St Francis of Assisi is often famed as the Saint of Animals and Ecology and often, in light of the image portrayed in the movie ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon’ but there is much, much more to him than all that. Francis left us a number of letters, written to various groups, his Admonitions to the Friars as well as some other shorter writings.
Francis, through these writings, has left open for us a window into his Theology of the Eucharist. We must, however, read these in context of the time and place they in which they were composed, namely, rural Italy in the early 1200’s. Nevertheless, they contain a richness and beauty which can enkindle in us a renewed appreciation for and love of the Eucharist as communion with Christ and with one another.
Francis’ Theology of the Eucharist can be categorised under the following five areas:
1. Eucharist as a continual self-emptying
2. Eucharist as Christ truly present
3. Eucharist as Humility
4. Eucharist as call and response
5. Eucharist as the Incarnate Word
In this series of reflections, I will explore each of these elements both in light of what Francis said and also in terms of what that can mean for us today, in light of our times.