I am currently reading "The cost of community" by Jamie Arpin-Ricci. He is the leader of a Franciscan community in Winnipeg. In the first chapters he describs how St. Francis, while praying in the Church of San Damiano h eard the words of Christ - "Francis, go repair my house which, as you see, is falling completely to ruin."
Francis heard the wor ds clearly, and began to obey them, rebuilding that small, dilapidated chapel - it was sometime later when he realised the real meaning of the words, to rebuild the Body of Christ.
I am mulling this concept over... how could St. Francis have missed what God meant? The very day I started pondering this, I recieved a card from two Brothers in my community, who are on a Franciscan piligramage in Italy. They are praying for us at different sites. What a great blessing!
So, how can I hope to both hear and know what God is saying to me? How can you?
I am beginning to think the answer comes in community and consistency. It was only after Francis formed his community and worked for some time repairing Churches and Chapels that the fullness of God's command became clear to him. What do you, my readers think? I take comfort in today's collect:
O God, from Whom all good proceeds: Grant that by Your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by Your merciful guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.