Saint Francis took to the hills of Umbria,
radiating sheer joy (all the poor fellow owned).
It came as a reminder. Where had failed
clergy, scripture, pomposity and ritual
and the wilderness cry of the human heart,
prevailed this young man’s mute testimony
to stay the brutal stones, feed empty souls,
draw his future sisters and brothers.
Otherwise, who would have followed
through the snow those mad footprints,
were it not for joy and the fire’s roar
of his Jesus-love above any frail warmth
or posturing the world could offer?
One drop of the holy wine Francis
handled with such blithe aplomb
and hearts were kindled, souls reminded,
keenly felt then their own lack of joy –
a memory lost in their dimly remembered past.
O child of God, to love your Lord
as did Saint Francis, is to please Him.