This book is very interesting. It reads like legend, and seems to exaggerate things quite often. Still, there are good lessons to be learned and pondered from the text. When I talk about legend, it is passages like this one that stand out:
"Inasmuch as the faithful servant of Christ, St. Francis, was in certain things almost another Christ"
That is, to be frank, way over the top for me. But then this is a style of literature I don't normally read...
The next chapter retells a journey of St. Francis and Friar Leo, in which they discuss what perfect joy is. To Francis, perfect joy is to experience a hint of the suffering of Christ. He rejects all the things of life in return for suffering, and claims that perfect joy would be to arrive at the end of their journey and suffer unjustly for the love of Christ. While I think there is a certain pride at work in the asceticism. the key point that perfect joy is only found in Christ is rock solid.
Why do we think the things of this world will satisfy? Why do we boast of our own talents and abilities, when they are nothing without Christ? This book is a good reminder that without Christ, we are nothing.