The Rule of St. Francis

Statues on the front of Iglesia San Francisco, The Church of Saint Francis in Antigua, Guatemala

In Donald Spoto’s book Reluctant Saint, on the life of Francis of Assisi, he includes the text below and indicates that it is the essence of the Rule Francis proposed for his community.  I’m not sure of Spoto’s source of this information, but it’s worth sharing nonetheless, and Lent seems as good a time as any to pass it on…

  • God is the absolute good and must have priority in our lives.

  • Our lives themselves manifest the praise of God.

  • We give thanks for the beauty of the world.

  • We long to believe fully in the triune God, Who created, redeemed and will finally act in love to save us forever.

  • We long to desire nothing but God, on Whom we depend and in Whom we hope.

  • We want to love God because He has first loved us.

  • Doing penance means constantly turning to God.

  • We are poor because God alone is rich, and everything good belongs to Him.  Therefore, we need not to be concerned about ourselves, our honor, our earthly goals.  We can abandon ourselves and leave ourselves open to Him Who gives us everything.  He is not unfeeling or indifferent, but He constantly draws near to us, speaks to us, saves us.

  • For all these reasons, we are also concerned for the well-being and salvation of all mankind.

  • We prefer the celebration and the living out of faith rather than disputing about it — hence we go among unbelievers and preach to others mostly by example.

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