The San Damiano crucifix is a stage where a story is being told. There are different sets and players on the stage and we are the audience viewing it; and it too has an audience upon it that is both viewing the crucifixion and playing a part in it....Francis walked onto that stage a person who had within him the violence of war, unrest and severe doubts. And on this stage he became a person of peace. His prayer before the crucifix is also our prayer, 'What will be ours to be and do'?
--from the Introduction Francis and the San Damiano Cross: Meditations on Spiritual Transformation
is an invaluable prayer resource that uses the cross of San Damiano--the cross that spoke to Francis of Assisi--as inspiration for personal reflection. Susan Saint Sing, a former resident of Assisi and follower of Francis, takes the reader on a journey to the place where Francis prayed before the San Damiano Cross. Not only does she recall her own personal journey to Assisi, she recounts the spiritual and physical transformation of Francis in his quest to "rebuild" the Church--a quest that began in the small, broken-down church of San Damiano but was the catalyst for a much broader reconstruction.
These meditations not only detail and explain the images on the cross itself, but they explain the powerful message of the cross--transformation: "It speaks to us still, beckoning us to repair our lives, our relationships, our failings--in honor of Him who gave his life there on the cross in order for us to become more in the fullness of his presence, to be instruments of peace. Christ's death and resurrection, celebrated on this gilded cross is a call to each of us, like it was to Francis, to become great through Him. We are called to live like Francis, to be like him and to be transformed."