Leads one to proclaim by example and deed

Only prayer can transform us into what we desire, that is, if we truly desire God. Prayer is to make real the Word made flesh—in our lives and in our world. Prayer is the Spirit of the Word that transforms our flesh into the body of Christ. It is an awakening to who we are in Christ and to the fact that we are the path to peace. The Franciscan path of prayer leads one to proclaim by example and deed: Jesus Christ.

~ Ilia Delio, Franciscan Prayer

We are the first house that God wants to restore

Like Francis, always begin with yourselves. We are the first house that God wants to restore. If you are always able to renew yourselves in the spirit of the Gospel you will continue to help the Pastors of the Church to make her face as Christ’s Bride ever more beautiful. This is what the Pope expects of you, today, as at the outset.

~ Pope Benedict XVI, Address to the Franciscan Family Taking Part In The International “Chapter Of Mats”, 18 April 2009

The wounds of the crucified Christ

St. Francis didn’t seek to bear the wounds of the crucified Christ (nobody wants that!), but his life had become so like the Son’s that even his body began to bear a resemblance to the physical condition of Christ in his passion. May we look to Francis as a model of following Christ.

~ Daniel P. Horan, OFM, “The Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis”

Where the path of prayer leads

Those who seek God along the path of Franciscan prayer are to be transformed by the one they seek, the one they claim to love. Prayer centered on relationship with Christ, the Word of God incarnate, cannot help but change the life of the believer and the way one lives. Those who enter into Franciscan prayer, therefore, must be ready for change; they each must be willing to become “another Christ,” for this is where the path of prayer leads, to a new birth of Christ in the lives of the believers.

~ Ilia Delio, Franciscan Prayer

What must be most revered and reverenced

The lives and writings of the Franciscan men and women in this volume demonstrate the adaptability of Francis’s vision across cultures and throughout history. Each entry underscores the poverty at the crystal center of Francis’s spirituality. If nothing material matters, then only the immaterial—the spirit living within each and every one of us—is what must be most revered and reverenced. Then and only then will the promise of Franciscan spirituality—universal brotherhood and peace—be recognized and received.

~ Regis Armstrong, The Franciscan Tradition (Spirituality in History)

It is this that liberates him

The “most high, all-powerful, Lord” is above all “good”: this is what Francis never tires of reiterating. It is this that liberates him from the petty moments of life, enabling him to rise above human frailty and to trust in God alone.

~Regis Armstrong, The Franciscan Tradition (Spirituality in History)

An invitation to act

The invitation to follow Christ which Francis heard during Mass became for him a life-long commitment which would be translated into concrete gestures, like that of leaving behind him all things which would hinder him from being an itinerant disciple of the Lord. It was a question of seeing the celebration of Mass not only as a moment of  prayer or mystical union with the Lord, but also as an invitation to act, which is born out of the Word proclaimed and believed during the celebration of Mass. Here we find the novitas, the newness, of Saint Francis, who inaugurates a new way of religious life in the Church, namely that of the apostolica vivendi forma. It was a new way which was born during the celebration of Mass in a wayside chapel, and after listening to the explanation of the Gospel from the mouth of an impoverished priest of this world.

~Noel Muscat O.F.M., Look at the Humility of God: The Eucharist in the Writings and the Life of Saint Francis of Assisi via website of the Five Franciscan Martyrs Region

To live as if the whole world were a cloister

This approach to ministry is one that places relationship and community above one’s personal faith journey and conversion. In fact, one’s own conversion, if indicative of a Franciscan hue, should lead toward humanity and away from only one’s self. It is for precisely this reason that Francis insisted that the friars were to remain mendicants and not monks, to live as if the whole world were a cloister and not be limited to the four walls of private religious life.

~Francis of Assisi and the Future of Faith by Daniel Horan OFM