In his newest book, Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM, brings to life seven teachings from the life and writings of St. Francis of Assisi in the prayerful, lyrical style his readers will recognize. These seven teachings are both a way and a destination, the way being transformation and the destination being the love of God. St Francis invites us to go on a journey from love through love into love.
The seven teachings outlined here—plus an eighth teaching on love, the teaching behind all teachings—define a spirituality for our own time that anyone can learn to practice in his or her own life, anyone who has an attitude of reverence for others and for the earth and all of nature, and who acknowledges the existence of a higher power that is beyond what one can perceive with the senses.
St. Francis was not a medieval theologian but a teacher of wisdom who used sayings, stories, and rituals to show us how we can allow God to transform our lives. In this, as in everything else, he was following in the footsteps of Jesus, who is the mystery of the fullness of God among us. You, too, can follow in Jesus’ footsteps with these teachings:
The First Teaching: The Wonder of the Incarnation
The Second Teaching: The Paradox of Evangelical Poverty
The Third Teaching: Live the Gospel
The Fourth Teaching: Go and Repair God’s House
The Fifth Teaching: Making Peace
The Sixth Teaching: All Creatures Are Our Brothers and Sisters
The Seventh Teaching: The Joy of Humble Praise and Service of God
The Teaching of Teachings: Love
This simple map for living is why St. Francis is still admired today in our fractious and divided world. What he teaches, if lived, brings joy, which is the result of union with God, who lives with us and within all of creation.
Meditating on these teachings from St. Francis will give you hope; for hope is the grace to imagine a future more positive, more loving, and more joyful than the world we now find ourselves in. As St. Francis used to say to his brothers, “Let us begin to do good, for up to now we have done nothing.”