Thursday, June 26, 2008

Franciscan Spirituality

A few years ago a single mom with a maybe 13-year old son moved in across the street. Like many of his friends he was into skateboarding and soon had a collection of plywood ramps and other paraphernalia set up in his driveway where he and his buddies spent many summer hours honing their skills.

One day I was out mowing my front lawn and the boy was practicing alone in his driveway. Just as I had finished up and turned off the mower he executed a ramp-to-ramp jump involving a 360 degree mid-air spin. The end of his run took him out onto the apron of his driveway, maybe 40 feet from me, and I called across the street, "That looks like a lot of fun!"

"It sure is," he answered. "Wanna try it?"

The idea of several months in traction immediately flashed through my head and I declined, convinced that no adult in his right mind would ever get on one of those overgrown roller skates.

All of this came back to me when I saw this video on Fra Gabriel Mary seems to be an adult, seems to be in his right mind and actually seems to know his way around a skateboard. Taking St. Paul's example of becoming all things to all men to new heights, he just may be the pioneer of a new form of Franciscan spirituality.

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