Book photo by Asta (from her bookshelf)
As a novice with the Third Order of the Society of Saint Francis (an Anglican order for everyday people like me) - I am going through a period of formation. Today I was reflecting on Saint Francis' attitude toward book knowledge. He was very wary of it, to the point that he actually discouraged it. Thankfully our order today encourages study, but as I read more of the reasons for Saint Francis' concerns I realised that he just might have had a bit of a point. Here are some of the thoughts that have been rattling around my head:
Perhaps we can become so puffed up with learning that we are unable to come 'naked' and humble before our God.
Perhaps knowledge can become a God in itself.
Perhaps we may begin to think that we are better than our brother or sister who is less well educated.
Perhaps from all our learning we can be so busy telling others how to live that we forget to do the work ourselves - and so we do plenty of talking (or writing) without doing what we preach.
Just maybe too much concern with knowledge could be considered little different to excess wealth.
And maybe we aren't discerning enough about what we read.
The title of the post comes from Louisa May Alcott's 'A Story of Experience'.