Franciscan Hearts and Minds

“Canticle of the Sun” (

It is foggy this morning in the North Country. While I have lived in places where fog is relatively common, here it is a rare event. Something to be noted and celebrated.

As I have noted here recently, St. Francis is often on my mind these days. Besides reading Daniel Horan’s excellent The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton. I have been spending time at an excellent site called Franciscan Intellectual Tradition and reading again some of the foundational Franciscan theologians (St. Bonaventure, Duns Scotus).

What was at first merely an “instinctive-guess” on my part that St. Francis would be a perfect anecdote to the madness that is Trump, has become a conviction. The more Franciscan theology I read, the more I am convinced of the world’s need for a Franciscan heart and mind.

Trump is a symptom of world that believes that creation is something to be exploited and taken, that the purpose of life is to accumulate possessions, that wealth equates to virtue, that the “other” is to be feared and exploited, that might makes right.

The Franciscan tradition reminds us, of course, that it is all really just the opposite. Creation is the mirror and image of God and so is meant to be wondered at and cared for. That the purpose of life is to let go of possessions. That wealth equates to the very opposite of virtue. That the “other” is to be cherished, loved, and supported because they are our brothers and sisters. And finally the Franciscan tradition reminds us that in Jesus we see that might actually makes wrong.

How different the world would be if we all had Franciscan hearts and minds.

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