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Finding Francis, Following Christ - Michael H. Crosby

Finding Francis, Following Christ

Paperback

Published: 1st February 2008
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The counter-cultural message of St. Francis for the church, the world, and for disciples of Christ today.

In a world afflicted by violence, in a society marked by a growing gulf between rich and poor, in a church polarized around issues of power and authority, the example of St. Francis of Assisi remains fresh and relevant, a powerful model of the gospel in action. As award-winning author Michael Crosby points out, the memory of Francis does not simply challenge the violence and materialism of our culture. He embodies a positive, joy-filled example of humanity at its best. His mission to "repair the church" speaks directly to the crises facing the church today. His example of a non-violent, justice-seeking, creation-centred spirituality speaks to the needs of our world and the deepest hungers of our hearts. Francis of Assisi is indeed a saint for all times.

Prefacep. xi
Chronology: The Life of Francis of Assisi in the Context of the Violence of His Timesp. xv
Abbreviationsp. xxi
Introduction: The Necessity of Having the Gospel Fulfilled in Our Livesp. 1
The Journey Pattern of the Mythic Herop. 1
The Pattern of Violence/Withdrawal/Scriptural Fulfillment in Jesusp. 2
The Pattern of Violence/Withdrawal/Scriptural Fulfillment in Francisp. 4
Assisi's Violence Writ Large in the "American Way"p. 8
Embracing the Quest of the Herop. 13
Francis of Assisi: A Saint for All, a Saint for All Timesp. 19
A Society of Hero-Worshipersp. 19
Moving beyond Past Notions of "Saints"p. 22
Who Defines What It Means to Be Holy?p. 23
Why the Appeal of Saints Today?p. 25
The Universal Appeal of a Threshold Figure Like St. Francisp. 27
Our Stories and Other Storiesp. 28
Assisi and Francis: Faith-Stances in Contrastp. 33
The Crisis of Faith as Traditional Stories Are Challengedp. 33
The Context of Francis' Storyp. 37
The Sapping of Faith in Assisi's Culture of Violencep. 40
Francis' Story: An Alternative Faithp. 41
From Religiously Sanctioned Violence to Gospel-Based Faithp. 44
Can Francis' Story Impact Our Culture's Story and Religion's Story Today?p. 47
Francis' Approach to Change: Point Out the Ruin or Repair It?p. 50
The Experience of Francis at the Cross of San Damianop. 50
What Is the "House" in Ruins That Needs Repair?p. 52
Repairing the House by Building a New Kind of Homemakingp. 54
Moving to a Fuller Understanding of the "House" in Ruins That Needs Repairp. 56
Finding a Father to Believe Inp. 70
Francis' Early Yearsp. 70
Francis' Break with Pietro, His Fatherp. 73
How Francis Understood God to Be His Heavenly Fatherp. 75
The Heavenly, Trinitarian Father Who Is "Our" Fatherp. 77
The Heavenly Father Who Is to Be "Our" Father on Earthp. 80
Other Images of God Used by Francisp. 83
How Francis Made Conversion Compellingp. 86
The Context That Brought Francis to a Crisis on His Mythic Journeyp. 86
A New Way to Do Penance and to Flee the Worldp. 87
The Story of Francis' Embrace of the Leperp. 89
Francis' Embrace of the Leper: The Archetypal Dynamic of "Surrender and Catch"p. 93
Francis' Embrace of the Leper: A Model of Focusingp. 97
The Characteristics of Evangelical Conversion Embodied in Francisp. 99
The Contagious Character of a Joy-Defined Conversion Experiencep. 102
Becoming the Christp. 104
The Centrality of Jesus Christ and His Self-Emptying in Francis' Lifep. 104
The Incarnation Revealing God's Self-Surrender in Jesus Christp. 108
The Incarnation Revealing "the Catch"p. 110
The Centrality of the Crucified One in Francis' Spiritualityp. 112
Taking Up the Cross Imposed by the Worldp. 117
The Eucharist as Sign and Summit of the "Surrender and Catch" of Jesus Christp. 119
The Eucharist Celebrated in the Church and Celebrating the Churchp. 121
The Gospel as Francis' Life-Projectp. 125
Francis' Understanding and Embrace of the Gospel as His Way of Lifep. 125
Rome's Acceptance of Francis' Way of Lifep. 128
How Francis Grounded the Fraternity in the Gospel of the Reign of Godp. 131
The Gospel of the Trinitarian Regin of God Proclaimed by Jesusp. 132
The Gospel of Jesus Proclaimed by the Early Churchp. 136
The Church's Proclamation of the Gospel at the Time of Francisp. 138
Repairing the Church for the Christ of the Gospelsp. 140
The Contagious Character That Created a Classless Communityp. 142
The Structured Classism of Unequal Relationshipsp. 142
Francis' Choice of a Classless Society under God the Father in Heavenp. 143
Creating an Evangelical Fraternity of Equal Power Relationsp. 146
An Authentically and Evangelically "Franciscan" Fraternityp. 150
A Creation Community Constituting All as Brothers and Sistersp. 157
Francis' Kind of Fraternity as an Antidote to the "American Way"p. 158
Nonpossessivenessp. 162
How Francis Recognized the Violence Inherent in Conflicts over Propertyp. 162
Francis' Response to the Tendency to Be Possessive: Nonappropriationp. 164
Francis' Alternative to Possessiveness: Nonacceptance of Coin or Moneyp. 165
Francis and the Grace of Workingp. 166
Francis' Response to Materialism: Nonappropriationp. 169
A Fraternal Economy Based on the Brothers' Needsp. 171
Resisting the Ways of Entitlementp. 172
Solidarity with People Who Are Poorp. 174
Poverty as Personal: The Way of Simplicityp. 177
Enduring in Peacep. 181
Francis' Call for Peace in the Midst of Violencep. 181
The Need for a Franciscan Approach to Peace in Our Timesp. 182
Peace Prayer of St. Francisp. 184
Francis' Way of Proclaiming the Gospel of Peacep. 185
The Franciscan Way to Personal Peacep. 188
The Franciscan Way to Communal Peace: Reconciliationp. 190
The Franciscan Way to Peace in the Midst of the World's Violencep. 193
The Franciscan Way of Ensuring We Will Live in Peace with Our Planetp. 197
Joy: The Reason for the Compelling Appeal of Francisp. 201
The Perverse Joy Coming from Witnessing Others' Painp. 201
What Scientists Are Discovering about Joyp. 202
Joy: The Meeting of Surrender and Catchp. 207
Hope and Resistance, Praise and Gratitudep. 209
Authentic Joy: The "Catch" from a Life of Surrenderp. 212
Joy at the Approach of Sister Deathp. 216
Qualities of Franciscan Holiness and Sanctityp. 219
Saintlinessp. 219
Francis' Highest Intention, His Chief Desire, His Uppermost Purposep. 220
Embracing a Gospel Way of Life with Passion and Enthusiasmp. 225
Contemporary Chivalryp. 227
Notesp. 233
Indexp. 257
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781570757297
ISBN-10: 1570757291
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1st February 2008
Publisher: Orbis Books (USA)
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.7 x 15.2  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.39