Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Paradox of Poverty: Francis of Assisi and John of the Cross

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Paradox of Poverty: Francis of Assisi and John of the Cross

Article excerpt

Scheuring,Lyn M. Falzon, Paradox of Poverty: Francis of Assisi and John of the Cross. (Quincy, Illinois: Franciscan Press. 2001. Pp. vi, 161. $18.95 paperback.)

This work attempts to demonstrate some commonality of inspiration to the practice of poverty of both Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint John of the Cross, an inspiration that flows from their belief that poverty of spirit must accompany all and any forms of material poverty chosen to follow more perfectly Jesus Christ, the one who "became poor that . [we] might be rich" (2 Cor. 8:9).

Lyn Falzon Scheuring devotes personal efforts to achieve that interplay by work among the poor of New York City. Here she sets out Francis's exemplification of this important truth, housed in excerpts taken from Saint Bonaventure, Francis's "official" biographer. She then draws parallel lessons from the writings of Saint John of the Cross. She works out a synthesis in the final two chapters of the volume.

This thesis-become-published book carries with it the oftentimes unavoidable characteristics of rewrites. intensely focused on a limited, monographic topic-two great saints and their notions of poverty-its argumentation depends predominantly on research tools used by the author at a particular time, the time she composed the dissertation (defended for a Ph. …

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