Year of Consecrated Life 2015 ? Following St Francis

Chris Dyczek OFM

Modern Franciscan communities draw on the life of St Francis while re-defining simplicity in order to live fully in the modern world, writes Chris Dyczek OFM. The author runs a distance learning programme at the Franciscan International Study Centre in Canterbury.

There is a gentle and joyful spiritual warmth that comes from living in communities whose founding vision is that of St Francis of Assisi. How well we, the friars of today, communicate and share that spirit varies from person to person, and from year to year in anyone?s activities too. The sense of vision is not handed to any community member on a plate. But a loving relationship with Christ, and readiness to live in accord with God?s decisions, are a daily source of strength. From these come the quality of prayer, recollection, social interactions and compassion which were so central to St Francis. He spoke of keeping a place always ready in his heart for welcoming Christ. If he felt isolated and lonely as a young adult, he overcame this helplessness through generous companionship in community. Like St Paul, he saw the Body of Christ as a lifestyle of hope, vitality and diversity. His mission-minded followers would aim to nudge one another, in kindly ways, to take new steps of conversion, and empower greater love to be present in their neighbourhood.

Login for more...