Item description for The Wisdom of the Poor One of Assisi by Eloi Leclerc & Marie-Louise Johnson...
Overview Hope Publishing House Returning from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, St. Francis finds the order of humble friars, which he had founded, has grown so tremendously that now over 6,000 monks consider themselves "Franciscans." But St. Francis is appalled to find that with this apparent success came a total rejection of his original vision which this thriving community of friars regarded as outmoded and unsuited for their current needs. When he remonstrates, they suggest that if Francis cannot adapt to the new rules and regulations, perhaps he should go elsewhere. Rejected by the order which he founded and despondent that the vision he felt God gave him is being scorned, Francis withdraws to a mountain hermitage with his beloved Brother Leo. There in a Spartan cave during a long winter of the soul Francis arrives at new insights into what God requires of those who would follow Christ. This heartening story brings comfort to all who have faced loss or failure and feel that God is no longer smiling with favor on them. Trudging the paths with St. Francis, one comes to a flowering spring filled with new insights on what is required of those who would call themselves "Christians."
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Studio: Hope Publishing House
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.25" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.75" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Sep 15, 1991
Publisher Hope Publishing House
ISBN 093272745X ISBN13 9780932727459
Reviews - What do customers think about The Wisdom of the Poor One of Assisi?
A Rich Rememberance of St. Francis Aug 31, 2007
This is not a historical book, although there is much of history here. Nor is it necessarily historically accurate. It is more personal devotion, where the author tries to imagine what it was like for Francis, and what he might have thought, based on some of Francis's writings, and the the writings of biographers. There is often more imagination here than strict fact- but imagination is often the path to true spirituality.
It's hard to get into the mind of a saint, especially one claimed to be the closest a human has ever come to being like Christ. I'd suggest it can't really be done- but Leclerc does an admirable job in the attempt. I was moved. In a time of some temporary sorrow, I found it uplifting. The thoughts expressed were rich and magnificent, and they gave ample opportunity for rumination. The book is short enough that you can get through in an hour, but then dwell on for days. Here is definitely the mind of Francis, and the mind of Christ- that there is only one thing that matters, and that dwelling on our Lord. All else is rather beside the point, and true happiness remains in that one thing.
I did find the language sparse as compared with the actual writings of Francis. This may be in large part due to it being a translation- perhaps in the original French it is much fuller. Heartedly recommended.
For those who grieve Dec 29, 2003
Toward the end of his life, Francis of Assisi endured what can only be described as a time of great desolation and despair. His physical health was failing; the Order he had founded was moving away from his original ideals of simplicity and poverty; his mission to the Muslims had fizzled out; and several of his oldest and dearest companions had deserted him. It's not unreasonable to suppose that Francis also felt himself deserted by God. This sense of utter abandonment may not fit the hagiographies, but it sure makes psychological sense.
Franciscan Eloi Leclerc takes this time of abandonment as his starting place for this elegant and insightful meditation. The book is an imaginative reconstruction, but one that's based on contemporary texts, of the struggles that Francis went through during his years of doubt and despair. Leclerc doesn't offer ready-made solutions or sweetly pious recipes. One of the great merits of this book is that he takes Francis' despair seriously. Ultimately, however, he also takes Francis' breakthrough moment seriously: the moment when Francis has the revelatory realization that, bad as life can get, "Deus est."
I've thought about this simple claim--"God is"--many times since reading this little book. On the surface, it may seem anti-climactic. But as Leclerc presents it, there's a great deal of wisdom in being able to make and live the assertion. It may be that there's more theology embedded in the simple affirmation "Deus est" than in all the world's books.
Captures the true spirit of Francis Dec 13, 1998
An imaginative retelling of the last years of Francis and the final stage in his spiritual growth. A timely parable about the loss of innocence we all experience as we see our youthful dreams and ideals compromised and twisted by the institutional dynamics of power, money, and bureacracy. Will Francis become bitter, cynical and disillusioned -- or will he break through to an even more profound understanding of what it means to be a witness to the nonviolent Christ?
Moving, theologically rich account of Francis' last years. Mar 28, 1998
LeClerc describes St. Francis' struggle with challenges to the original simplicity and poverty of his Order, in a series of deeply moving dialogues and lyric descriptions. This is a beautiful and challenging book, full of the spirit of Francis -- deeply joyful, deeply sorrowful, deeply loving and trusting God.
I have read this book a number of times during the past year, and am still finding new insights and matters for meditation each time I pick it up. It's truly excellent -- a masterwork.