26 April 2010

Thought for the day: a living world

I have recently been re-reading Leonardo Boff’s Francis of Assisi: A Model for Human Liberation as part of my research for a book on Franciscan spirituality. Strangely, I was much more impressed with it this time than I was during my first reading of it many years ago. Perhaps it’s one of those books you have to grow into. Anyway here is a short sample that implicitly contrasts the Franciscan world-view with the dead world of post-Cartesian materialism:
the Franciscan world is full of magic, of reverence, of respect. It is not a dead and inanimate universe; things are not tossed here, within the reach of possessive appetites of hunger; nor are they placed one beside another. They are alive and have their own personality; they have blood ties with humanity; they live in the same Father’s house as humanity. And because they are brothers and sisters, they cannot be violated, but rather must be respected. It is from this that Saint Francis, surprisingly, but consistent with his nature, prohibits the brothers from cutting any tree at the roots, that they might bud again. (p. 31)

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