Reading the Book of Life gave Francis new meaning to the world around him. He began to read the Book of Life in the book of the world because the Book of Life gave him “insight”—new vision. He read the Book of Life in lepers and poor people because he saw in them the goodness of God.... He read the Book of Life in birds, flowers and all other living creatures. He realized that he was related to each of them as “brother” because each had their source in the goodness of God and reflected that goodness in their own particular and unique way. In the Book of Life Francis also realized his own limitations, his fragility and sinfulness, and it was in knowing how fragile he really was that he became a great lover of God. The Book of Life gave Francis a new self-knowledge and this knowledge liberated him from a false self. Reading the Book of Life gave Francis great insight to the poverty of being human, that is, being radically dependent on God. “What a person is before God,” he said, “that he is and no more.” When we read the Book of Life we recognize our human poverty, which makes us free to be with God and for God. The Book of Life liberated Francis to throw himself into the infinite embrace of God’s love. When we live in God and God lives in us then we see the world for what it truly is—pregnant with God.
—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective by Ilia Delio, OSF