What can we really take with us?

Recently I came across a quote by St. Francis of Assisi.  It is short and to the point but I can think of many many examples of its truth just in my short lifetime but also in history.  Sometimes we are always after more stuff, more money, bigger house, thinking that somehow more things will make us happy.  Yet we discover in personal relationship along the way that our happiest moments and experiences have more to do with relationship to each others and this earth upon which we live, than all the other stuff.  The italicized parenthesis below is my addition but is that to which I believe Francis pointed by his words.

“Remember that when you leave this earth (life), you can take with you nothing that you have received…but only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage.” — St. Francis of Assisi

The most memorable times I’ve had have all center upon relationships with people I love (family, friends, co-workers) or out in nature. as I consider the words with which Francis exhorts us, I am challenged and encouraged toward reduction of stuff and investment in relationships and actions that provide me with something that will endure. It is an important reminder to simplify life to that which truly makes one rich.

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