Fr Augustine Thompson OP has written a new biography (not just another modern one) of St Francis. It is a serious attempt to apply the historical critical method to the wash of legend that surrounds this ever-popular saint. The book is not targeted to popular market, but is a serious historical work that is also readable by folks like you and me. It is available from Cornell University Press here.
Fr Augustine concludes his introduction with some observations on what Francis has taught him; the following caught my eye as germaine to what our Lay Dominican chapter is currently studying, and the fact that today is Easter.
True freedom of spirit, indeed true Christian freedom, comes from obedience, not autonomy. And as Francis showed many times in his actions, obedience is not an abstraction by involves concrete submission toanother's will. Freedom means becoming a "slave of all."
Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Ph 2:7-8
the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom 11 for many Mt 20:28
Blessed Easter to you! He is risen!