For a man who chose radical poverty and lived a life of great asceticism, Francis of Assisi sets a lavish table. Here are two leftovers from his feast yesterday that are well worth chewing on today:
To understand Francis, you must first understand this fundamental concept: he was a mystic. Mystics dwell in the white space between letters of what religion officially says about itself. Thus, not everything that he said was intended for general consumption, nor would it necessarily be understandable to someone who is not immersed in that particular spirituality.
Take, for example, the Franciscan theological concept of “universal kinship.” An outsider looking in might say that it is no more than pantheism. What this theological concept really teaches, however, is that God is not only present in all of Creation, but because God is present in all of Creation, we are all connected to one another AND connected to God. It teaches that we can catch a glimpse of the face of God in God’s Creation precisely because God dwells there.
Some people think that Saints are perfect and kind of mushy. Francis was none of that. At his time in history, the Roman Church leadership at the Vatican was totally corrupt. These guys were killing each other in a fight for power, land, and money. Even church rules required them to dress fancy and put on a show as "Princes of the Church". There seems to be some of that still around, but they no longer have the secular power to condemn people to be executed, which is good. Still, herself says that the Vatican needs another Francis to "tune it up". Maybe a Pope by that name will do the job. Then maybe instead of playing "King of the Hill", leadership will actually start to live and preach the Good News of Jesus.
Where do tacos come in. Well, just that today is also National Taco Day! I don't know anything about that but we saw it in the newspaper. So herself picked up Dorothy and off they went to "All Mex'd Up" for a taco luncheon to celebrate St Francis and tacos.
Happy Day After St. Francis Taco Day, y'all.
The graphic: St. Francis is often called the alter Christus. So it occurs to me that the face of Jesus in the tortilla (by way of Like the Loudons) could possibly be a picture of Francis, too--one befitting St. Francis Taco Day.