Category: The Flowering of the Poverello

Inspiring Paintings: Like a Child 

Inspiring Paintings: Like a Child 

This amazing painting by Giotto captures the dramatic moment when St. Francis of Assisi (on the right, naked) throws off all his clothes in protest to his father (being restrained on the left), who was a rich merchant.

Francis says that he will from now on only follow his “heavenly father” (you can see the hand of God at the top of the painting).

I love the expression on the bishop’s face (who covers up Francis), the children front left who are caught up in the drama without really understanding what is going on, the onlookers, who probably also weren’t exactly sure what was going on apart from a domestic row, and the way Giotto uses the building to highlight the conflict between the two parties.

I wrote this poem about this moment in Francis’ life, captured so beautifully by the painting:

The bishop holds him

like a child

.

And in his nakedness

we see our own condition

.

Without impressiveness

without pretence

.

Open

to grace.

The Flowering

The tree spread its branches

            over all the world

                        and its fruit glowed like all souls

.

And the chalice of the spirit of life

            was taken by angels

for those to drink

            transforming them

                        so they shine like the sun

.

And when the whirlwind came

            those who had refused

were shown to be spirits

            resembling devils

                        scuttling away into the darkness

.

Whilst others became golden            

the flowering of the glory of grace.

.

Image by Ilona Ilyés from Pixabay

Mirror of Kindliness

His soul was a mirror

            of kindliness

.

Sensed the arrival

            of God’s visitation

.

He wrapped his arms around one

            tugged by temptation

.

And prayed the prayer

            of his soul’s salvation.

.

Image by Joshua Woroniecki from Pixabay