Incarnation: A Franciscan View: Weekly Summary

Incarnation: A Franciscan View

Summary: Sunday, May 31-Friday, June 5, 2015

By the modern age, Jesus became a highly contrived problem-solver for our own guilt and fear (a problem that was inevitable if God was not indwelling) instead of the Archetypal Blueprint for what God has been doing all the time and everywhere: becoming incarnate in creation. (Sunday)

The Christ Mystery is the template for all creation, and even more precisely the crucified Christ, who reveals the necessary cycle of loss and renewal that keeps all things moving toward ever further life. (Monday)

The Formless One forever takes on form as “Adam” (and, in Jesus, “the new Adam”), and then takes us back to the Formless One once again as each form painfully surrenders the small self that it has been for a while. (Tuesday)

In Jesus, God took human form, human face, human eyes, and human endearment; God is finally someone we could fall in love with. (Wednesday)

If God became flesh and entered this world in Jesus, then the hiding place of God is this world, in the material, in the animals, in the elements, in the physical. These are the hiding places—and the revelation places—of God! (Thursday)

The Franciscan starting point is not sin or a problem; our starting point is Divine Incarnation itself. So our ending point is inevitable and predictable: resurrection. (Friday)


Practice: Guided Meditation

In their book Care for Creation, Ilia Delio, Keith Warner, and Pamela Wood offer a guided meditation to bring the mystery of incarnation to a deeper, experiential level of knowing, through contemplation of Creation. I invite you to read the following introduction and then set aside some time to listen to—and pray with—the recorded meditation.

“Francis teaches us that God is incarnate in all of creation, and that entering into the cloister of creation helps us to deepen our relationship with our Creator. We have been given powerful gifts to explore this kinship: gifts we sometimes do not associate with our spiritual life or think of as potential tools with which to discover the Incarnation. God has generously bestowed us with amazing sensory abilities—thus we are fine-tuned to read the Book of Creation. Guided meditations that use our senses can teach us to read the “first book of revelation” anew. In addition, knowledge and understanding from science can aid us in understanding our place in the majesty of the created world, and this can greatly enhance our prayer life.” [1]

Click the link below to play the audio meditation in a web browser or to download and listen later:

Guided Meditation: Coming Home to the Incarnation in Creation [2]

Gateway to Silence:
The Christ is everywhere.

[1] Ilia Delio, Keith Douglass Warner, and Pamela Wood, Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth (Franciscan Media: 2008), 55.
[2] Ibid., 55-60. Used with permission.

For Further Study:
Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi
Franciscan Mysticism: I Am That Which I Am Seeking (CD, MP3 download)
Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self 

Image credit: The Legend of St. Francis: 4. Miracle of the Crucifix (fresco detail). 1297-99, Giotto di Bondone, Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi, Italy.