our lives set an example for others


“Just as there is no loss of basic energy in the universe, so no thought or action is without its effects, present or ultimate, seen or unseen, felt or unfelt.”
Norman Cousins


Just as the example of Jesus inspired Francis of Assisi a millennium later, Francis inspired thousands of people during his own lifetime, and continues to do so today. Francis was recognized as a powerful teacher, but it was his simple and selfless life that moved hearts. It was his life, and his experience of God, that gave power to his words.

Near the end of his life, while he was making a mountain journey, Francis’s health failed. His companions went into a farmyard to borrow a donkey for him to ride. On hearing for whom it was intended, the peasant came out and asked, “Are you the Brother Francis there is so much said about?” Receiving a nod from one of Francis’s companions, he added,“Then take care that you are as good in reality as they say, for there are many who have confidence in you.” Deeply stirred, Francis kissed the peasant in gratitude for this reminder.

We are not poor friars living in medieval Italy, but the lesson is the same: let us remember that our lives set an example for others. No one can say his life doesn’t matter, her words don’t matter.

~ Eknath Easwaran


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