"Once in a while I read something that "says" what I believe and at the same time clarifies that belief and makes it better than it was. Here is one such article. I share it here as my Lenten meditation. "
I also went into the comment section and one reader made a book suggestion. The reader was suggesting the novel "Chasing Francis" by Ian M. Cron. It's the story of a megachurch pastor who has a crisis of faith which leads to a visit to his uncle who is a Franciscan priest in Italy and a pilgrimage to know St. Francis and thereby his own faith. Money quote, as you would say:
"When I left here, I wasn't sure what a Christian looked like anymore. My idea of what it meant to follow Jesus had run out of gas. I started feeling less like a pastor and more like a salesman of a consumerized Jesus I didn't believe in. Learning about Francis helped me fall in love with Jesus again - and with the church again, too."
That's an uncanny passage, but its resonance reminds me that we are often less alone than we thnk in the world. I have to say that writing that piece and having it out there has made me feel very depleted, even empty, and depressed. It's been such a glorious week of early Spring here in Washington and I have been struggling to put a face on.
The worldliness of Washington which I imbibe daily, hourly can weigh on the soul after a while. And I have rarely felt it so acutely as I have these past few weeks. Maybe it's the news: our deadlocked, nasty polity; the total intractability of the Middle East; the backlashes that sting and the campaigns that drain. But all I want is Francis and through him Jesus.