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Book Review

Wayne Simsic

Living the Wisdom of Saint Francis

ISBN  0-281-05491-6

SPCK London, 2001, £8.99

(price at publication of review)

Reviewed September 2002;
© Copyright, The Society of Saint Francis, 2002

Wayne Simsic has given us a book of just over thirty meditations (perhaps reflections might have been a better word) to help us in our Christian journey.  Based on the life of Francis they are grouped in three sections:- ‘Toward a sense of kinship’, ‘Opening the heart’, and ‘Learning to sing’.  Each meditation follows the same format: a sentence or two, taken from one of the early Franciscan sources followed by a few paragraphs of reflection; a question to mull over; and ending with a short prayer, a few of which are by Francis.  I am sure readers will find, as I did, that one section or particular reflection resonate more than others, and that is the strength of a book such as this, for it has a range and content wide enough to touch most of us.

This book will be of use to you if you already know the story of Francis well, for Simsic is not offering a biography and some themes and events are missing.  This may be as a result of the aim to offer what is seen as ‘positive’ today, for we are told it is to ‘introduce the joyful singing saint in a way that invites participation’, and you are being ‘invited to uncover the song of the Spirit in your own life with Francis as your guide’.

Obviously you will need more than just this book fully to appreciate all that Francis can offer you, but it could be a useful addition to, and help for, your Franciscan and Christian journey.

Austin SSF


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