Tag Archives: Francis of Assisi

Action & Contemplation

Homeless1People have long known the story of Francis of Assisi. He turned from a life of luxury to one of voluntary poverty with the intention of sharing his possessions with the poor. Francis became an example to his fellow townspeople of the biblical assurance that God does provide.

Francis attracted others to his way of life and began the Order of Mendicant Friars. A sister order was established by Clare, to whom Francis was both friend and mentor. In the hymn of praise attributed to Francis, God is exalted for creating all of the elements of the world of which, according to Francis, humans are only one part. Francis placed people in the perspective of God’s whole creation and asserted a kinship among all the elements. The example of his impoverished life drew others to him and increased the numbers of the Franciscan Order. He began the first of the Monastic groups to develop a spiritual life that included a life lived as much in the world as it was a life of contemplative solitude.

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Work

Francis of Assisi

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.

He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.

He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

― St. Francis of Assisi

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Silent Love

Augustine of Hippo by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1490.

Augustine of Hippo

“Love, and do what you will. If you keep silence, do it out of love. If you cry out, do it out of love. If you refrain from punishing, do it out of love.”

― Augustine of Hippo

Augustine speaks of silence as a form of love. I propose that in our silence , we show the ultimate love to others. Our world is a place of “getting it straight,” but Augustine tells us that is not always the answer. Jesus says, “Turn the other cheek,” and by doing so we have expressed true Christianity. The challenge is to know when to speak and when to refrain from speaking. The twenty-first century world tells us that every doubt must be addressed, every question must be answered, every offense must be rectified, but that is not always so. Might we hear the word of the great Church Father, and know that silence is, at times, pure love. Think about it.

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Action, Being and Words

Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948), political and ...

—Mahatma Gandhi

St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1182-1220)

― St. Francis of Assisi

The rose transmits its scent without a movement. I have a definite feeling that if you want us to experience the aroma of Christianity you must copy the rose. It irresistibly draws people to itself and the scent remains with them. A rose does not preach … it simply spreads its fragrance.

Mahatma Gandhi

Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.

 St. Francis of Assisi

At first glance these two famous men would appear to be at the opposite ends of the religious and spiritual perspectives. Gandhi, a Hindu, and Francis, a Christian, are essentially saying the same thing. Why? The direct answer is: God is the God of the universe. He truths are universal and not owned by any particular group. To live out a life of faith requires three things:

  •  Action… The willingness and eagerness to get something done and the conviction to act on it.
  • Being… Possessing the qualities that identify you as a person of faith.
  • Words… The ability to choose the right words at the right time

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