Monday, November 22, 2010
Review: Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale
Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale
Ian M Cron
NavPress (2006), Paperback, 256 pages
St. Francis of Assisi has always fascinated lots of people, and many books have been written about his life. Chasing Francis is not another biography about Francis, but tells the story of Chase Falson, founding pastor of an evangelical church in New England, and his ‘meetings’ with Francis..
Aftter a terrible event, an ‘earthquake’ that hits the foundation of his beliefs, Chase decides to go on a pilgrimage in Italy. This pilgrimage is a journey following the spiritual path of Francis.
Two worlds meet each other in Assisi: the first, Chase with his background (American way of life): churches managed like companies, consumerism, or paraphrasing Descartes (Cogito ergo sum): ‘I shop, therefore I am’ (p. 195) the second ‘... amidst the simple beauty of nature.’ (p. 83) as Chase quotes Anne Frank, a journey to the first days of Christianity, where simplicity is a buzzword.
The first feeling of Chase is skepticism: ‘I wonder what Francis would say if he were the main speaker at a church-growth conference.
Would anyone take him seriously?’ (p. 100)
But Chase with the help of his uncle, a Franciscan friar and other brothers, like some industrious brown ants, discovers a world with ‘new colors’ (p. 121), a new path to follow. Every day the friars have a surprise for Chase: they pick up small colored pieces of stone so to build a mosaic with the image of St. Francis, or out of metaphor they ‘restore’ Chase.
Time is running: Chase has to go back home: ‘Where would I go when my pilgrimage was over? Francis was teaching me … How would I apply all this new knowledge?’ (p. 139)
At the end ‘we again beheld the stars.’ (p. 208)
This book was written in a genre called wisdom literature, a balance of fiction and non-fiction: in my opinion it has been a good choice; resulting a readable book from different point of views: an historical book (St. Francis and his age); travels’ book , also suggesting the idea of journey as redemption.
I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”