Franciscan Spirituality: Week 2 Summary

Franciscan Spirituality: Week 2

Summary: Sunday, June 11-Friday, June 16, 2017

Francis of Assisi was known as a man of deep and abiding joy. He told the friars that it was their vocation “to move people’s hearts and lift them up to spiritual joy.” (Sunday)

We can only give away who we are. We can only offer to others what God has done in us. (Monday)

In the Franciscan perspective, “everything, every scripture, every law, every action, history itself is to be interpreted in the light of the primacy of Love and Christ over all.” —John Quigley (Tuesday)

Francis must have known, at least intuitively, that there is only one enduring spiritual insight and everything else follows from it: The visible world is an active doorway to the invisible world, and the invisible world is much larger than the visible. (Wednesday)

Once we can accept that God is in all situations, and that God can and will use even bad situations for good, then everything and everywhere becomes an occasion for good and an encounter with God. (Thursday)

Both Francis and Clare let go of all fear of suffering, all need for power, prestige, and possessions, and the need for their small self to be important. They came to know something essential—who they really were in God and thus who they really were. Their house was then built on “bedrock,” as Jesus says (Matthew 7:24). (Friday)

 

Practice: The Franciscan Calling

Francis did not wish for himself or his followers to be priests, to take higher places on the Church’s hierarchical ladder of education, prestige, and power. Francis was apparently ordained a deacon, likely under pressure, because he never talks or writes about it. The sign of a true Franciscan heart is devotion to the Gospel, regardless of title, group, or official status. These hallmarks of the Secular Franciscan Order (from the formation manual For Up To Now) can be claimed and practiced by anyone:

  • Simplicity (A spirituality that is genuine; without pretense)
  • Poverty (Love of Gospel poverty develops confidence in the Father and creates internal freedom)
  • Humility (The truth of what and who we really are in the eyes of God; freedom from pride and arrogance)
  • A genuine sense of minority (The recognition that we are servants, not superior to anyone)
  • A complete and active abandonment to God (Trusting in God’s unconditional love)
  • Conversion (Daily we begin again the process of changing to be more like Jesus)
  • Transformation (What God does for us, when we are open and willing)
  • Peacemaking (We are messengers of peace as Francis was) [1]

Re-read these qualities of a Franciscan and discern if you are called to live in such a way, making the Gospel the very core of your day-to-day doings and being. What is yours to do?

Gateway to Silence:
Help me do what is mine to do.

Reference:
[1] Marie Amore, “Vocation: God’s Call,” For Up to Now: Foundational Topics for Initial Formation (Secular Franciscan Order: 2011) http://skdregion.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/5122011funmanual.pdf, 11-12.

For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi (Franciscan Media: 2014)
Richard Rohr with John Feister, Hope Against Darkness: The Transforming Vision of Saint Francis in an Age of Anxiety (St. Anthony Messenger Press: 2001)
Richard Rohr, Franciscan Mysticism: I AM that which I Am Seeking (CAC: 2012), CD, MP3 download

Image credit: Saint Francis Mourned by Saint Clare (detail), Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337), The Legend of St. Francis, Basilica di San Francesco, Upper Church, Assisi, Italy.

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