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  Familiarity & Francis
Copyright 1993

FRANCIS WAS NOT a gentle man; being cumbersome in build, seasoned by several small wars, content to be a soldier and travel abroad, content also as a labourer whose coarse hands could hold a bird. This is to be mentioned because the familiar and the true may speak with a sense to all: a common sense which does teach us of the manner to which we may begin at the outset to ponder the reality of any truth.

Quite often it is that an advancing man becomes so capable of abstractions and specifications that he mistakes the familiar as to be a commonalty which is so well comprehended afore time, that as a fruit sucked dry, shall offer nothing more.

Great art speaks to us from the two points intersecting:

Inspirational s

Familiar r

For we are marveled not by Heaven alone, but that she should enter into our World and all we know there!

If one pictured St. Francis to be a bony man, lithe and feeble, they should mistake the great relevance he personally saw out by his commanding relationship to all - bird, beast and man - who did know him. Great organisers are rarely, if ever, feeble about their task. The men and women who were inspired by his constancy were awed by his purposefulness, forthright and decisive. That portion of his day he spent given to his Lord and Master was no less determined in its demands. How bold to ask! And though nine-parts humble, how presumptuous (and rightly so) that a man goes to God with the complete expectation of winning audience! But bold as it is, this is the way it's to be.

It happens that so many fall to severe and uneasy fortunes, and in those periods of desperate frustration a man may more readily pray with intensity. Cutting to the quick he may begin to really ask determinedly, for so often the boat drifts and steers hither and thither - as the saying goes - where the wind blows the sails, and all the time the man concerned is inwardly disorientated, regretting the journey. However, come the time when circumstance persuades his fiery will to ignite self-action, he may once again regain his necessary ego-qualification.

It is of tremendous sadness to approach a soul who is devastated beyond 'spark and spirit'. Some are but temporarily ruined and shall return to their rightful place in true manhood; and then there are those within a lifetime that have 'forgotten' themselves - the stray lambs - who have begun to revert back into the other kingdoms in subjugation. . .

To be blatantly wilful is not, on its own, commendable. We are empowered to instigate great and marvellous happenings. All men are equipped to apply their virtue actively, and yet the ideas expire before their execution. Progressively however, our expectations heighten and as long as we are unabashed by short-term failure we do successfully implore the powers with exacting definition and artistry.

No man truly deserves sorrow and hardship. No man truly deserves to take his place closer to God than another. And yet it is that in both there is truth that it is, deservedly or not.

  Although abrupt and demanding, Francis did not come to the spiritual realities of the essential characters he bore relation to, by demanding or commanding or designing this be so- that his way be their way. He came to each and every one in love through the overgrown path and the little gate of their familiar habitats. To the birds he became as bird, to the doe he became as fawn; and masterfully so.

We may not insist upon another, but rather insist upon ourselves. By consciously endeavouring to seek out another's station and accepting every aspect that it brings, we may actively participate in full experience. Further on, those prayers which are expressed on behalf of others become efficient too. From this one can agree that holy men are not without their sensitivity and love of the familiar, that they can enter into and know so intimately, and for a time become.

We have discussed this many times of course - that the ego of a man may incorporate accordingly as the being of a man ventures out to that 'common' ground, common space, before returning with the experience gained.

We are well to be reminded constantly of this process, as the complexities of actual thinking and the narrowing down therewith are impartial to the success or failure of a man and his ability to protract out from himself sufficiently, to enable greater knowledge. For the thinking that a man entertains may have little or nothing to do with true knowledge.

Thinking of itself requires containment, thought by thought, and each clings to a man once drawn. The thoughts, like molluscs, attach and congregate in the respective communities and are stubborn to actually make way for the adoption of new and varied thoughts to be brought in.

And so a man may labour under the very pressure of those which have amassed and grown as prevalent as weeds. Very simply one may alleviate this compression by the conscious recognition of this being so and desire for otherwise, knowing that wanton thoughts shall and will be ejected - with time. They are empowered by our vitality we do give to them by our concentration and use thereof. They are given importance by our employment and are loathe to dissipate without correction.

These thoughts - or more correctly thought-forms - are the eager servants to men and never intentionally injurious. How a man prefers to think directs the nature of those provoked to him; and it is by the essential quality and nature of the man himself that shall direct his thoughts accordingly.

However, there becomes a great blessing should a man come to inquire, to call for such thoughts which are distinctly enlivened by soul-qualities, pertaining to the divine aspects. For then it happens that the benefits are twofold: one being that the former thoughts are loosened, having been disassociated from self as the vitality is directed elsewhere; and the other beneficial aspect is that the more refined and higher a thought the greater its gifts are to Man.

In other words, there will be an accentuation from the practice of this thinking, as opposed to the mundane contemplations only bringing more of the same to a man.

And the very best mix of all is that of the higher character along with the ordinary. For it is by the appreciation of the familiar we may begin to perceive the spiritual realities as they weave their way through; and it is by the entertaining of spiritualized thought that we may interpret the ordinariness as the true wonder it really is!