What is most interesting about this picture is the stance of St Francis. His feet are firmly planted INSIDE the Church. This is significant in that St Francis was called to save the Church from the inside. This of course is in contrast to the later Reformation movement which tried to change the Church from outside the church.
Francis successfully changed the Church while the others created their own religions and left the Church that they loved without doing what needed to be done to make the Catholic Church conform to their concerns. Luther for instance preached the absolute Gospel, but had legitimate concerns about the actions of the Church. What resulted was a relatist religion which was the opposite of what he intended.
St. Francis felt the pain of the Church but showed through his charism and love of the Gospel life that the Church had strayed from the gospel life. The Franciscans and others that followed St Francis lead, profoundly changed the Church without ever leaving.
Interesting note Posted by Robert Messa on 22.January 2009, 23:32