Reflections on the Wisdom from St. Francis
by Fr. Bobby
"Let us therefore hold onto the words, the life, the teaching and the Holy Gospel of Him Who humbled Himself to beg His Father for us: 'Holy Father, keep in Your name those You have given me that they be one as We are one.'" (Earlier Rule, Chapter 22)
Francis of Assisi loved the Last Supper discourse of Jesus, found in the Gospel of John, chapters 14-17. He quoted it often, as above. That Jesus would come among us as "the way, the truth, and the life" and offer Himself up for us was something Francis never stopped marveling at. Always, however, Francis encouraged his followers not merely to marvel at the mercy and grace of God, but to make it the model for the way they treated one another and everyone they met. Because they were followers of Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve, Francis tells his friars in their Rule, "I counsel, admonish, and exhort my brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ not to quarrel or argue or judge others when they go about in world, but let them be meek, peaceful, modest, gentle, and humble, speaking courteously to everyone as is becoming." By treating each other with courtesy and love, we show forth the unity that Jesus prayed for.
Fr. Robert Barbato, OFM Cap, is the Vicar and Student Director at St. Conrad Friary–Capuchin House of Studies in Berkeley.
As Capuchin Franciscans we follow St. Francis of Assisi as brothers, living the Gospel in prayer, fraternity and ministry, witnessing simply to Jesus Christ and the Church as a joyful presence of hope and salvation to all, especially to those most in need.
PRAYER - Rooted in our Capuchin contemplative tradition and expressed in many forms
As followers of St. Francis, desiring to be conformed more perfectly to the crucified and risen Christ
- We affirm that our prayer is rooted in our Capuchin contemplative tradition and is expressed in many forms.
- We seek to witness both personally and communally to affective prayer.
- We seek to become a living prayer and joyful presence to draw others to Christ.
FRATERNITY - Rooted in mutual love, humble reverence and respect for one another and for all people
We Capuchins are friars minor, rooted in mutual love, humble reverence and respect for one another and for all people.
- Individually and communally, we commit ourselves to be in greater solidarity with the poor.
- We manifest a compassionate caring attitude toward one another as brothers.
- We affirm, animate, support and encourage the building of community.
MINORITY - Following the meek and humble Christ and sharing our joy as lesser brothers by walking with people of every social condition
As brothers of St. Francis, we faithfully follow the meek and humble Christ.
- We cultivate a disposition of humility and respect of the dignity of others.
- We share our joy as lesser brothers by walking with people of every social condition and by being instruments of reconciliation.
- We commit ourselves to the evaluation of our lifestyle, both individually and communally.