Saturday, August 21, 2010

Recommended Reading: The Road to Peace in Assisi by Bret Thoman

Bret Thoman brings Francis and Clare of Assisi to life. In his little book, The Road to Peace in Assisi, he introduces these two towering Christian figures as he portrays the major events of their lives. In an easy-to-read fashion, he presents their simple lives and profound spirituality.

Each chapter explores a key location in or around Assisi, describing the events that took place there and fleshing out the spiritual principles that we can learn from it. The book provides photos of these significant sites, offering a fresh approach to Francis and Clare’s lives and making their lives memorable.

The Road to Peace in Assisi
is not simply another biography. It takes the reader on a pilgrimage. Whether the reader is traveling in Italy or seating in a comfortable chair at home, he or she will be led on a fascinating exploration—both of Assisi and the spiritual renewal that Francis and Clare began in Europe.

This work also provides excellent background of the social hierarchy and political struggles in Italy during the time of Francis and Clare. As readers understand the class structure of the Assisi, they gain a fresh appreciation of Francis and Clare's radical call to return to the gospel. Such a call included service to the poor, the lower class and especially the sick and leprous. As readers grasp the horrible reality of leprosy in the thirteenth century, they cannot help but admire the work of Francis among those considered highly contagious.

Having lived with his family for a year in Assisi, the author is intimately acquainted with the city and the Italian culture. Mr. Thoman has led scores of pilgrimages in Assisi and surrounding cities. In addition, he and his wife are members of the Secular Franciscan Order, living out the spiritual principles presented in his book.

I highly recommend The Road to Peace in Assisi. It is a wonderful read for newcomers to Francis and Clare, as well as those who are well acquainted with these two significant reformers in the church.

Thoman, Bret. The Road to Peace in Assisi: Following Francis and Clare in the Footsteps of the Lesser Christ. Phoenix, AZ: Tau-Publishing, 2010.

2010 © Glenn E. Myers

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