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The Gospel Without Compromise
Murray Bodo, O.F.M.
Source: The Simple Way
Published: Sunday, February 17, 2013

People know many things about Saint Francis: He preached to the birds, he talked about peace, he was poor, he loved nature. But the thing that most defined Francis is that he shaped his life according to the Gospel without compromise.

His embrace of poverty after growing up a wealthy merchant’s son was his way of following the Gospel call to sell everything and give to the poor. Just as Christ made himself poor in becoming human, so Francis made himself poor in becoming like Christ. Francis says, “God is well pleased with poverty, and above all with voluntary poverty. For my part I possess a royal dignity and special nobility because I follow the Lord, who was rich but became poor for our sakes.”

Here Saint Francis gives us his reason for embracing a poor life as his way to God: He was following in the footsteps of the poor Christ. Who is the Christ I follow? How will I make more earnest my following of the Christ who speaks to me, who inspires me to come after him?

Adapted from The Simple Way: Meditations on the Words of Saint Francis, by Murray Bodo, O.F.M.

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