on 29 August 2009
The devotion to God St Francis had is infectious. It has challenged me and the spirit in which this book was written is of showing the reader how dependent he was on God. The struggle of sin, temptation and overcoming evil are all mentioned, as well as fruits of the spirit. Francis did what the Word says and the eccentric encounters he has in this book show how involved God is in His creation. It's not a chronological biography and to me it is best read with an open mind not dwelling too much on factual accuracy. Although it must be said that I don't doubt the authenticity of how God answered prayer and intervened in peoples lives. This was one Spirit filled Christian. Be inspired and challenged to live a life of simplicity and dependency on God.
on 5 February 2005
Did everything in this book happen? The stories range from the mundane to the extraordinary. Are they all true? It is better to think of them in terms of mythology and what they can teach us. GK Chesterton, who wrote the best biography on St. Francis, says of how it is the attitude of Francis towards the events recounted as the 'little flowers' rather than the events themselves, which matters. And it is just this attitude, of immeasurable joy and an utter lack of greed, that marks him out as one of the few great people ever to walk the earth. We can still learn from him today.
Quite a charming little book, even if it is an economy print with a fading typeface. St Francis and various friars compete in asceticism, preach to the faithful and the faithless alike, perform miracles and receive visitations. A book to dip into from time to time and it might even inspire you to some spontaneous act of charity or feeling of contentment (rather than the usual griping).
Perhaps you could read it in tandem with Lewis' The Monk, to get a feel for what happens when great virtue is corrupted.
Go in peace...