December 21.   The Teachings of Francis. From The Franciscan Way in Franciscan Media.  Mr Adams said,   “over these weeks we’ve heard such a lot about St Francis and his life. it is also helpful to get a clearer picture of his teaching.”

Here are the eight teachings of St. Francis of Assisi.

  1. The First Teaching: The Wonder of the Incarnation
  2. The Second Teaching: Evangelical Poverty
  3. The Third Teaching: Live the Gospel  
  4. The Fourth Teaching: Go and Repair God’s House
  5. The Fifth Teaching: Peace..
  6. The Sixth Teaching: God’s House Is All of Creation..
  7. The Seventh Teaching: The Joy of Humble Praise and Service of God
  8. The teaching of teachings. Love

Some Extracts from the eight teachings.    

The 3rd Teaching. Live the Gospel. Like Francis and his brothers, we all can learn to love again, even in the midst of division and war. And the map Francis gave us for learning to love is the Gospel and his own life of following in the footsteps of Christ.

“And after the Lord gave me some brothers, no one showed me what to do; but the Most High revealed to me that I was to live according to the Gospel.”   —The Testament of St. Francis

The 2nd Teaching. Evangelical Poverty.  We find God when we become poor enough for God to find us. For God is a humble God, as powerless as one hanging on a cross, hands and feet bound, unable to strike out, or strike back. And in that lowly poverty of the seemingly powerless God is the greatest power of all. 

“And St. Francis added: ‘My dear and beloved Brother, the treasure of blessed poverty is so very precious and divine that we are not worthy to possess it in our vile bodies. For poverty is that heavenly virtue by which all earthly and transitory things are trodden under foot, and by which every obstacle is removed from the soul so that it may freely enter into union with the eternal Lord God.  Poverty is also the virtue which makes the soul, while still here on earth, converse with the angels in Heaven. It is Poverty who accompanied Christ on the Cross, was buried with Christ in the Tomb, and with Christ was raised and ascended into Heaven, for even in this life she gives to souls who love her the ability to fly to Heaven, and she alone guards the armor of true humility and charity.’”  —St. Francis of Assisi, from The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi

The desire to be like Christ in his poverty is a large part of the motivation behind the Franciscan emphasis on poverty. It is not about a hatred of the material, or a glorification of deprivation, but stems from a desire to draw closer to Christ, and to follow in his footsteps

Pope Francis: St Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically.   He is the patron saint of all who study and work in the area of ecology and he is also much loved by non-Christians. LS10. For reflection and sharing. As a family comment on Francis’ teaching on poverty from your own experience.