A DREAM FOR TOMORROW: THE EREMO DELLE CARCERI IN ASSISI

eremo-buona-1by Aldo Schippa

la versione in Italiano è nella sezione SPIRITUALITA’

https://goodmorningumbria.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/un-sogno-per-domanil%E2%80%99eremo-delle-carceri-ad-assisi/

It was in the morning, some time ago, and I do not know what kind of impulse led me to the Eremo delle Carceri. Immediately I had a thrill in this place full of oozed spirituality. The silence, peace, nature, the air, the smells, the fresh but acrid smell of the undergrowth, the birds singing and the gentle spring breeze to join all in one thing: The permeate of the spirituality of the “Poverello” of Assisi. Invaded and permeated by this perception, I went through this magical journey (The Little Chapel, The Caves, The Little Cloister, Two Wells, one of which is powered by the Source of the “Miracle of the Water”, The Cave of S. Francis, etc.) and felt clearly, by my side, the presence of Brother Francis, as my most eremo-buona-2precious and most welcome companion. In those moments I realized as the soul in its spirituality survives physical death, keeping his mission of peace, constantly pointing the direction to follow, according to a rigorous geometry of intent to all those who are attentive and willing to accept their own “being” as the fruit of nature, recognizing the Supreme in it.

“Brother Francis” is not dead.

He is alive and lives among us, and he keeps on teaching us peace and humility. To visit the places where he was in his earthly life (Assisi, Greccio, La Verna, etc.) means to enter into the eremo-buona-3wonder of things, to understand them and penetrate them in their hearts, to discover the wonder of God. The Divine in us. The Divine that is in all things and all creatures: to observe a flower in its geometric perfection, the harmony of its colors and the message of its perfume. To observe all the animals in their beauty, the message of their eyes and their words. To observe the Created with the wonder and the innocence of a child, to discover the precious value of “three in one”: The one made up of body, soul and spirit.

The physical body eats and translates everything in excrement. Aging dies and rots. The “Mind” (Soul) cannot be allowed to rot along with the body. It must discover the soul to reach a “minimum” of spirituality. Spirituality that melts and recognizes itself in the ‘Supreme Being’. eremo buona 4Living spirituality in its concreteness and greatness leads to spread peace and brotherhood among peoples.

I find it useful to quote some important steps taken by the Fioretti of St. Francis by Mariano Alatri, Edizioni Paoline.

(The Fioretti is “a morality and holiness code”, where purity, humility, brotherly love and, above all, sincerity and truth are preached: that means submission to the truth, the removal of the obstacles that prevents the soul to turn to Total Well, to embrace and find joy).

“How St. Francis brought peace between the people of Gubbio and a very bad wolf”

At the time that St. Francis lived in Gubbio, there was, in the country of the same city, a huge wolf, terrible et fierce, that not only devoured the animals, but even the people, so that all citizens lived in great fear, because it often approached the city. That’s why, when they went out, everybody used to go armed as they were going to fight: and, in spite of this, they couldn’t defend themselves when they clashed with the beast. And for fear of it no one dare to go outside alone. St. Francis, having great compassion, decided to come out to meet this wolf, though the citizens discouraged him.

He, after making the sign of the holy cross, went out with his companions, only laying his trust in God. Doubting the others go further, only St. Francis dare to reach the place where the wolf was. And, at the presence of many citizens, which came to see this miracle, the wolf met St. Francis with his mouth open. St. Francis went closer to him, and after making the sign of the holy cross to it, called it closer to him, saying, “I command you by Jesus Christ, Brother Wolf, do not hurt me nor anyone else.” What a marvelous thing! As St. Francis made the sign of the holy cross to the terrible and scary wolf, immediately it stopped running, closing its mouth, becoming as meek as a lamb, tumbling to St. Francis’ feet. So St. Francis said: “Brother wolf, you committed many great evils here around, killing and eating the creatures of God without respect: and you killed and devoured not only animals, you dare to kill men too, men made in the image of God. So you deserve the gallows, as a bad thief and murder. And all the people, shouting, murmurs of you: and all this land is hostile to you. But I want to bring peace between you and them, so that you do not offend them anymore and they will no more persecute you neither men nor dogs.

Having heard these words, the wolf, by an act of the head, the body and the ears bowing his head, seemed to accept what St. Francis said, and wanted to obey. St. Francis said: “Brother wolf, you want to keep this peace, and I promise to feed you forever, as long as you’ll live, through the men of this land, so you will not suffer more hunger: because I know very well that for hunger you committed any kind of harm. But then I shall have this grace, Brother Wolf, I want you to promise that you will do no harm to any man nor animal. Do you promise this? And the wolf, with a bow of the head, made clear sign that it promised. Omission … St. Francis talking to the citizens, said: My brethren, Brother wolf, which is here in front of you, has promised and made faith to make peace with you and not offend you anymore, if you promise to give it everything’s necessary to live. And I guarantee to it and to you that peace will be kept. ” Then the people as one voice, promised to feed it…. Omission … Then the wolf, raising up the right leg, laid it in St. Francis’ hand. Omission … … There was so much admiration and joy in all the people, for the saint devotion, for the novelty of the miracle and the peace obtained, that all the people began to shout to the sky, praising and thanking God that had sent them St. Francis, which set them free from the mouth of such a cruel beast. Brother Wolf lived in Gubbio two years, familiarly entering homes, door to door, without hurting anyone, gently fed by the people: walking through the country and home by home and dogs didn’t bark toward him. After two years, Brother Wolf became old and died, and the citizens were very sad for its death, because seeing the wolf walking around the city remembered them the gentleness and the holiness of St. Francis.

To live the spirituality in its concreteness and greatness invites me to visit again some places, to breathe that particular air that belongs to a dream world that is beyond the smallness of the actuality, paying attention to every detail in order to perceive the useful messages of the inner life and, finally, enjoy the charge of mystical truth learn how to know and know how to learn. I’m not a tourist.

English version by Benedetta Tintillini

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