was an integral value in both Francis and
Clare’s lives as they moved beyond the status quo of their times. Born
into wealth, Francis and Clare each were compelled to divest themselves of
anything that would lead them away from Christ. They did this by following in
the footprints of Jesus. This entailed a profound conversion—a complete
surrender of their lives to God and God’s service!
is fundamental in a
Franciscan’s life—prayer that flows from the depths of an inner life. For
Francis and Clare all of life was rooted in prayer: ministry, community,
solitude and silence, joy and pain. Embracing this value, we are called to
love, honor, adore, serve, praise, bless, and glorify God in our lives.
for Francis and Clare was a mirror image of
Jesus’ poverty because Jesus had “nowhere to lay his head.” Thus, we are called
to live our complete dependence on God through identifying with people around
us who are poor, living a simple lifestyle and sharing all things in common.
Our poverty extends beyond material poverty to an “attitude of the heart.”
Embracing this attitude we strive to identify with the needs of the poor ones
in our world and share our gifts, talents, ideas, resources and prayer life
in the times of Francis and Clare
referred to a socio-economic status. Although born into wealth, each of these
great saints made a conscious decision to become one of the minores (the lesser
ones). Each had a keen awareness of “God’s little ones”—those who are
marginalized, oppressed, helpless and unwanted—and actively reached out to them
in loving service. Today, we are called to do no less—to search out the “lesser
ones” in our midst and live our lives in solidarity with them.
The Rule of Life and the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St.
Francis. (1982, 1997). American-English Commentary written by Margaret Carney,
OSF and Thaddeus Horgan, SA. Washington, DC: Franciscan Federation