Up from the grave sits brother Francis

Up from the grave sits brother Francis
Come to teach me of suffering
Come to teach me of joy

He sits up and calls to me, saying:

Joy is not in holiness or integrity
Learning, practice, and morality will not make joy yours

Miracles, healings, and resurrections may be fine things
Yet for all that, they do not bring perfect joy

Leading, inspiring, and teaching others is of some worth
But even here
You cannot fully embrace joy

Even if you could speak in the voice of angels
True joy is not in that

To know suffering-
cruel treatment at the hands of others
insults from those you have shown kindness
–and to endure them with grace and patience–
In this is joy

To bear whatever comes
to weather any storm
And to do it all
while keeping love in your heart…
This is joy

Our gifts come from God and so we may not glory in them
Yet our suffering echoes God’s
And if we are deemed worthy to suffer as God suffered…

…In this may we find great joy indeed

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