It has been said of St. Francis of Assisi that he looked at the world while standing on his head. Which is to say that his view of life and living was upside down to view of most of the rest of the world. I read a great book about five years ago given to me by a friar friend. It is called St Francis and the Foolishness of God. The book blew away many of my pre-conceived notions about the plight of many other citizens of our planet and like Francis it stood me on my head.
Soon after I began attending Mass at Mt. Irenaeus I began to volunteer to help Brother Joe with some of the upkeep of the place. I volunteered to weed gardens, split wood, mow lawns and even shovel manure. Brother Joe asked me what my family and friends thought of my regular visits to Mt. Irenaeus. I told him that many of them thought I was a little crazy traveling thirty miles every Sunday to attend Mass and the other liturgies. Through that conversation Brother Joe helped me to see that the nuns who had taught me as a small boy had helped to form in me a Franciscan heart. Maybe I already had a Franciscan heart and they provided the keys that opened it. Many times in my life, my views have run counter to the status quo and at those times I’ve wondered why. That day Brother Joe provided the answer or at least the affirmation of a life long journey. I didn’t know then that the journey would continue to lead me and that in time I would become a Secular Franciscan and that my life would continue to grow and change and that I would be drawn ever closer to the poor man of Assisi and Lady Poverty.