Today’s reflection is an invitation to consider the wisdom of St. Francis of Assisi as it appears in Admonition V: “Let no one be proud, but Boast in the Cross of the Lord,” in which Francis—like the book of Proverbs 6:6-9—chastises human beings for their lack of faith and commitment to the Creator when compared to God’s other creatures. He encourages us to embrace true humility, recognizing that the only thing in which we can rightly boast is our own weakness and sinfulness. All good things belong by right to God.
Consider, O human being, in what great excellence the Lord God has placed you, for He created and formed you, for He created and formed you to the image of His beloved Son according to the body and to His likeness according to the Spirit.
And all creatures under heaven serve, know, and obey their Creator, each according to its own nature, better than you. And even the demons did not crucify Him, but you, together with them, have crucified Him and are still crucifying Him by delighting in vices and sins.
In what, then, can you boast? Even if you were so skillful and wise that you possessed all knowledge, knew how to interpret every kind of language, and to scrutinize heavenly matters with skill: you could not boast in these things. For, even though someone may have received from the Lord special knowledge of the highest wisdom, one demon knew about heavenly and now knows more about those of earth tan all human beings.
In the same way, even if you were more handsome and richer than everyone else, and even if you worked miracles so that you put demons to flight: all these things are country to you; nothing belongs to you; you can boast in none of these things.
But we can boast in our weaknesses and in carrying each day the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.