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St Francis had a vision for the modern age to pursue justice, peace and loving care of creation.
A Reflection Written for a TSSF Local Group (From material by Stephen Innes OFM Cap) THE CHALLENGE- Ultimately, Francis’ love, holiness, humility, penance, poverty, obedience,...Read More
(From material by Stephen Innes OFM Cap)
Ultimately, Francis’ love, holiness, humility, penance, poverty, obedience, joy and whatever else may characterise him should not be singled out for special or particular treatment as if in isolation from his personality, his character, his very being. His person, his life, his ideals and values, his sanctity, constitute his very being and it is the spiritual fabric of his whole being that we must try to capture if we are to know something of the essentials of Franciscan Spirituality.
There are few saints who can speak to us as easily and directly as Francis. Yet in the final analysis we cannot capture the quicksilver of his personality, nor observe the heroic authenticity of Francis’ life, unless we are prepared in some measure to be confronted and enthralled by his words and deeds, which provide for us the first glimmerings of what is essential to Franciscan Spirituality.
Some suggestions …….
G.K.Chesterton wrote- “In a better sense than the antithesis commonly conveys , it is true to say that what St. Benedict had stored, St. Francis scattered- but in the world of spiritual things, what had been stored in to barns like grain, was scattered over the world as seed.
As is common in the recording of history what the writer records is a retrospective in the light of eventual consequences-
Stephen Innis OFM Cap. Writes- “The right place to start in any study is with the writings of St Francis and early biographies rather than the latter practise of favour of the thoughtful digestion of the philosophical vision presented by St Bonaventure and other Franciscan masters. To-days approach stresses the basic and essential of the writings and first biographies to get at the real core of Franciscanism.
So what are the some of the essential features of Franciscan Spirituality? Christianity is not just a body of dogmas to be received nor a moral code to be guarded, it is rather a faith to be lived in imitation of Jesus Christ This is probably why G.K. Chesterton wrote “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it simply has not been tried”! But then he added “Only Francis of Assisi has tried it and has NOT been found wanting!”
Francis was not first and foremost an ecclesiastical reformer, nor was he missionary or theologian. He was all of these. But he was firstly a disciple of Jesus and a follower of His Gospel teaching.
Again as G.K. Chesterton writes-“The first fact with which his story starts, that when he said from the first that he was a Troubadour and said later that he was a Troubadour of a newer nobler romance, he was not using a mere metaphor, but understood himself better than the scholars understand him. He was a lover. A lover of Christ.
Frances came to the realisation that- Imitation is the most sincere form of adoration.
JOY IN ALL THINGS- a Franciscan Companion chapter 4 by Stephen Innes OFM Cap
FRANCIS of ASSISI – G.K.Chesterton
A son of a rich merchant, a playboy, a soldier, a prisoner of war all of these and then life changed. Francis had a call from God to ‘rebuild his church’. Francis forsook his previous life and lived instead a life dedicated to God. Read more….. Other heard his message and came to join him. This was the very beginning of the Franciscan Orders.
The San Damiano Cross you see on the left was hanging in the church where he heard the call. It now hangs in the Bascilica of the poor Clares in Assisi.
Find out why St Francis is so relevant to our lives today and explore how we continue, lay, ordained, single, in committed relationships, to live out Franciscan principles in fellowship in this world. See if God is calling you to join us.
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Day Thirty One -
The Principles of the Third Order, a portion of which is set for reflection each day, are based on the Rule of the Christa Seva Sangha from Poona in India. This community, formed in 1922, was inspired both by the Gospel of Christ and the way of life in an Indian Ashram. This community of married and single people, ordained and lay, led by Fr. Jack Winslow, lived a common life as equals.
In 1928 the Rule was revised under the guidance of Fr. Algy Robertson and some aspects of that Rule can be found in The Third Order Principles.
We give thanks to God for the Principles of the Third Order that inspire us in the Franciscan way of following Jesus.
Reflect on which portion has particularly encouraged or challenged you in the past month.