In light of the stigmatized Francis, Bonaventure suggests that consummation of the world can take place only when the human person is in union with Christ and, specifically, Christ Crucified, who is the perfection of divine love in the world. This means a constant spiritual program of conforming one’s life to the Crucified, imitating Christ in word and deed, entering into the events of his life and allowing this experience to open one up to the presence of God hidden in Christ.
It is well to remember as we study this new version of the rule that it is a Way of Life and not merely a series of legal prescriptions. We know that St. Francis designated the Gospel as the supreme norm of life. He meant to put the Gospel before and above all conventionalism and every human law. Consequently, St. Francis resisted binding the lives of his followers with too specific prescriptions, for fear that the gospel principles be given secondary importance or that they be restrained by the limits of the letter of the law. So the rule is to be a guide that opens to the vastness of the gospel challenge. If we observe all the regulations of the rule, we are not truly following Francis. We must merely use the rule as a stepping stone to the Gospel and its ideals. It is then that we will really attain a true union with Christ.
In a country in which the vast majority of people believe in God, it amazes me how we have been so seduced by the power of entertainment that we no longer have the will to simply turn it off. Day in and day out we are drenched by a torrent of words. Words, words, words…but little silence for the Word to reside. We must be still in order to move into a greater union with Christ. We must give Christ our time regularly, day in, day out, coming before Him just as we are, wounded and weak. Without silence there is a deep level of our being which is not contributing to our wholeness. We are incomplete without the fruit of silence and solitude. But withdrawal from the endless possibilities for stimulation modern life offers is painful. It takes faith and hope to give God time.
Gerry Straub, “Glorifying Banality”, Gerry Straub’s Blog