Only now can I understand the three cornerstones of the Franciscan rule, which are poverty, chastity, and obedience. In fact, to fully love your neighbor, you must get rid of your sexual urges, covetousness, and desire to take the lead. Only when you free yourself from these three hindrances can you start loving. The Franciscan habit has not changed today, and it differs from that of other monastic orders. As it was at the time of Saint Francis, the frock is girdled with a cord with three knots to symbolize the three main vows of a Franciscan friar.
My ex-friend would object, “Don’t censure sex, because life is born by sex. If everybody followed your recommendation to practice abstinence, humanity would become extinct. Saint Francis’s rule is just as absurd and utopian as the new humanism that I dream of. In fact, not only is chastity nonsense, but obedience is also impossible. Think for a minute about what it would be like if everybody practiced obedience. There would be no leaders to obey!”
“The giver of life is God and not sex!” I would answer. “Life was born before sex. God’s love and the vibrations of his voice created the universe, human beings included. As for obedience, I say to you that leaders also obey, just not their subordinates. It all depends on what your idea of leadership is. Kings and subjects are not different in the way they obey. If you consider leadership not as an arbitrary act but a service to others, you will see that leaders also cannot shirk their duty of obedience.”
This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind