Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pope Francis -- Humphrey -- Nikos Kazantzakis

I would like to share some of my spiritual reading and what happened to me yesterday, when our Church was blessed with a new pope.

Since my trip home last week and returning to my Franciscan roots, I have again picked up some of my favorite books on Saint Francis. One of those books is Nikos Kazantzakis' Saint Francis. And just yesterday morning before morning prayer, I read the part about Francis' life when he kisses and embraces the leper-- only to discover that the leper is Jesus Christ, himself. Indeed, I was deeply moved, so moved that I felt I had to stop reading and move around and pray.

Kazantzakis writes Francis' life as if you, the reader, are in the story. It was an awesome experience. No more needs to be said.

 Then also early in the morning one of my cousins, Jackie Brown, leaves a comment on the blog about revisiting my Francisican background and she says that perhaps of any saint, Francis is the patron of our family. And she is right!

And then in the afternoon of the day, our time, we have a new pope. He chooses Francis as his name!

See the film -- Brother Sun, Sister Moon
Read lives of Saint Francis -- I will make other suggestions later, but you can't go wrong with Kazantzakis'
Saint Francis

Congratulations to our Church! Congratulations to Franciscan country of Nebraska! Lets live lives in accord to this wonderful saint and his female counter part, Clare.

Later in the morning of March 14, 2013

Here are a few other books on St. Francis that I have found really good.

1) Reluctant Saint -- subtitled: The Life of Francis of Assisi -- author -- Donald Spoto
       This one came out in the early 2000s -- it is very historical -- sticks to facts and history-
                --- very, very readable -- I have read it several times -- strongly suggested.

2) My Life With the Saints -- James Martin SJ-- this is a collection of numerous saints -- we read this
             book as meal reading in the moastic dining room -- if you are looking for something much shorter
               I suggest this book. I am sure that you can find most of it on you tube -- also strongly suggested.

Lastly for this morning -- I want to make special mention of two of our alums. They are indentical twins. They are Dan and Sott Henrickson. Both are Jesuits! Yesterday must have been a very happy day for you, Scott and Dan. We have always been proud of you and are even more so now. Congratulations on having a brother as Pope of our Church. It is great, indeed!


  1. Padre J,
    After I posted that comment yesterday I listened to the song "Make me a channel" which is a beautiful song about the Prayer of St. Francis.
    After I heard what the new Pope had chosen for his name, I sat there stunned and could not believe it! How ironic, surely it must have been what I call a "God wink". ;)
    Prayers to the new Pope Francis!

    Your Coz, Jackie

  2. Jackie,

    Yes, yesterday must have been a "God wink"! I schedule the music for the Eucharist here at MM. We sang the Prayer of St. Francis this morning. Now you need to watch the film --Brother Sun, Sister Moon. I talked with Br. Adrian and his sister, Sr. Englebert, this morning. They are very happy. I will touch base with Mom later -- remember, she wore Br. Adrian's habit!! Have a good day --- padre j

  3. Fr. John,

    Thank you for this nice blog.

    I have been to a Jewish Seder the last three years and went this past Monday night. Most of it is chanted in Hebrew. Since I am in my fourth semester of Hebrew, I can understand a lot of it, but not all since it goes rather quickly.

    Thank you for highlighting St. Francis in light of Pope Francis. He is such a breath of fresh air, for he, like Francis, preaches the Gospel as Francis said to his followers one day: "Go out, preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words." Pope Francis, who never uses the word Pope, is such an inspiring breath of fresh air. He seems to have the maxim of Richard Rohr: "The best critique of the bad is the practice of the better." Amen.

    I want to read Kazantzakis on Francis. I have a favorite Francis book: "God's Fool: The Life of St. Francis" by Julien Green. It is written in brief anecdotes and yet is so powerful in communicating the freedom and power of living the Gospel - which our current Bishop of Rome really gets in his bones.

    Thanks for this great blog.

    Happy Easter to you and the Mount Michael community.

    In peace,

    Jay Freel Landry
    South Bend, Indiana