i imagine that most families, like ours, have a Top Ten List of Favorite Songs that fell into place over the years of “good times” and “bad times,” some happy tunes, some very sad. Everybody has a different idea of “The Classics!” Most definitely in my family’s list, very near the top, would be Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.”


Such a catchy little tune by one of Earth’s coolest princes – IMG_20160424_163723405but a LYRIC that takes a lifetime to learn, unless you come from the Islands, mon!

What Bob promises might not be so, unless the listener has chosen and learned to live a simple life. It is just like Saint Francis of Assisi said to his little brothers about their living with “the Lady Poverty.” She was not just a “path to holiness,” meant for a rare few. But, she was also your basic COMMONSENSICAL path to SANITY, offered to anyone who cared to share it.12928119_2038123459746049_2000814875429971080_n

It was the wisdom which the most beloved of saints learned from his “three little birds” IMG_20160424_164349

Francis used to pass on, then, to whomever would listen, “If we have possessions, then we have to WORRY all the time about protecting them. And the more we have, the more we worry. But, if we live simply, as the little birds do, according to the Lord’s Prayer, there is a much better chance Brother Bob of Jamaica is RIGHT ON, mon!”

It is all in that encounter that Jesus had on the road with that rich young man, who was obviously very attracted by, even envious of, Jesus and the Apostles’ peacefulness and joy, though they clearly had so very little. He asked what he had to do “to get me some o dat?” It is one of those times, in the original text, where THAT WORD comes in, that word which i just love, expressing the Lord’s response, when a horror comes over the man at the very thought of giving up his things. SPLAGCHNIZOMAI!!!! Jesus’ Heart, Jesus’ GUTS BURST! So filled was He with sadness for that poor soul….and for all of the rich people of all time – or, that is, for the ones who could not let go. Jesus’ guts were exploding, because more than anything else Jesus wants EVERYONE to share the REAL TREASURE, which is not in things but plainly and simply in the Joy of Being Loved and of Loving in Return.

Everybody who loves St. Francis, which is just about Everybody. Period. in their love for him lies the same longing, even the same jealousy, for his simple peace. But to seek that peace sincerely means to acknowledge that all the other STUFF will always get in the way. Saint Paul was the most blunt of all about it. He called it – even the fanciest, shiniest, sparkliest bits of it – “GAAAAHHHBAGE!”

Now, don’t get these THREE LITTLE BIRDS, Jesus, Paul, and Francis wrong. None is calling these things we have around us in our lives EVIL or Bad. They are good, they are blessings, but they are also with us for a reason, namely to tell us we are loved, so loved, and – then – hopefully we will want to share them with anyone else in need. It is like the woman, whom the prophet promised would have all she needs, if she shared with him her last piece of bread. “Your Jug Will Never Run Dry if you do two things: Trust Totally and Share Totally! Can you do that?”

Can i do that? Well, there’s the question. There’s the CATCH to the Bob Marley Method. Yes, every little thing WILL BE ALRIGHT! if you live simply…When you live simply, freely, you are ready for the storms. They cannot really harm you. For you know where the Treasure lies…deep within, not without.


Author: friardad

what's it like having a wife and six kids after having been a friar for many years and being still married to St. Francis' Lady Poverty?

One thought on “THREE LITTLE BIRDS”

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