Friday, November 23, 2007

A Spirit of Thanks - A Spirit of Giving

I want to give thanks and praise that our pilgrims to Rome and Assisi are back from having, what they said was, a fabulous time there. [I have to admit that I was concerned that a couple of our friends might have decided to remain in Assisi.] On the idea of thanksgiving GK Chesterton concluded in his book on St. Francis that the spirit of thanks was who Francis was.

For that is the full and final spirit in which we should turn to St. Francis; in the spirit of thanks for what he has done. He was above all things a great giver; and he cared chiefly for the best kind of giving which is called thanksgiving. If another great man wrote a grammar of assent, he may well be said to have written a grammar of acceptance; a grammar of gratitude. He understood down to its very depths the theory of thanks; and its depths are a bottomless abyss. He knew that the praise of God stands on its strongest ground when it stands on nothing... From him came a whole awakening of the world and a dawn in which all shapes and colours could be seen anew. The mighty men of genius who made the Christian civilisation that we know appear in history almost as his servants and imitators. Before Dante was, he had given poetry to Italy; before St. Louis ruled, he had risen as the tribune of the poor; and before Giotto had painted the pictures, he had enacted the scenes. That great painter who began the whole human inspiration of European painting had himself gone to St. Francis to be inspired.
A hat tip to Dawn Eden


Anonymous said...

Aramis, are you connected with the Franciscan University of Steubenville? The Austrian students just returned from Rome and Assisi. Just wondering!

David Nybakke said...

Dear Jeannine,

No, although I would love to get connected there. My parish in central Illinois put this trip together with Franiscans from Wisconson. Our priest and deacon, who both had been there before went along and made it more informative and even more devotional for everyone who went.

Since you mentioned it, how did the Austrian students from Steubenville fair? It would be interesting to compare notes.

Anonymous said...

The pilgrims from Central Illinois did see the Steubenville students at St. Peter's twice -- once during the Papal audience and once during a tour of St. Peter's. We also heard they were on a journey through Assisi while we were there, but I'm not sure we actually encountered them there! ps

Anonymous said...

My son is in Austria this semester with FSU; that's why I asked about it! I haven't heard too much about the Rome trip yet; he said that he was quite close to the Pope during the Papal Audience. He'll be home in about three weeks, and we expect a full report then!