I have always imagined that Paradise would be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges

So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Saint John, Letter to Galatians 4:16

Freedom of Religion - Freedom from Religion - Freedom of Public Display of Religion and Traditions

We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief.
Ronald Reagan (Temple Hillel Speech, 1984)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Book Review: A Mended and Broken Heart by Wendy Murray

Saint Francis of Assisi Francis of Assisi was/is the Catholic’s favorite saint and in the book A Mended and Broken Heart written by Wendy Murray, who has written numerous books on Christian topics, as well as articles for Belief Net, portrays Francis’ love of nature and animals and his renunciation of wealth and yet a man of many facets. In his lifetime he was:
a poet, a warrior, a knight, a lover, a madman, and a saint.
Wendy Murray reveals a complex man and his extraordinary relationship with his spiritual soul mate, Clare of Assisi.
His full name was Francis di Bernardone and was born in Assisi in Umbria in 1182. His youth was spent aspiring to be like the Arthurian ideology of medieval knighthood. After one day, instead of shunning a leper, which would be the normal thing to do in that society, he embraced him instead. According to history that was the moment that changed Francis for the rest of his life, and became so dedicated to his faith he stole from his father to provide for the repair of the local church. His father took the matter up in court and while on trial he not only gave the money back to the court for the father, but stripped down to nakedness literally giving his father the clothes off his back. After that, Francis dedicated his life to as saintly a life as humanly possible and founded the Franciscan Friars. He was canonized two years after his death in 1226, and Pope Alexander commissioned Bonaventure to write Francis's official biography. After the biography was completed, all other biographies were destroyed.

Wendy Murray argues in her book that because of the other biographies being destroyed –
…we have gotten a bowdlerized view of the saint.
As a young man he was considered a
troubadour playboy … a young stallion roaming the streets at night, leading the pack of Assisi’s wild youth in parties and song.
It was during this period that he met Clare Faverone, a beautiful noble maiden sought after by many suitors.
While the Church has established their relationship like a father to a daughter, author Murray argues that
Francis of Assisi’s unique and irrepressible relationship with Clare Favorone of Assisi was initially rooted in love.
However, it seems that historians do not dispute the fact that after their religious vows the two remained pure. Murray, however, sees Francis’ love for Clare that was an instrumental force in his sainthood. The couple
Renounced physical love … defined the inner landscape of their emotional lives.
Whether Murray is correct on this, she is not doubted that Francis was truly a holy and important saint to the Roman Catholic Church. His capacity to love his fellow humans, as well as animals and nature, is portrayed by Wendy Murray.

Other works by Wendy Murray:

Wendy Murray Articles for:


Other Books:

Related Links:

St. Francis of Assisi - Franciscan Archive
Francis of Assisi - Travel Italy
Clare of Assisi - Questia Online Library
St. Clare Garden - St. Clare of Assisi - Santa Clara University
Saint Francis of Assisi - Saints Index

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