St. Francis' relationship with this cross is described
by Thomas of Celano:
With his heart already completely changed—soon his body was also to be changed—he was walking one day by the church of San Damiano, which was abandoned by everyone and almost in ruins.—Second Life, #10, Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, Volume 2: The Founder, New City Press, p. 249
Led by the Spirit he went in to pray and knelt down devoutly before the crucifix. He was shaken by unusual experiences and discovered that he was different from when he had entered.
As soon as he had this feeling, there occurred something unheard of in previous ages: with the lips of the painting, the image of Christ crucified spoke to him. ‘Francis,’ it said, calling him by name, ‘go rebuild My house; as you see, it is all being destroyed.’
Francis was more than a little stunned, trembling, and stuttering like a man out of his senses. He prepared himself to obey and pulled himself together to carry out the command. He felt this mysterious change in himself, but he could not describe it. So it is better for us to remain silent about it too.
From that time on, compassion for the Crucified was impressed into his holy soul. And we honestly believe the wounds of the sacred Passion were impressed deep in his heart, though not yet on his flesh.”
At Grace, we too feel like the life, death and resurrection of Jesus has shaped our lives. Through baptism, we are intimately reconciled with God and working on accepting God's love for us.
Today, we recommit to transforming our lives in response to the cross and to rebuilding our church.
When our congregation is billowing with life, we will celebrate by taking down the cross and setting our hearts and minds on a new mission. We will leave it to the expanded congregation to decide what our mission and faithful inspiration will be.
Until then, let's get to work!