A Letter to Saint Francis of Assisi

October 4, 2023


My Dear Brother Francis,


Over the past few days as time has shifted into October, I have been paying attention to how creation is preparing for the season to come. Seeing the magnificent colors of leaves, hearing the deep swoosh of the wings of a low flying bird, tasting a delicious pear or sweet carrot, smelling the cool harvest air, feeling the touch of my habit around my body; our senses really do call us into an awareness of God.


As I thought of this, I also thought of you. I thought of your final moments, as you laid on the bare earth, bare yourself, releasing your final breaths of your earthly life. I wonder how your senses were engaging you on this journey. I wonder if you struggled to allow yourself to be completely free and vulnerable. One last moment – one last hearing, tasting, smelling, touching and seeing of this life. Hearing your brothers’ voices in prayer, tasting Lady Jacoba’s cookies, smelling the earth, touching the hand of a dear brother and even in your limited sight seeing the contrast of darkness and light around you; each one a last moment.


These last gifts, these final moments of surrendering I think were allowing you to know you had seen and touched all you could in your life. Trusting God was present in all your senses and life you must have seen this as invitation to let them guide you into God’s vast mercy and goodness. The closeness of Christ in these moments and the Holy Spirit ever present allowed you to be free and welcome Sister Death. I wonder if I do the same. Do I only notice my senses in the fleeting moments of a changing season? I pray I may be more attentive to them, like you were in all the moments of life. Trusting I met God again and again in the ordinary of each day through my senses, I am invited to encounter God’s magnificent and grandiose expressions of beauty. An expression of the depth of love and generosity given for me and for all.


I know we are all on a journey to our final moments. Those last earthly moments which will release us from things both bad and good – seen, heard, touched, smelled and tasted. May I be brave enough to surrender them and be free to embrace the fullness of life you knew in Christ – Your All, in the final moments and in all moments.


As the world celebrates and remembers you in these days, stir my heart to see, touch, smell, taste and hear the fullness of God. God is always all around us in the present moments, may I lean into this truth again renewed. I long to know Christ as you did. May I trust like you did and be attentive to the moments of each day knowing Christ is present. You allowed the Holy Spirit to guide your ways in the footsteps of Christ. May I be attentive to the pathways opening before me.


My dear brother, as I pay attention to the changing season and my senses, I know I need to hear your words so I may continue to do what is mine to do and remain aligned in Christ – who is my All! I trust you walk with me and whisper your wisdom into my living. Peace to you my brother, much peace and gratitude.


Your little brother,