As the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi comes into our world this week, we need to remember that this rag-tag fool did more than bless animals and preach to birds (though such activities might be good humbling practices for politicians readying themselves for presidential debates!) St. Francis was perhaps the first “collaborative restorationist” who invited others to join him in “the Radical Center” as a Third Force.
As Franciscan restorationist Keith Warner has written of God’s Fool, “We can imitate him by being environmental peacemakers. Just as Francis built peace in the relationship between the bishop and mayor by singing The Canticle of All Creatures, we can bring reconciliation to the conflicts around us by practicing and promoting respect for the existence and well-being of others. By honoring both parties in a conflictual situation, we invite others to adopt a stance of respect and to acknowledge the right of others to exist…greed can be replaced by courtesy, and this seems fully consistent with Francis’s approach.”
Francis accomplished such an end to conflict between the Wolf and the people of Gubbio, and between Christian Crusaders and Muslim Sultans. If one man can do that, what could a million Radical Centrists do to this war-torn country we are living in right now?
Brother Coyote, OEF