Ben Ngkaion per: a 2/26/97 Francis of Assisi - " Brother Son Sister Moon" Crisis and conversion: While Francis is sick and dreaming, he has images of nature which represent the happiness and peacefulness. He also has images of war which help him understand that it isn't the greatest thing... neither is it the most honorable. Francis has many great conflicts with his father. Francis' father is very materialistic and possessive. Francis' father did not honorably earn the money, he bought the "loot" from the crusades for a small price and sold them to their rightful owners for a much higher price. Father expects a lot of Francis. He expects Francis to be just like him... a so called businessman, who is profitable, but not in an honorable way. Francis' father sends him to war so Francis can get bring his father back a triptych. Francis and his father have different views of life. Francis believes in freedom, believes that a person does not have to be rich to be prosperous, and he would rather be poor like Jesus then be rich, which Jesus was not. He thinks that the rich are misrepresenting Jesus because the rich are placing the poor behind themselves. Francis thinks that Jesus represents the poor as well as the rich... "all men are created equal". Francis can't help but to feel scared of lepers in the beginning. After all, being scared is a normal human trait. Being in a big, bulky, helmet must feel awkward. It feels like your being closed in. Francis also feels comfort. He sees birds as a sign of freedom. This idea helps him become independent. Francis going on the roof represents the feeling of freedom compared to his bed where he was miserably enclosed. The way mass was held was inappropriate because equality was not assessed. The poor were dressed in rags and they were seated as far back as possible. On the other hand, the rich were elegantly dressed and were seated right up front. Christ's face was constructed in a rich expensive way. Christ's eyes "opened" and Francis understood that the mass should be celebrated equally, not held discretely. Francis screamed "no" to the idea itself that the mass should be held like the way it was held. He also is saying no to the misunderstood fact that Jesus favors the rich over the poor. Francis' father cares very much for his possessions. When Francis goes down in the "dungeon" where slaves are making money, he feels sorry for them and realizes that his father is not a honorable man... he has slaves work in grave conditions and probably doesn't pay them enough or doesn't pay them at all. He realizes the importance of human life... over money. Francis' father becomes violent because he didn't raise his son in a way of not caring for money. He wanted Francis to take over the family business. The bishop is a corrupt man. His duties include a judge and the interpreter of the mass. Francis believes that possessions are only material; but, a soul is something that cannot be taken away. The bishop lies in order to continue eating... he says that he was praying; but, in fact he was eating. Francis' father lies by saying that he worked hard to get all the money for his son. This is obviously not true because his father wants the money for himself, and it's not like the father worked hard to get the money. Francis, in no way, wants his father's money or his birthright. Spiritual and Ecclesial Development: Francis goes to San Damiano. He becomes the "community builder", he helps out to build the place. Francis' work song implies that it is not a job or task that he has to do... it's a pleasure for him. Francis has many thoughts which come back to one main one... the idea that a man should be free and that they should all be treated equally. Francis' dreams become a reality. His friends don't understand in the beginning why Francis would want to become poor; but, they understand after awhile that wealth isn't everything and they also help him out. Bernardo feels guilty for killing so many people in war that it doesn't take him long to realize Francis' idea. Francis' wants to get the message that the Emperor should "throw his scepter in the mud" to show that u don't need all those riches to be "rich" in life. Everybody hates what Francis is doing, especially the nobility, because he in actuality is right. The mass at San Damiano is the way the mass should be celebrated. There is no assigned seating place, the music is sung by anyone or anything( as the ducks are shown to be singing). Bread and animals are given at the alter to show the quality of sharing. The cross at Assisi is made with expensive items and is fully and overly expensively dressed. The cross at San Damiano; however, is simple and is not made with expensive materials. It truthfully represents the image of Jesus... a beggar. The mass back in Assisi became less crowded. The poor went to the mass at San Damiano and left the mass at Assisi high and dry. Paulos says that Francis is too simple because he could have so much more but yet picks too live like a beggar. He also believes that Francis will fall because the pope back in Assisi can do whatever he wants to Francis and San Damiano. He helps Francis out by getting the pope to talk to him. He places the view of the church members in order from least to greatest. The clerics of the church become enraged at Francis because he criticizes the pope. The pope claims that power and riches go along with the job. I don't agree with this statement. When the pope understands what Francis is talking about, then he calls Francis back in and kneels to his feet and kisses them to show that he is not higher in rank than Francis. The cardinals are just stunned and don't understand why the pope is kneeling and kissing the feet of a beggar.
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