Blog Posts for "Franciscan Prayer"

Franciscan Prayer: The Word Made Flesh (Part 5 in a Series)

In my last post on Franciscan prayer, I examined Francis and Clare’s gaze at the self-emptying life of God visible in the enormous act of creation. We saw the four steps of prayer outlined by Clare (gaze, consider or meditate, contemplate, and imitate) as they are visible in the actions and prayers of Francis. Francis and Clare also gazed a lot at Jesus. A lot! Perhaps the important word to consider in understanding this focus is Incarnation. This is the theological word we use to refer to the Word of God (the 2nd person in the Trinity) becoming human. ...

Franciscan Prayer: God’s Method—Be Small (Part 4 in a Series)

In my last post on Franciscan prayer, we explored God’s passionate desire as a starting point for prayer. Francis and Clare started there, and they are now revered among the church’s greatest mystics. How did they do it?To use Clare’s four-fold method, they began by gazing at God’s life. Very visible in Francis’ writings is his view of God creating. Perhaps at first blush, Francis’ focus seems a sentimental consideration of the various creatures. A deeper analysis uncovers Francis’ piercing stare at a God who can’t stand to hold everything in. So, Francis’ God...

Franciscan Prayer: God’s Insatiable Desire (Part 3 in a Series)

Many people approach me with the question, “What should I do to pray?” The question might suggest that they think prayer starts with them. Instead, I imagine Francis and Clare of Assisi starting with God, and, in particular, with God’s desire. Since it is obvious that we can desire all kinds of things that lead us away from God, it is important to examine our desire. But when we start by considering God’s desire, I find that questions about our desire fall into place.When Francis and Clare gaze at God, they see big desire. First, God expresses...

Franciscan Prayer: When You Discover God, You Discover Others and Yourself (Part 2 in a series)

Like all communication, prayer is not a one-way street. In prayer, we are not the only ones talking; God also talks. God and we both speak and listen. In Franciscan prayer, there is also a third group sitting on the stage of prayer: the rest of creation. Creation also listens and talks. This is because we are sisters and brothers with all creation; all have our origin in the same Father-Creator.Since prayer is such a family affair, when we learn about God in prayerful conversation, we also learn about our sister and brother creatures. And when we learn about...

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