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Chasing Francis, Review

My latest Booksneeze book is Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale, by Ian Morgan Cron.  I received a free copy of this book, in exchange for my honest opinion and review.

I’ve never read any of Cron’s work before, but he is also the author of Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: A Memoir. . . of Sorts.  He is an Episcopal priest and a doctoral candidate studying Christian spirituality at Fordham University.

Chasing Francis is a hybrid of sorts.  It’s the fictional story of a big-box evangelical pastor in the middle of a spiritual crisis.  Woven into the pastor’s narrative, is the true story of St. Francis of Assisi, as well as some fun arm-chair touring of Italy.

This is a VERY funny book.  Cron is extremely witty, but he’s also a deep thinker.  I also view him as a “peace maker” as opposed to a “peace lover” because Chasing Francis builds a very strong bridge between evangelical protestants and Catholics.

I’m giving this book five stars on Amazon because I really loved it.  But I thought I’d close my review with my own thoughts about Assisi.

When I went to Italy as a 19-year-old, I was truly shocked.  Assisi blew me away with it’s consumerism and decadence.  Everyone seemed to be trying to make some $ off of St. Francis.

Here’s a picture from my album:

IMG_2676

I remember thinking, “Would St. Francis really want this gigantic cathedral?”  It seemed to me as a young 19-year-old, to be everything St. Francis was against.

My trip was back before the days of normal people owning digital cameras, so I don’t have any more pictures; just memories.  But as I recall, inside the cathedral there was a lot of painted gold.

Yeah, because St. Francis loved gold.  (Not!)

I was hoping that Cron would address some of that sentiment in Chasing Francis, but he really didn’t.  I understand why, because it’s not really kosher for a Protestant to criticize a Catholic in a book that’s trying to mend fences.

But even after so many years later, I’m still wondering what St. Francis would say if he could see the cathedral that’s named after him.

Or actually, I wonder what St. Francis would do…

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