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St. Francis Reflection Paper

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Submitted By lafine
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Lisa Fine
ICON 200 St. Francis Reflection Paper My expectations before starting the assigned reading were that of dread. The Middle Ages were such a barbaric time that I expected the reading to be unpleasant. However, I found the history of St. Francis to be interesting and inspiring. His resolve to glorify one master, God, was remarkable. The new order rules of St. Francis were concise and strict. His rules seem to be dependent on one another. Obedience to God was carried out in his daily work, consisting of prayer and worship, which are two more new order rules. Prayer was so important that St. Francis and his followers would bind themselves with rope while they slept so not to disturb others in prayer. I can’t imagine doing this or taking a vow of poverty. The rule of poverty is extreme to me. He wore rags and owned nothing. He underwent a severe change from that of a party person to one that follows such strict and extreme rules. He had a love for only God, which is shown in his chastity rule. He would not let himself or his followers be tempted by the opposite sex. All the rules put forth by St. Francis seem unimaginable to me. However, the sacrifices made by him caused others to take notice and listen. A positive aspect of the new order rules is no responsibility of possessions. Owning items itself is a responsibility. The rule of poverty would remove this responsibility allowing focus on worship and prayer. Today, we put too much value on material things. The new order rules value only God. Simplicity of daily life would be another positive aspect. No other obligations or thoughts except obedience, prayer, and worship would be allowed. In a society where we are pulled in many different directions, simplifying our lives would be a welcome Lisa Fine ICON 200 change. I would find all of the new order rules very difficult to follow due to their severity. Starting with obedience, we all must be obedient in our lives, to the laws of the land, to our employers, in our relationships, and in our faith. However, his obedience rule is one I would not be able to follow. Growing up and living in a time of excess of material things, services, and conveniences would make the rule of poverty the hardest to follow. I can’t imagine giving up all I own and having only rags to wear. Material things do not define me, but I have become dependent on them. The last difficult rule to follow is chastity. Since St. Francis’s new order requires one to avoid the opposite sex, thus marriage and children would not ensue. How would the world population grow? The strictness of his new order rules are so foreign and confining that I would not be able to cope. St. Francis was a dedicated visionary who changed the church in a time when acquiring items at any cost was the task of the day. His deep love of God, total selflessness, devotion and unique ways of teaching made inspirational reading.

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