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Shared Knowing

The Franciscan Way

Shared Knowing
Monday, June 22, 2015

I believe that both Francis and Clare knew and loved from a different source; they knew and loved by participation in a Larger Knowing and Loving that many of us call God. Or, as Paul says, “They knew as fully as they were known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Francis and Clare were “known through.”

This kind of shared knowing, which is nothing but full consciousness (con scire =to know with) is what I mean by contemplation. True contemplatives surrender some of their own ego boundaries and identity so that God can see through them, with them, and in them—with a larger pair of eyes. It is quite simply a higher level of seeing. If you do not like the religious language, you can just call it consciousness itself, or deep consciousness. But you still have to let go of your small, egoic self to get there (John 12:24). Then some form of contemplative practice can maintain you in this larger seeing and this larger knowing over the long haul of life.

It comes down to this: when we see things in a unitive way, in conscious union with the eyes of God, what we see is qualitatively different. Basically, it is no longer self-referential but very expansive seeing, and this changes everything. The right energy comes forth when it is not “all about you.” Then a larger presence, an inner vitality, shines through your very words and actions—and this ends up becoming the core message itself!

The motivation, meaning, and inherent energy of any action come from its ultimate source, which is the person’s foundational and core vantage point. What is his or her real and honest motivation? Who is doing the seeing? Who is the doer? Is it the “cut-off branch,” the egoic self, trying to do the seeing (John 15:5)? Is it a person who needs to be right, or is it a person who wants to love? There is a very different kind of seeing from a person who has remained lovingly and consciously connected to the Source (God, Jesus, our Higher Power) than from mere self-interest and its small lens.

Gateway to Silence:
“I am who I am in the eyes of God, nothing more and nothing less.” —Francis of Assisi

Reference:
Adapted from Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi, pp. 61-62, 64-65, 80

Image credit: Legend of St Francis: 5. Renunciation of Worldly Goods (detail fresco), 1297-99, Giotto di Bondone, Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi

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