Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fraciscan Prayer - Implications of Franciscan Prayer .. Last Part

How does this theology of the word play out in Francis’ journey of prayer? For Francis, God loves us where we are—with our frailty, weaknesses and insecurities. This is the meaning of his encounter with the God of compassionate love as seen in the cross of San Damiano.

Francis understands that while God is incomprehensible and ineffable, he is at the same time ‘bent over’ in love for us, in and through the Son, Jesus Christ. God is infinite in love and intimate in love, far beyond us yet intensely
By following in the footprints of Jesus Christ, we are led to the Father of incomprehensible love through the Spirit, who joins us to Christ, who in turn leads us to the Father. For Francis, Christ is the center of the Trinity and the center of our relationship to God.

For Francis, prayer is not a flight from the world toward a transcendent God; rather it centers on the mystical body of Christ and our participation in this mystery. God took on our flesh that we might discover his eternal face in ourselves. This is the good news of Jesus Christ and of our lives in Christ. Prayer channels us into the depths of the Christ mystery where the fullness of our humanity—and our happiness—lies.

In her Second Letter to St. Agnes of Prague, Clare directed her toward a relationship with the God of self-giving love. Take some time to meditate on the following words of Clare and consider whether or not your relationship with God is leading you more deeply into the mystery of Christ:

‘Gaze upon [Him]; consider [Him]; contemplate [Him], as you desire to imitate [Him]. If you suffer with Him, you shall reign with Him, [if you] weep [with Him], you shall rejoice with Him, [if you] die [with Him] on the cross of tribulation, you shall possess heavenly mansions in the splendor of the saints and, in the Book of Life, your name shall be called glorious among people.’

Group Sharing II: Guide Questions for Reflection:

-Who is God to whom you pray?

-Where do you find God? In silence? In other people? In liturgical prayer?

-Is God ‘up above’ you, transcendent and distant to you? Or do you experience God’s intimate presence in your life?

-How do you envision the journey to God? Does a ladder, a spiral or another image capture your relationship to God?

1 comment:

  1. I sometimes use the image of a spiral. I posted a poem a few weeks back using the image of a spiral and I have another on that is actually a reflection on an article in the TOR Rule that uses the image of the spiral. It really lends itself to the idea of relationship between the individual and God--not all one-sided.


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