October 2, 2021


A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.

In a few days, we will be celebrating and observing the great Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4th).  In a wonderful and unique way, St. Francis is the World’s saint inspiring people everywhere for centuries. This remarkable man, born in the 13th Century, speaks boldly to us today. Let us follow in his footsteps for a few moments. 
First, Francis exemplifies an extraordinary love and companionship for all the created World. The powerful stories of his companionship with the animals invites us to pause and think about our relationship to the Natural World. St. Francis experienced the Word of God born anew in every flower, every blade of grass, and all that roams in the forest. He walked through the Natural World as if turning the pages of the Holy Scripture. The prayer of many people on his Feast Day is inspired by the openness of Francis to see God’s Word living in every aspect of the Created Order: “Teach us to see Your design, O God, in all of creation.” Imagine the reverence and respect we would have if we lived in our World with the heart of Francis.
In the midst of war, crusade, and religious hostility, St. Francis crossed over the borders of hatred, prejudice, and misunderstanding to visit the Sultan of Egypt. The simplicity of Francis set him free to follow in the footsteps of his Master. Our Beloved Saint experienced the Divine Image in the face and heart of every person. The bold action of St. Francis sets the standard for our World today. We must have the simplicity and courage of heart to tear down the walls built by prejudice and fear. The example of Francis is an example we must follow before we hurt, reject or destroy anyone else. 
Finally, Francis encountered the poor, sick, and rejected of this World as if he entered into the Divine Presence. He experienced the broken heart of God in the broken flesh of those marginalized and discarded by the World. It was his privilege to touch their wounds and bring them comfort. Here is the man who could dance in the rain, turn the World into a village, and enter the sanctuary of a wounded person’s heart. 
No wonder this Saint is the World’s Saint. Even God rejoices on the Feast of Francis who teaches us by word, song, and example what it means to be human and humane.
A Blessed Feast Day, Holy Community. Thank you for your care of the Earth, your willingness to understand those who might be enemy, and cherishing the poor and broken of this World. May the Francis within you bless you forever.    

As things begin to return to a new normal, we at The Interfaith Peace Project are here for you in any way that you need us. The Antioch Center is now open to fully vaccinated people on Wednesdays, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. We are vigilant and will adjust to any and all recommendations from the state and county. We will continue our work through Zoom as we add in person programs. If you would like to schedule an in person or Zoom program or would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call. You may call or email Tom at:
Tom Bonacci
[email protected]
925-787- 9279