As Francis grew older, he regretted the harsh treatment he had given “Brother Ass” all through his life. Before his conversion he had pampered and spoiled his body, and afterward he had ignored and taken Brother Ass for granted. They were partners, really, and should have supported one another on the Journey. Besides, the Spirit dwelled in his body, and through his own fault, the dwelling place was shoddy. Not that the Holy Spirit minded, but Francis felt embarrassed by the poor welcome he was forced to give.
Francis no longer saw his body as something apart from him. He was his body; the spirit and body were one. He was one person. He was a spirit-filled man. That he had earlier seen so great a cleavage between body and spirit bothered him, and he wondered why it had taken him so long to see that even his body had been made spirit by the Incarnation of God. Jesus was God enfleshed, and all of creation was now infused with the Spirit by the touch of God’s only Son.
— from the book Francis: The Journey and the Dream
by Murray Bodo, OFM