Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi – October 4th

Saint FrancisSaint Francis of Assisi was a source of reform, renewal, and gospel values at a time in the Church when many were too concerned with political power and material goods. Had you encountered Francis, chances are you would have thought him crazy, but you would have likely been impressed by his genuineness and commitment to the gospel. It is hard to argue with the gospel. As an unhappy rich man, he sold all of his possessions and completely followed God, starting his own order, which eventually received the approval of the pope.

Recently I moved to take a new job. The process of dealing with all of our accumulated stuff taught me a lot. After this, I can understand Francis’ desire to give up everything. Suddenly all the “stuff” my wife and I accumulated over the last five years seemed pointless. As we sorted through our things, and had to determine what was worth moving and what wasn’t, a lot of what we had didn’t seem valuable anymore. In fact, I realized that a lot of it never gave me any happiness whatsoever.

During this same period, I happened to watch “Hoarders” and noticed how unhappy people on that show seem. Almost to a person, they are depressed, and yet they are literally swamped with possessions, and want more and more. I suspect that Francis felt extremely liberated when he got rid of that last possession and relied solely on God. While I don’t plan on doing that, I have certainly benefited from shifting my attitude toward material goods. Today, reflecting on the impact of our material goods in our life sounds like a great idea.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is an author, speaker, and small business owner. He started ChurchYear.Net in 2004, along with his brother Jonathan. The site gets over one million visitors a year, and Bennett’s writings have appeared in church bulletins, newspapers, and other media.

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