Donald Spoto. Very interesting to read a current biography of St. Francis. The book is a little odd–Spoto capitalizes all the references to God (Who created us, Who sustains us, etc.) and he also has these little interludes where he theologizes under the guise of suggesting things like “What kind of a God did Francis believe in?” There are several great nuggets in these sections.
Similarly, the less we consider the particulars of our social, cultural and (at least in the broadest sense of the word) spiritual roots, the more easily do we fall into the trap of considering ourselves and everyone else as some kind of mythic “human standard issue.” The particulars of time and place always matter; more to the point, faith in God means that God continues to disclose Himself in the particulars of our time, our life, our circumstances. In this regard, one of the glories of medieval Christian spirituality was its conviction that God was God for them–that is, the confidence that God had not fallen silent, had not ceased to play a role in history. A God Who is distant and univolved, or Who once spoke and acted but has ceased to do so, is not God but a fragment and figment of an impoverished imagination.