Finding Perfect Joy – A Lessons from St. Francis

Hare KrishnaBy Radhanath Swami

In Italy, near the city of Perugia, is the place called Assisi, the birth place of a very popular saint named Francis. He was the son of a wealthy merchant, but he took up the life of renunciation. Committed to a life of self-imposed poverty, humility, and devotion, he attracted many to follow. “One day he was walking with one brother Leo from Perugia to a very famous temple, St. Maria of the Angel. He was walking for miles and miles, and it was freezing cold. It was raining and snowing. He asked his brother Leo, “I want you to write down whatever I say.” They were walking and it was already night time. He said, “What is perfect joy? If our brothers give excellent sermons glorifying our God, I do not consider that perfect joy. If our brothers give sight to the blind, they give ability to the lame to walk and to run, they give ability to the dumb to speak and deaf to hear, and even if they raise a dead man back to life, I do not consider that is perfect joy. Even if our brothers are so deeply learned that they know all philosophy and they know all the science and they have memorized expertly all the holy scriptures, I do not consider that perfect joy. Even if our brothers can prophesize what’s going to happen and tell the future and understand astrology and understand the intelligence and the mentality of all species of life and reciprocate with all species in that way, I do not consider that perfect joy.”

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