Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Franciscan Prayer...Francis of Assisi

Francis’ path to God was an inversion of monastic values. Rather than fleeing the world to find God, God is to be found in the world – the ‘cloister’ of the Franciscans.

Francis of Assisi, attained the heights of contemplation through a penetrating vision of creation. With a basic education in reading and writing, Francis came to prayer from a popular and lay experience.

His family belonged to the rising merchant class in Assisi. His father, a cloth merchant, owned a shop in Assisi where Francis apparently worked. He was not only familiar with the daily business of buying and trading cloth, but also came into contact with many different types of people—farmers, craftsmen, artists, bakers—people who worked with their hands and valued the material things of the earth.

The idea of transcending this world to contemplate true reality would have been foreign to Francis’ thinking. Rather, he regarded earthly life as possessing ideal, positive potential as God’s creation. Some regard him as ‘the first materialist’ in the best sense of the word because of the way Francis looked on the material world—not for what it is but for how it is: God’s creation. Next... The Journey of Francis

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