“I wish I had known about the Franciscan theology when I was in school.  Why didn’t they teach us this?”  This comment came from one of the companions during a lively discussion of the “Custodians of the Tradition, Reclaiming the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition.”

For the last year or so, the Emmitsburg Companions have been studying “God’s Extravagant Love,” and experiencing a renewed enthusiasm for the Franciscan way of life.  What an awesome perspective to realize that the God of Francis is a God so generous he throws everything away out of love.  Creativity, love, and beauty are the foundation of Francis’ vision.

This is a perspective so simple, yet so magnificent.  We companions knew we could no longer view God in the same way.  God so loved our world that God gave us Jesus Christ and rewards us far beyond what we deserve.  We knew we could no longer view our fellow world travelers in the same way.  Haecceitas shows us the special-ness of each being.  The poor, the homeless, the rich, the brilliant, each has his or her own this-ness, which is so vital for the whole.  We knew we could no longer see the world as drab and meaningless.  As the Trinity delights in our world and all its creatures, so does creation reveal its beauty.  Our world is a vision of beauty, or as Scotus would say, “a vision of aesthetic delight.”

With such a powerful view of God, of human relationships, and of the beauty of creation, we companions can go out into our world filled with a Franciscan love.  We are so grateful for this new perspective as lived by St. Francis of Assisi.

-Rosemary McDermott