St. Francis of Assisi:The Call to Poverty… Aims of Unit 9: 1. “to understand that Francis reveals the radical call of poverty in witnessing the Gospel” 2. “Focus on preaching the Gospel through actions rather than words…”
“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words…”-- St. Francis of Assisi What does this mean?(In class NB reflection…5 min)
St. Francis of Assisi • Transition from Decision Making (call to action) into the Unit on St. Francis, someone whose life is focused on “living the Gospel” • HW (due on Thursday): “What does preaching the Gospel with actions rather than words add to our understanding of discipleship?” What is your new definition of discipleship based on your response? (Typed)
Unit 9 Understandings: St. Francis of Assisi • Call to poverty/the simple life… • Living like Jesus in humility = to inspire! • Washes his disciples’ feet! (John) • Difference between material/spiritual poverty? • Called to the streets…Discipleship requires active witnessing! • Care for creation…
A word on Conversion for St. Francis… • For Francis, his conversion was a slow process rather than a “flash…” • How can this fit into our knowledge of: • Decision Making? • Discipleship? • Virtue Formation? (In class responses…)
Like Augustine, St Francis also lived a troubled and superficial youth… Gave into temptation, fame and pleasure “…the very king of frolic” St. Francis of Assisi
First we should examine St. Francis from a historical approach to look at the time period Born in 1182 in Assisi Wealthy family, inheritance Spent his youth lavishly Comes from Nobility Early Life of St. Francis of Assisi
Early Life of St. Francis of Assisi • Assisi = central Italy, next to Perugia… • During a local war against the Perugians (at the age of 20), Francis was captured and developed an illness…(a fever) • During this time he acquired an interest in • eternity • fulfilling the emptiness that resided within • Where have we seen this before?
Not Long after, Francis was released and with freedom came: Renewal of glory and fame Joined military and knighted Continual struggle to find lifestyle which he desires We always have to deal with temptation and distractions… Do you? Early Life of St. Francis of Assisi
When he was reveling/partying with his friends, he seemed absent-minded…confused… Francis continued to question his: Existence Purpose Accomplishments From this point his spirit grew… “Lady Poverty:” gave up worldly goods, honors and privileges Life of St. Francis of Assisi
Life of St. Francis of Assisi • Through this revelation, a conflict developed between Francis and his family, especially his Father… • But Francis remained honest and faithful to himself and his conviction through the hardships… • Take a minute and think, would many of you go through with a decision if your parents and family were entirely against it? • Fortitude Virtue! Action!
Francis and the Leper… • One day, while crossing the Umbrian plain on horseback, Francis unexpectedly drew near a poor leper. • The “repulsive object” filled him with disgust and he instinctively retreated…but controlled his disgust • Dismounted, embraced the unfortunate man, and gave him all the money he had...
Francis and the Leper… • Handout…read in class aloud! • In NB (5 min): “What strikes you about this scene?” • “Can you relate to Francis’ actions (disgusted as well as compassionate) when he encountered the leper?”
San Damiano, a tumbling down, deserted chapel in Assisi= painted icon of the Crucified Christ. 1206 = Francis was walking in the vicinity of San Damiano = called to go inside… “Enlighten the darkness of my heart…” Francis and the Cross at San Damiano
Francis and the Cross at San Damiano • "Francis, Go rebuild my house for me…" • What does this mean? • Does he have to only rebuild the church itself?