Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Boreham on Francis of Assisi and Dealing with Life’s Longings

Professor Herkless, in his Life of Francis d'Assisi, tells us how Francis was torn between the monastic life on the one hand and the domestic life on the other. He longed to be a monk and to dedicate himself to poverty and pilgrimage. And yet he loved a sweet and noble and gracious woman. He wrestled with his alternatives, and at length, through an agony of tears, he chose the cloak and the cowl. But still the lovely face haunted him by cloister and by shrine. And one radiant moonlit night, when the earth was wrapped in snow, the brethren of the monastery saw him rise at dead of night. He went out into the grounds and, in the silvery moonlight, fashioned out of the snow with deft artistic fingers the images of a lovely woman and a group of fair little children. He arranged them in a circle, and sat with them, and, giving rein to his fancy, tasted for one delicious hour the ecstasies of hearth and home, the joys of life and love. Then, solemnly rising, he kissed them all a tearful and final farewell, renounced such raptures for ever, and re-entered the monastery.

F W Boreham, ‘The Little Palace Beautiful’, The Golden Milestone (London: Charles H Kelly, 1915), 57-58.

Image: Francisco de Zurbaran's "St Francis of Assisi"