Who among us wants to be considered condescending? Merriam-Webster defines “condescending” as showing or characterized by a patronizing or superior attitude toward others. I suspect no one is soon volunteering. In the Franciscan tradition it is a good thing to be condescending or at least condescendere. St. Bonaventure wrote about the condescendere of God in the Incarnation of Jesus who “stepped down” from his divinity, took on our humanity, took off his cloak and put on a servant’s apron and washed our feet. It is from that “condescending” position we are called to reach up to our neighbors and serve them. Such is the posture of compassion.
Admonition Eighteen: Compassion for a Neighbor
1 Blessed in the person who supports his neighbor in his weakness as he would want to be supported were he in a similar situation.
2 Blessed is the servant who returns every good to the Lord God because whoever holds onto something for himself hides the money of his Lord God within himself, and what things he has will be taken away from him.