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The World Is Pregnant with God

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

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Christ Is the Book of Life

Christ is the Book of Life. Somehow we still do not read this book properly. We buy lots of books hoping to find the answers to our many questions of life; yet, we do not know how to read this “Book of Life,” the “Book of Christ.” What does it require to read a book? It requires time, quiet, patience, attentiveness to the written words, imagination and emotions. Reading a book, if it is a good book, should move us from one level of life to another because once the mind is moved to insight and the heart is changed, life is never the same. Reading a good book is experiential. It is living in the drama of someone else’s life or it may be allowing the drama of the story to touch one’s own life. The two stories—the story of the book and the history of the reader—merge. The horizon of the book and the horizon of the reader become one and a new horizon emerges, the horizon of insight or a new understanding of life. This is how we should read the Book of Life, in a way that we come to a new horizon of life, new insight.


—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF

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The Greatness of God's Love

God bends low so that God can meet us exactly where we, finite, fragile, created human beings, creatures and all living things, are. God bends low because we are small, limited, frail, confused, bewildered, chaotic and sometimes just plain infantile. God bends low because God’s arms are much longer than ours, and God reaches out for our tiny human hands. Imagine a God who is humbly bent low to embrace us in love compared to a God who sits high above on a throne and keeps score of human sins. Imagine a God who is so great in love that God desires to share love with fragile and incomplete human beings compared to a God who loves only himself and wants to glorify himself by creating finite creatures to glorify him even though they have a hard time because they are full of defects due to sin. What Bonaventure (like Francis) realized in the mystery of the Incarnation is that God bends over in love to meet us where we are. God is Most High and most intimately related to us.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF

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All Creation Is Incarnational

In the Book of Life we discover that all of creation tells us something about God—his power, wisdom and goodness. Stars, leaves, ladybugs, trees, flowers and humans, all in some way, bespeak God. Humans, of course, reflect God in the most explicit way because we are made in the image of God and thus have a capacity of likeness to God. But if we consider that every living element of creation, from quarks and leptons to atoms and humans, express the Word of God, then we might say that Incarnation has been happening for a very long time, indeed, ever since God uttered the eternal “yes” to a finite lover. All of creation is incarnational. That is why when Jesus, the Word made flesh, came among us, there was a “perfect fit” because all along creation was prepared to receive the fullness of the Word into it.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF

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The Greatest Love We Have Known

Think of someone you truly love or have loved. What is the power of that love that draws you to that person? Do you love that person because you have to or because you want to? Does the attraction of love with that person draw you beyond yourself in such a way that if you stopped loving that person, something real and tangible would die, perhaps the spiritual bond of love between you? If you have had an experience of love, then you have had some insight into the Trinity of love. In fact, by loving another person you have been—yes, believe it or not—caught up in the Trinity of love. The Trinity is not three men at a tea party. It is a mystery of relationships—giving, receiving and sharing love. When we say “God is love” we are saying that God is a mystery of persons-in-love. The mystery of God’s love is like ever-deepening love. Within that loving embrace of God, our lives are brought into being and sustained in being. As we have been loved into birth, so, too, we are called to mirror God’s love for others so as to birth God anew in creation. For that is how God, the tremendous lover of life, delights in his creation.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF

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Love Brings Us to Birth

If God is love and it is love that brings us to birth, then it is difficult to conceive of the Incarnation, the Word made flesh, in any other way but the way of love. Love is what brought this creation into being and love is what will bring creation to its fulfillment to celebrate and participate in the eternal love of the Trinity. How love completes that which is brought into being is the story of Jesus, is the story of us humans, and is the story of the whole evolutionary creation itself. Jesus, the Trinity of love, and the universe story belong together.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF

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God Is Most High and Most Humble

The idea of “bending over” or “bending down” reminds me of the days when I took care of my nephew when he was just a baby. I recall moments when I would see him lying in his oversized crib—a tiny creature with hands and feet waving in the air, totally helpless. I would bend down into the crib and lift him high up in the air and he would smile uncontrollably, as only an infant can. The humility of God is something like the baby in the crib. God is at once the small helpless infant who lies quietly in the crib of the universe, and also the strong one who can raise up a fragile human being and draw that person into the embrace of infinite love.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF

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God Loves Us Where We Are

If God loves us where we are and comes to be with us humbly in the flesh, then we must admit that the humility of God is intertwined with the Incarnation. Incarnation we might say is God bending low to embrace the world in love. This makes the entire creation—all peoples, all mountains and valleys, all creatures big and small, everything that exists—holy because God embraces it.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF

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Contemplate the Mystery of God

We cannot see God with our physical eyes nor can we find God through the logic of reason. The more we try to see God with our physical eyes or find God through logical analysis, the more we will fail. We will become increasingly frustrated and God will become more distant to us. To see the extraordinary ordinariness of God is to see with a different set of eyes, the eyes of the heart and to know God by a different logic, the logic of love. What Francis tells us in his Admonition is that we must contemplate the mystery of God. Contemplation takes place when we learn to see the mystery of God bent over in love in the fragile human flesh of Jesus Christ. The way to contemplate the mystery of Gods humble love, according to Francis, is in the Eucharist.

from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF

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