Once there was a well known philosopher and scholar who devoted himself to the study of Zen for many years. On the day that he finally attained enlightenment, he took all of his books out into the yard, and burned them all.–Zen Story

There are lots of things in this life that you can’t learn. Zen is one of those things. There are other things you can’t learn also. I think faith is one those things. You can’t learn Christianity. You can listen to intellectual arguments about Christianity, but you can’t follow Christ on intellect alone, because there is far more to following Christ than memorizing scripture and accepting intellectual arguments. Yesterday I wrote about a ministry that proselytizes politicians, military officials and agents of governments. I think there is a difference between Bible studies and Lectio Divina. One is a more intellectual process than the other. There is more to following Christ and the Gospel than accepting intellectual arguments. There is a metanoia involved. I wonder what would happen if one of those professional soldiers actually left the military or encouraged others to do the same.

St. Francis of Assisi turned the world of his own day upside down, gently but firmly, when he wrote in his Rule that anybody who follows him could not carry weapons of any kind. As a result the constant wars between cities and city-states came to an end, and at long last people realized that they were not enemies but sisters and brothers in the Lord. Instead of using their energies for war, they channeled their efforts into peace, caring for the poor and needy in any way at all, feeding, clothing, nursing the sick and dying, visiting prisoners, performing the Corporal Works of Mercy. Reading the Gospel and meditating on it changed Francis forever.

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