St Francis Stands Naked Before God – Giotto

Here is my piece for Aleteia today in which I comment on Franciscan poverty and the call for all of us to strip naked before God and get rid of all vanity and materialism that blinds us and puts idols in place of the everlasting love of God.

In preparing my talk for the conference in Kalamazoo it occurred to me that our dependence on material goodies and worldly wealth we’re like babies and the goodies we suck up are like one of those rubber pacifiers. It’s a fake substitute for real nourishment and real love.

Nicole Winfield promotes the secular view of Pope Francis faithfully here over at HuffPo.

She writes that a mark of Francis’ papacy is his welcome for all.


At his first public audience after his election, Francis made an unusual exception: In recognition that not all in the room were Christians or even believers, Francis offered a blessing without the traditional Catholic formula or gesture, saying he would bless each one in silence “respecting your conscience, but knowing that each one of you is a child of God.” That respect for people of different faiths or no faith at all has become a hallmark of Francis’ papacy as he actively seeks out atheists for dialogue. Assisi is known as a place of interfaith dialogue, drawing people of all faiths — and no faith — to visit the basilica dominating the hill and its magnificent frescos by Giotto.

Pope Francis does welcome all. He welcomes them to follow Jesus Christ and to follow the example of St Francis to strip away all attachments to worldly pleasures and vanity to stand naked before Christ.

I wonder how many will accept the invitation…