For whoever will understand the
words of Christ plainly and in
their full savour must study to
conform all his life to his life.

Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

The union between Christ and his followers envisioned by the image of Christ as the Bridegroom of the Soul may, somewhat strangely, have reached its paradigmatic expression in St. Francis of Assisi. This monk’s relationship with Jesus was so intimate that the historical and cultural distance between the two lives collapsed and their existences bled into each other. In both his profound suffering and his sublime joy, St. Francis’ life emulated that of Christ. Although it was not his intention, St. Francis increasingly became the champion of all those who felt that the institutional Church had lost sight of the true purpose of a Christian life - to conform all of one’s life to the life of Christ.
Canadian Heritage Information Network, The Provincial Museum of Alberta,

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