In a little town in Italy, nearly eight hundred years ago, Francis of Assisi renounced everything he owned to follow Christ with passionate and single-minded abandon. Even today, centuries later, this simple saint draws people around the world to Francis' story of living in humility, love, and joy. Here in Following Francis, Susan Pitchford tells her own story of the Franciscan life, as a member of the Third Order, founded by Francis himself so that people from all walks of life can follow the saint's ideal, without leaving their homes or their occupations. Pitchford learned that the Franciscan tradition isn't the exclusive possession of monks cloistered in a monastery, but a spiritual path for ordinary people living in the twenty-first century. Organized around the Rule of St. Francis, this book - a wonderful resource for private devotion or group study - shows readers what it means to live out the Christian life with a Franciscan accent.
|Publisher:||Church Publishing, Incorporated|
|Edition description:||1ST Large Print|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.47(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Susan Pitchford invites us along on her journey to become a professed member of The Third Order of the Society of Saint Francis (TSSF)and her efforts to follow a centuries-old Rule of Life. There are some fascinating side trips, too, past a mystery bird and into the slave forts of Ghana. While Susan's book is especially instructive for someone who wants to join a lay religious order, she speaks to anyone seeking a deeper relationship with God. Exploring each of the nine components of the TSSF Rule of Life, she is both serious and funny and deeply passionate. Using Francis as her personal guide, she serves as a contemporary guide to the rest of us, encouraging us to explore the ideas of true humility, love, penitence, self-denial, simplicity and joy. She has successfully put into human words the wonder, the mystery, the passion of the Eucharist and of prayer and the challenges. Along with the story of her personal encounter with the Rule, Susan shares with the reader her favorite stories about Francis and his life and ministry. Some of the stories may be familiar to the reader but many are both new and delightful. Some tell of the pain and sacrifices Francis made in order to serve The One he loved more than life. According to Susan, what most drew her to Francis was his passion. '...he'd [Francis] had that one good look at Jesus that leaves you weak in the knees, and ready to leave anything and everything behind to follow him.' (p. 5). What makes this book worth reading is Susan's deep passion her passion for Francis, her passion for creation, but mostly her passion for God. Every word of this work will draw you in deeper, make you want more.