The Supreme Love of God

Francis demonstrated a type of love that ascends to God and descends to neighbor, a love that expressed itself in the desire for martyrdom and strove for unity with neighbor and creation. Francis, therefore, is not only the model of relationship with God but he models the relationship of the human person to others, to community, and to the created world. The Stigmata signify that Francis attained the supreme love of God through his imitation of and conformity to Christ. Union with Christ Crucified, the center of all reality, enabled Francis to stand with Christ at the center of the world, united to humanity and creation in solidarity, in the spirit of compassionate love—“burning” for love of God and love of neighbor who has been created and redeemed by God. In light of the stigmatized Francis, we can say that the mysticism of the human person means that in the human person, united to Christ, the self-diffusing goodness of the Creator is clearly and perfectly manifested. 

—from the book Crucified Love: Bonaventure's Mysticism of the Crucified Christ by Ilia Delio, OSF

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