St. FrankOctober 5, 2012
St. Frank. It’s your day.
You have given us good things to think about.
Voluntary poverty, chastity and obedience.
That’s a vast improvement on the usual methodologies of oppression and imposition we have employed to achieve those 3 things.
You have made a mess of Christmas for thousands of kindergartens, with your stable* idea. You have corrupted the text immeasurably, and yet also shown us the value of incarnating the incarnation, with senses and smells and sounds and sight, as well as scripture.
You have given us a prayer for peace**
Many of us really think we will need to win a few wars yet before things will be safe enough to have the courage and faith to pray such a prayer. But we have it on our walls and our only hope might be that you will pray it for us, over us.
You have given many of us your name. Both my grandads had a ‘Frank’ in their name. Which makes me imagine you as being quasi australian. John Clarke peppers his comedy with your name ‘To be perfectly Francis about it…’ And, so in a way, you’ve given us a sort of speaking. Frankness. Saintly Frankness of speech, what a gift that can be.
You were nothing short of quirky…and possibly, with more evidence, we would come up with a more serious diagnosis. Gratefully, though we have the evidence of grace which makes the diagnosis of ‘saint’ truer than any other metric – for you, and if only we would accept it, for us too.
*St Francis is credited with first creating a Christmas ‘nativity’ scene