When Francis read the Sermon on the Mount, he saw that the call to be poor stood right at the beginning: "How blessed are the poor in spirit!"
Henceforward, Francis' reading of the gospel considered poverty to be "the foundation of all other virtues and their guardian." The other virtues receive the kingdom only in promise; poverty, however, is invested with it already now and without delay. "Theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3).
Franciscan spirituality has never been an abstraction. It is grounded in Jesus' specific instructions to his disciples and not in theology.
Richard Rohr, from Hope Against Darkness
I've had a dreadful cold this last week, the kind that reduces the interior of the head to soggy cotton-wool, so I've rather neglected blogging, having very little to say between blowing my nose...
Perhaps a really bad cold has a spiritual dimension, though. Seriously.
Being unable to think means you have nothing to fall back on but God, and being unable to say much at all allows God space and time (space and time I don't usually leave free) to sort out some of the tangles in my heart.
Rohr is right. We have nothing, spiritually. Actually, we have nothing materially, either, not that we can keep, or hold on to. We just imagine we do. (The contortions of the global economy recently should teach us that, if nothing else does.) And this is just how it should be. We're not made to have stuff: we're made to receive God, like little hollow cups. We think of following Jesus - we need to think of following him in his kenosis, his self-emptying, too. Only when we are prepared to lose it all will we truly have God. (Luke 9.23-27)