LITTLE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI, CHAPTER 2
OF BROTHER BERNARD OF QUINTAVALLE, THE FIRST COMPANION OF ST FRANCIS
I've come already under the spell of the charming style of these stories and read several chapters
ahead. Like the gospel stories, they are full of details that we have to read slowly and carefully or
we'll miss. What a delightful surprise, I didn't even know there were such stories outside the Bible.
Now that I've read a few, I can recognize their influence in other things I've read.
One of the things that interests me in this chapter is, Bernard - not yet saint - is the only one in
the village who recognizes that Francis isn't acting as he does because he's feeble minded. Also,
Francis tries to hide his sanctity, waiting until he thinks Bernard is asleep before he begins he
devotions, but Bernard still learns about him.
We also see the conversion of Silvester, with nothing in the story to indicate that Francis was particularly concerned about his conversion specifically. I think what both these conversions show is, our actions, our real lives, are an important influence on those around us. At least sometimes, more important than anything we could say or do in our own efforts done with the intention to save or convert someone.