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I, Francis [Paperback]

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Item Number 129008  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   125
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.26" Width: 5.34" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.37 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 1982
Publisher   Orbis Books
ISBN  0883442000  
EAN  9780883442005  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Carlo Carretto's book on Saint Francis is poetic, spiritual, and instructive. He tells the story with touching simplicity. It is about Francis and his time, but the author keeps one eye ever on our own time--and in spite of the lapse of more than seven centuries, succeeds in drawing for us a lesson both sweet and severe.

Publishers Description
Portrays the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, his teachings, and the development of his religious order.

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More About Carlo Carretto

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Carlo Carretto died in 1988.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Inspiring Dialogue with St Francis   Mar 24, 2008
I was born in Assisi, in Italy 800 years ago. And eight centuries later I still remember a thing or two.

You can tell from that opening sentence of Carretto's book on St.Francis that you are going to enjoy it and find it easy reading. it. Francis is an imaginary dialogue between the reader and the saint of Assisi.

The book outlines Francis' life in a chatty and breezy style, and as he tells the bare details of his story, he makes provocative comments on modern issues with a singular simplicity and clarity. Who else but one speaking in the voice of Francis could describe the parodox of the Church with such direct insight?

"Until now I had not properly understood what the ministry of the Church consisted of: sinfulness and infallibility; bad example and safety on the march along the road; fearful blindness in the shepherds, and .the certainty "of reaching the Promised Land with them.
Now I saw, and was glad to . . . have had Rome's approval.
I felt a peace.
I felt myself to be on solid rock.
I felt myself to be in God's design."

There's real comfort to be gleaned from that brutal honesty.

I found the book gave great enjoyment by combining the narrative of Francis' life with the comment. The account of Francis' wealthy upbringing and bourgeois aspirations to knighthood, his conversion, the beginnings of his little band is accurate. How the 800-year-old Francis now feels about his young manhood is told with the perspective and amusement of old age.

As is usual in Lives of St. Francis, the rest of his life takes less space in the book, but at least Carretto takes the middle years seriously and sees in them more depth and struggle than some other writters have done.

The author makes much use of the charming legends in the "Little Flowers of Saint Francis". He takes them with an uncompromising literalness which helped me see greater strength in Francis' spirituality.

"Are you astonished if the wood of St Mary of the Angels seems to catch fire at night while we are praying.

Does it seem strange to you that roses should bloom in winter?

And that wolves grew tame?

And that fish would listen to us?

No, brothers and sisters, rather be surprised if the opposite occurs,' be astonished if you see the sky unmoved and indifferent to your joy."

In an original and entertaining way, Carlo Carretto has given a lot of food for thought on issues as diverse as Christian feminism, non-violence (which he calls the twentieth century expression of true poverty), death and . suffering, and the signs that really speak of the Church's love.

"Every Christian house . . . should keep a door open to welcome those in trouble. And if possible, the door should be easy to find and not too frightening for the poorest, with halls not too brilliant, staircases not too mammoth - signs rather of might and grandeur than of humility and truth."

An underlying theme in this book deserves mention. Carretto sees in Francis part of the madness of being a saint - a follower of Jesus.

"Look at what Peter of Bernadone's boy has got into his head!
He has certainly gone mad.
Yes, my friends of Assisi, I have gone mad.
But if you only knew my madness!
I am mad with love.
I can no longer help it.
I can no longer resist.
If I but look Jesus in the eye, I am on fire right down to my insides.
Don't you know that my Most High Lord is God's Son?"

My criticism of "I, Francis" is that Carretto doesn't explore the dark side of this madness, certainly present in Francis of Assisi - the ruthlessness and the irresistible urge sometimes to bully the brothers under his authority, and the irritating inconsistencies within the company of brothers caused by Francis' violently wavering temperament.

Using the device of speaking as Francis, Carrretto has given us an entertaining, provocative and inspiring book, but one which is strangely unsatisfying. Perhaps, as Francis himself would, Carretto is forcing on us the conclusion that the obsessive study of Jesus, not of Francis of any other saint, brings true satisfaction.

© Ted Witham, 1983. First published in the Anglican Messenger, July 1983.
.Published in "Span", the journal of the Society of St Francis, Australian Province, August 1983..
Francis Alive in Today's World  Jul 15, 2000
This book describes the life of Francis of Assisi, his humanness and his deep spirituality, told through the eyes of Francis in modern times. You truly come to know Francis, and are inspired by his actions to lead a more simple and spiritual existance and to draw yourself completely into the arms of a loving God. This is one of the best short books that I've read in a long time. I'd read it again in a heartbeat and refer to it whenever I need to be rejeuvenated in my faith.
a modern view of the saint life  Apr 2, 2000
This book is simply wonderful, written by a man who knew very well and loved the places where Francis lived his life, and knew so much of His spiritualty. This book is a way to discover the life and beliefs of the man of Assisi, to make it nearer to us, to refer his culture to the culture of our days. After having read this Carretto's book you couldn't love Francesco D'Assisi, no matter what your faith or belief is.

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