I’m currently in a season of intense writing. While I used to think I should scale back my reading when I’m write, I’m learning it’s the opposite I should be doing. When you’re in a season of pouring out creatively, it’s important to also be refueling and filling back up the creative well. So, in the breaks between writing sessions, I try to read, watch good movies, and even have made more of an effort to attend shows and concert.
Recently I was given the opportunity to review a book on the life of St. Francis of Assisi and I jumped at the opportunity. He is someone I’ve wanted to study more about so I couldn’t turn it down.
My God and My All: The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi
by Elizabeth Goudge
First I’ll start by being honest in that it was not an easy read. The motivating factor in reading this book for me was that I really wanted to know and learn more about St. Francis. I’ve never read any of the other biographies so I don’t have anything else to compare it to.
While this book was hard to read, I found it to be very moving and compelling. As I read, I often found myself swept up in the 1200’s imagining myself walking the same streets of Assisi. Sometimes it was hard to read because I couldn’t fathom anyone doing the kinds of things this man did. Renouncing his wealth, eating scraps of food, and finding joy in the midst of poverty. So much of what he did was unimaginable and hard to believe.
While the story of his young life and how he got to where he did was interesting, the later part of his life is filled with healings, miracles, and wisdom that comes with maturity and walking with Christ year after year. Where once he was ridiculed for who he was, he became honored for the life he lived. I found this story very inspiring and so many of his words are filled with the love of Christ. It’s pretty incredible to see how this man sought with every fiber of his being to become more and more like Jesus. There’s not many people you can honestly say did that well.
I’ll leave you with a few words from the man himself.
Where there is charity and wisdom there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility there is neither anger nor worry. Where there is poverty and joy there is neither cupidity nor avarice. Where there is quiet and meditation there is neither solicitude nor dissipation. Where there is the fear of the Lord to guard the house the enemy cannot find a way to enter.