Subscribe
Entries related to: franciscan-spirituality

What Is the Franciscan Spirit?

As you can see, we have changed the name of our blog from American Catholic to Franciscan Spirit. We feel it better represents our mission: to spread the Gospel in the spirit of our founder, Saint Francis of Assisi. But what is the Franciscan spirit?  "It's powerful, because it is profoundly human," Fr. Richard Goodin, OFM, says. "It's a quality that reaches inside the Catholic tradition and has great value outside that tradition." Enjoy this week's video about our shared Franciscan spirit!
Read More

Live Like Saint Francis

His name was Saint Francis of Assisi, and he used to praise God the Artist in every one of God’s works. Whatever joy he found in things made, he referred to their maker. He rejoiced in all the works of God’s hands. Everything cried out to him, “He who made us is infinitely good!” He called animals “brother” or “sister,” and he exhorted them to praise God. He would go through the streets and byways, inviting everyone to sing with him. And one time when he came upon an almond tree, he said, “Brother Almond, speak to me of God.” And the almond tree blossomed.
Read More

The Paradox of Franciscan Spirituality

  Franciscan spirituality boldly puts a big exclamation point behind Jesus’s words that “The last will be first and the first will be last!” and Paul’s “When I am weak I am strong!” Upside-downness is at the heart of our message, always prompting us to look more deeply and broadly. is opens up our eyes to recognize God’s self-giving at the far edges where most of us cannot or will not see God, such as other religions, any who are defined as outsider or sinner, and even to the far edge of our seeing, toward those who are against us—our so-called enemies. 
Read More

The Legacy of the Franciscans

Robert Ellsberg discusses Franciscan Media and the Franciscan faith community.   When the number of votes was reached making me pope, the Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes came up to me and said: “Don’t forget the poor.” Immediately, thinking of the poor, I thought of Francis of Assisi.... Francis, the man of poverty, peace, who loves and takes care of creation, a man who gives out a sense of peace, a poor man. Oh! How I would like a church that was poor and for the poor! —Pope Francis There have been several Franciscan popes in history, most recently Pope Clement XIV (1769–1774). He is remembered, among other things, for having suppressed the Society of Jesus. Ironically, the first Jesuit elected pope, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, became the first to assume the name of Francis. Some initial speculation focused on whether he had meant to invoke the great Jesuit missionary Saint Francis Xavier, or perhaps Saint Francis de Sales. But no, as the new pope soon made clear—his inspiration was none other than Saint Francis of Assisi.
Read More

What's Not-So-Special about Franciscan Spirituality

Some of my Franciscan sisters and brothers will not like what I’m about to write here. And what I’m about to say can easily be misunderstood, so I will try my best to be clear: Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing particularly special about Franciscan spirituality!
Read More

The Third Order of Saint Francis: A Note

When I was perhaps ten years old my mother and father, devout Catholics who sought a deeper and more intimate spiritual experience than just their parish life, began attending meetings of the Third Order of Saint Francis, one of the many tertiary clans in the Church; the first two Orders being men and women who have sworn vows and belong to one of Catholicism’s many congregations of priests, monks, brothers, and sisters.
Read More

Saint Clare of Assisi: A Little Plant or a Mighty Oak?

East of the Piazza del Commune in Assisi, stands the Cathedral of San Rufino. Near the church and its adjacent piazza once stood the home of the nobleman and knight, Favarone Offreduccio and his wife, Ortulana. On July 16, 1193 or 1194, Ortulana gave birth to their first of three daughters whom they named Chiara.
Read More

Honoring Saint Clare of Assisi

It was August 11, 1993. I had just taken lunch at St. Francis Friary, our Franciscan headquarters. I worked as an editor and writer at St. Anthony Messenger for many years. After lunch, I stopped to say a prayer in the friary chapel. At the foot of the altar, I noticed a picture of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi standing together. The picture had been placed there because of Clare’s feast, which is August 11.
Read More

Where Saint Francis Walked

Image: Chiesa Nuova, Assisi | Riccardo Cuppini. Francis’ Birthplace This small church in the form of a Greek cross (nave and transept are of equal length) was completed in 1619, financed by King Philip III of Spain. Standing very close to the Piazza Comune, the center of the medieval city, is the church where Pietro Bernardone’s cloth shop once stood. The family lived on the upper floors. 
Read More

Finding Saint Francis and Saint Clare

The Swiss Air flight from Zurich to Rome is the last stretch on a journey that’s proven one thing: I am simply not built for long flights. I’m taller than average: long on legs, short on tolerance for tight spaces. Sleep is impossible and sitting still for hours is a chore. It’s my mind, though, that is my true adversary: Every time I’m in the air, Don McLean’s “American Pie” plays in my head like a cerebral iPod with a grudge. But all fears and discomfort vanish as our airplane descends over a spectacular Italian wheat field ablaze with a gold I have never seen. I know I’m not in Cincinnati anymore.
Read More