On this, Saint Francis’ feast day, I must share with you all a very Francis-ish reflection from Gerry Straub, and great filmmaker and spiritual guide for me. It says a lot of the same things I feel as a Monk In Place, and the loneliness of longing for God that I experience heavily at my new endeavor up here in my new home of Asheville, Asheville Monastery. I hope it has some meaning for you, too. And that you had a great Saint Frank day!
St. Francis of Assisi longed for God beyond all measure. And his intense longing took him to places few had traveled to, places deep within himself and places far from Assisi. On his journey to God he traveled down a very lonely road.
Francis was a spiritual innovator and like all who have created something original he must have endured a great lonesomeness, despite his numerous followers and companions.
On Easter Sunday, 2009, during a liturgy at the Ermeo di Carceri high above Assisi, a favorite place of solitude for St. Francis, it dawned on me that the loneliness and longing within each us is a very basic way for each of us to connect with St. Francis.
His soul longed for God even in the night; from early morning and throughout the day, with the sweet affection of Mary, he kept watch, looking and longing for God and God alone.
To long for God is already to experience, albeit faintly, the presence of God. And to experience more and more of God was all Francis wanted. And it is all we need….
I Love you all!