain culture of the 68-year-old, but a true revolutionary of the Gospel, wants to present him. A prophet who showed who we are, what we want, and where we go. One who took the Church on his shoulders at a very difficult time and brought it to safety. A true instrument of God. The beautiful thing is that he wanted nothing more than to live the Gospel in his life, he did not think of becoming a planetary icon, still fruitful and wonderful. I was distractedly following a broadcast on Rai Story when they interviewed a Franciscan friar who said a phrase about Francis that struck me straight to the heart: Francis was rich in his poverty. It’s a phrase that seems to be built on a contradiction. How do you get rich in poverty? St. Francis was. It was not because poverty can make you rich, but because poverty makes room for those who can make you rich. Outward poverty, poverty in dress, eating, the poverty of those who had nothing was only part of Francis’ poverty. You don’t have to be poor if you vidive the rich. There’s no point in being miserable if that makes you miserable. Francis was able to have a poor heart. That’s what matters most. An empty heart, or rather that he has emptied of himself, that can be filled with God, of love that does not pass and that everything healthy and that everything explains. We’re not like that. We are not able to empty our hearts to make room. To make room for God and to make room for our groom or our bride. It’s easy to see that it’s like that. We are always ready to claim wrongs suffered, true or presumed. We are always ready to highlight what the other should or should not do. Always ready to put our needs before the other. That doesn’t work. So we build weak relationships, based not on love but on the need we have of others to feel good, to satisfy our needs and desires. We are always at the centre of the report. The other becomes a means for and not the recipient of our love. The other becomes something in our possession as the latest model of IPhone. Of course it’s not really like that, but that’s the point. I need that thing to feel good, to get better. This is our poverty. We are poor because we are rich, our hearts are full of us and there is no place for God, for the other and, consequently, for love. St. Francis was rich in his poverty, we are often poor in our wealth. Let’s learn from Francis. We make room and our lives and marriages will become our greatest wealth.
Antonio and Luisa