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Entries related to: saint-francis-of-assisi

Saint Francis and Suffering

Might the authority of those who suffer bring the diverse cultural and social worlds together? —Johann Baptist Metz I believe this profound question about suffering from a modern German theologian succinctly and precisely expresses the religious breakthrough that Christ has offered humanity. It is also foundational to understanding the unique Franciscan view of the world. True gospel authority, the authority to heal and renew things and people, is not finally found in a hierarchical office, a theological argument, a perfect law, or a rational explanation. What the crucified has revealed to the world is that the real authority that “authors” people and changes the world is an inner authority that comes from people who have lost, let go, and are refound on a new level. Twelve-step programs have come to much the same conclusion in our time.
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Saint Francis and Prayer

Our lives are so easily fragmented between responsibilities to friends, family, employers, neighbors, and the larger human family that we may think we don’t have the time or energy for prayer. That was the experience of Francis of Assisi up until his mid-twenties. Then he discovered that prayer was more real than many of the things he had been considering more important.
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Saint Francis, Peacemaker

“Being a peacemaker,” Friar Murray Bodo says, “can be a thankless task.” But the role of the peacemaker is essential. Saint Francis of Assisi surely understood that. He embraced those who were categorized as “the enemy” and offered himself as a living bridge of peace. 
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Saint Francis and the Marrow of the Gospel

Many people have lost heart today because we feel confused and powerless. The “powers and principalities” seem overwhelming: consumerism, racism, militarism, patriarchy, climate change, the corporate juggernaut. We feel helpless to choose our own lives, much less a common life, or to see any overarching meaning. The world is so complex, and we are so small. What can we do but let the waves of history carry us and try to keep afloat somehow? 
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Saint Francis’ Message: God’s House Is All of Creation

  As Francis of Assisi looked out of his cave and down to Assisi from the heights of Mount Subasio, it was as if the whole of creation were spread out beneath his cave, and God’s goodness rushed in upon him. He could only think of that pure Goodness and how God shares his life with us. Everything good and beautiful comes from God.
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Saint Francis: A Holy Life

His name was Francis, the son of Pietro Bernardone, a cloth-merchant, and Lady Pica, who was of French origin. They lived in Assisi, Italy in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century. He was a man born of wealth, a leader who dreamed of knighthood and who went to war on a high steed only to be brought low to the earth in defeat and imprisonment that marked him with what has been the fate of countless soldiers and prisoners of war throughout the centuries. 
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The Wisdom of Saint Francis

  The spirituality of Saint Francis is not so much about the heroic deed as it is about the heroic love with which even the smallest deed is done. That is very clear from the quintessential story of Perfect Joy. It is not what Francis and Leo endure from the abusive brother that counts. It is, as Francis says to Leo, when we bear such abuse and suffering, “remembering the sufferings of Christ, the Blessed One, and how He taught us to bear all things for love of Him, then write down, Brother Leo, ‘This is perfect joy.’”
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Live the Gospel: A Message from Saint Francis

  “As we forgive those who trespass against us,” and what we do not fully forgive, O Lord, make us fully forgive, so that for your sake, we may truly love our enemies and devoutly intercede for them with you, thereby rendering no evil for evil, but striving in you to do good to all. —Saint Francis, Paraphrase of the Our Father
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Lessons from Saint Francis

  Once, nearly eight decades ago now, when I felt lost and confused in my burgeoning adolescence, Jesus gave me Saint Francis as my brother and friend, and I began to trade my own self-absorption for the adventure of the Holy Quest: the ascent of Mount Subasio on whose eastern side Francis was born and lived his youth in the armed and walled city of Assisi. 
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Reflecting on Death with Francis of Assisi

Around the world at this time of year, we Franciscans celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis (October 4). One part of our annual observance is a service on the evening of October 3, known as the “Transitus,” or “passing” of Saint Francis. It’s a simple time of storytelling and prayers that recall how, at the moment of his death, Francis called out “Welcome, Sister Death!”
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