As we celebrate the feast of Francis of Assisi, parishioner Bill Tompson explores the life, teaching and example of this extraordinary saint and considers why, nearly 800 years after his death, Francis speaks so powerfully across the centuries. Most of us are familiar with the romanticized image of the pastoral figure, surrounded by animals and flowers. Many a birdbath bears his image. Like Jesus, Francis has more often been celebrated rather than emulated. Yet he is worthy of much more than a lawn ornament. Francis has much to say to Christians and to the contemporary world: about the care of creation, about war and peace, about wealth and poverty, and – above all – about what it means to follow Jesus unreservedly. Living in a world racked by scandal and by conflict between classes and religions (sound familiar?), Francis ultimately did something simple and wonderful: he read the Gospels and took Jesus at His word.
Sunday, October 7, 9:45am in the Fleetwood Room of the American Cathedral.
The Cathedral Forum is a weekly lecture series with topics that range from theology, politics and spirituality to economics and literature. The forum regularly features prominent speakers from academia, the media, and journalism.