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Posted October 27, 2011
Gianluigi Pasquale, who holds doctoral degrees in philosophy and theology, is a professor at the Lateran Pontifical University of Rome and the Theological Study Center in Venice. His latest book, Day by Day with Saint Francis, consists of 365 dated offerings taken from writings of Francis, himself, and other Franciscan sources, primarily Thomas of Celano and Bonaventure. Francis's original writings include letters; elements of the rule for his community; and his admonitions, scripture-based teachings addressing aspects of Christian living. Excerpts from the Admonitions, which appear throughout the book, include the following: take no more pleasure from praise than from being considered simple or worthless; do not become angry or disturbed at anyone; be as humble among your subjects as among your masters. Pasquale chooses stories that show every aspect of Francis's holiness and his devotion to poverty and obedience. Two examples from Thomas of Celano deal with brothers who are in need of food-one who is painfully hungry and the other who is ill. In both cases, Francis not only leads them to food, but eats with them "for charity's sake," to spare the hungry brother embarrassment and to encourage the sick brother to eat. Miracles are described in a number of the entries. There is the ox with a broken leg: The owner must go home to get a skinning knife and asks Francis to stay with the animal over night to protect it from wolves. When the owner returns, he finds the ox completely healed. Animals struck by the plague are cured when their owner washes them with water that had been used by Francis. And birds singing so loudly that the brothers cannot hear their own praise are silent on Francis's command and begin to sing again when Francis gives them permission at the end of the prayer. One of Bonaventure's writings tells of a follower of Francis who had died. During the vigils she suddenly came back to life, explaining that she had been condemned to a harsh prison because she hadn't confessed a particular sin. She was allowed to return to life and confess so she could gain eternal life. After confessing and being absolved, she "composed herself peacefully on her bed and happily fell asleep in the Lord." With such a wide array of material, the short entries in Day by Day with Saint Francis are sure to inspire individuals and groups to a deeper faith.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.