Posted by: Mark Nielsen | August 14, 2009

Pilgrimming Again with St. Francis and His Pals

Off to Pilgrim Park in Princeton, IL for a one-year-later re-gathering of some guys that did the Men’s Rites of Passage last August. Been a wild year for me, very much following on the heels of the interior changes that happened for me in Princeton last year.

This morning, I was reading about St. Francis of Assisi, and John Duns Scotus (a Franciscan theologian, about fifty years after Francis, who had problems with the authorities and wasn’t beatified till 1992 — John Paul II had some guts, lemme tell you…)

Also reading some Gerard Manley Hopkins: Jesuit priest, convert from Anglicanism, Oxford expulsion, and woefully uncelebrated inventive poet, not widely read till well after he was dead. Gerard wasted away under the Jesuits — really he had a Benedictine or Franciscan heart, but just chose a slightly clumsy path as a young man.

So that’s my struggle these days: how bad do I NEED to be read, to have an audience… as long as I’m being true to my vision and listening to God. How humble and faithful can I be, and what if fame and fortune in a worldly sense doesn’t happen? Can I still know down deep I’ve had a blessed life, and live that way, blessing a handful of others as I am able?


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