The language of the Bible

His (St. Francis) vocabulary is essentially biblical. He is obliged to repeat the very words of the Bible. When greeting people, he does not say “Good morning” or “Good evening,” but “The Lord give you His peace.” When blessing Brother Leo, he does not invent a formula, but adopts the blessing that God commanded Aaron and his sons to say over the people of Israel.” When he sends a brother on mission, he does not say “Have trust,” but uses a verse from the Psalms: “Cast your care upon the Lord and He will care for you.” His use of the Bible in his writings does not take the form of explicit quotations. Yet, entire passages from Sacred Scripture enter spontaneously and directly into his writing, even though he does not use formulas such as “Thus says ‘the Lord” or “As it is Written.” He simply makes the language of the Bible his own.

 

Seeing in his example

Often people are distracted by the miraculous and unusual nature of an experience such as the stigmata, suggesting that what is really important to take away from this part of Francis’s story is the living confirmation of his sanctity, even before his official canonization. While that might be a worthwhile point to consider, I suggest that what is really at stake here is the model of Christian living this particular episode presents to us. It is not about putting Francis on a pedestal in order to laud him as so exceptional that we cannot possibly relate but instead about seeing in his example what it means to so deeply reflect on scripture and the love of God that his whole life, mentally and physically, was transformed by the experience of prayer, solitude, and reflection