‘A Suffering Saint’
Today is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. So have a look at Paul Moses’s “A Suffering Saint: Francis of Assisi’s Shadow Side,” just posted to the homepage. It begins:
The fact that Francis of Assisi hated to be put on a pedestal does not stop us from doing so when his annual feast arrives today. He is fondly remembered for his love of animals and nature, and for his generous spirit — all of which deserve to be honored. But, as is often the case with saints, we would do well to take Francis down from his pedestal and get to know him as the man he was rather than through his pious image. Before I began researching a book about Francis, I’d had the idea that, given his powerful sense of God’s presence, he was always carefree and happy.
The truth is more complicated: Francis’s life was encumbered by dark shadows, to the point that he experienced long periods of anguishing separation from God.
Read the rest here.