St. Francis stood alone on his granite rock for the early summer. Happily, he is now surrounded by zinnias and four-o-clocks. Fortunately the woodchuck didn’t work his way down this far on his destructive journey through my flower bed.
We go to a Catholic church which is run by Franciscan Friars, in our case three Fathers and two Brothers who live together next to the sanctuary. As I have written before, we are located in downtown, an area with few residents in houses and a number on the street. We feed sandwiches every day to whoever comes to the window, and hand out socks in the summer, hats and gloves in the winter, and food gift cards, bus passes and medical co-pays year round. Some believe we are enabling drug addicts, but now and then one of these street people gets clean after several years of contact with the Friars. Many of these men and women also attend Mass. No questions are asked of anyone who wishes to come to our table.
St. Francis, founder of the Order, gave up all riches to tend to the poor and rebuild the church. His message was always of love, peace and compassion. Our Friars stress the same, with no threatening God, no excluding Jesus, no condemnation of those who are “different”(whatever that means–different from whom?) I am pleased that my St. Francis gets to be framed in beauty each late summer. He deserves to “walk in beauty.”