What made his life so appealing to so many? Among other things, Francis's love for Jesus was so explicit that he was naive enough to believe that Jesus actually meant for us to do the things he taught us.
For me the 25th anniversary of the Assisi gathering is an important landmark in interreligious harmony in which we re-committed ourselves to peace and justice through dialogue at a time when the world is being increasingly divided.
We want to love God and be loved by Him. But by creating a relationship in love, we are also able to love others whatever their religion or culture. Let me give some examples of poetic expressions that we can all share and appreciate.
When you read the complete stories of the lives of these saints and shift your focus from the gruesome details of their martyrdoms and extreme ascetical practices, you might meet people who can teach you about being who you are.
Francis of Assisi believed that he was a creature of God and that his creatureliness made him and all of us part of Creation. We use Francis' teaching to remind us that we were created by the One who created all things.
Many have urged that September 11 this year not be a time of demonstrations for or against Cordoba House or any other issue; rather, let it be a quiet day of commemoration and mourning. Let our loss be what we remember on Saturday.