How do we live lovingly with each other – especially as we are divided by culture, nationality, religion and more? How do we live responsibly and lovingly with the natural world? Francis of Assisi lived by the words of the anonymous poem often attributed to him: “Lord make me an instrument of thy peace, where there is hatred let me sow love.” Francis was a medieval friar, deacon and preacher who is known, not only for his love of nature and the environment but also how he engaged deeply in the political and social issues of his day – including a powerful encounter with the Muslim Sultan of Egypt. Enjoy the awakening earth on this guided retreat with leader Len Desroches.
The rhythm of each session will be as follows: sharing/connecting; silence; presentation; group reflections, questions, discussion; closing silence.
February 10 — FRANCIS OF ASSISI: a history of his life, including some of his quotes, plus an introduction to Clare of Assisi.
February 17 — LOVE OF EARTH: imagine Francis meeting the First Nations people of Turtle Island and sharing his Canticle of Creation.
February 24 — THE SULTAN – LOVE OF ENEMY: Francis risks his life, amid a horrific war between Christians and Muslims, to meet the designated enemy, Malik al Kamil, the sultan of Egypt.
March 3 — “PERFECT JOY”: exploring joy beyond happiness; review of quotes of Francis; list of books regarding Francis; celebration of our shared exploration; “Peace Prayer”.
Len Desroches as Leader
Len is a leading authority on the life and teachings of Francis of Assisi. He has a life-long commitment to peace-making and non-violence. He has worked as a non-violence trainer for Christian Peacemaker Teams and is the author of Allow the Water – The Practice and Spirituality of Nonviolence and Love Of Enemy: The Cross And The Sword Trial. Len continues to teach and lead workshops in the Toronto area.