Saint Francis of Assisi is near and dear to the hearts of our parishioners because Saint Mary’s has been under the care of Franciscans for nearly three decades. The Franciscan spirit is alive and well here. As you watch the video or listen to the podcast this week, take note of the personal conversion of Francis, and consider how the radical commitment of one man sparked reform throughout the Catholic Church.
Saint Francis’ love of nature was one of his most memorable and endearing qualities. If you have never read the story, check out the legend of the Wolf of Gubbio.
For more insight into Saint Francis and his influence even today, read our current pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’ which is very Franciscan in its spirit of care and concern for our common home, the earth.
Did you miss our live session on Tuesday night? You can listen to Bishop Barron’s podacst about Saint Francis here: https://podtail.com/podcast/the-word-on-fire-show/wof-036-st-francis-the-reformer/
Questions for Discussion/ Reflection
- What areas in our world today are in need of reform? What about our Church? How would you describe the reform that Francis brought to the Catholic Church?
- Consider the ministries here at Saint Mary Our Lady of Grace. Which might reflect the spirit of Saint Francis?
- Who are your spiritual heros and why?
- One might say that Francis’ mission after his conversion was to practice the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. Review the Corporal Works of Mercy. Which are you most comfortable doing? Which are you least comfortable doing? Why?
- What did you learn about suffering from viewing the video about St. Francis?
- What is the relationship between Francis’ poverty and his generosity?
- Read the modern-day adaptation of the Prayer of St. Francis below, given to us by Pope Francis I. What phrase in this prayer strikes you as truth and why?
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Help us to recognize the evil latent in a communication that does not build communion.
Help us to remove the venom from our judgements.
Help us to speak about others as our brothers and sisters.
You are faithful and trustworthy; may our words be seeds of goodness for the world:
where there is shouting, let us practise listening;
where there is confusion, let us inspire harmony;
where there is ambiguity, let us bring clarity;
where there is exclusion, let us offer solidarity;
where there is sensationalism, let us use sobriety;
where there is superficiality, let us raise real questions;
where there is prejudice, let us awaken trust;
where there is hostility, let us bring respect;
where there is falsehood, let us bring truth.
For additional information about St. Francis, please click on the links below:
https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-francis-of-assisi/ Podcast and video about St. Francis from Franciscan Media
https://catholicsaints.info/saint-francis-of-assisi/ – Catholicsaints.info resource about St. Francis
https://www.franciscanmedia.org/a-closer-look-at-the-peace-prayer-of-saint-francis/ – reflection on the Peace Prayer (which was not really written by Francis)
https://www.americamagazine.org/issue/real-francis The Real Francis – an article by America Magazine
https://www.franciscanpublications.com/pages/build-with-living-stones – Build With Living Stones is an excellent book study about St. Francis
https://www.franciscanpublications.com/collections/clare-of-assisi – Books about St. Clare, follower and contemporary of St. Francis