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Francis and Clare: The Complete Works (The…
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Francis and Clare: The Complete Works (The Classics of Western…

by Francis of Assisi

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"Francis and Clare: The Complete Works" is a collection of the Rules, Letter, Prayers and any other writings believed to have been written by these two founders of the Franciscan movement, Sts. Francis and Clare of Assisi. I say "believed to have been written" because the authorship of some of the writings is based on the best scholarly research available, not on a reliable canon collected during the saints' lifetimes. The writings of Francis are presented first, followed by those of Clare.

Because the works consist of a collection of unassociated writings, they do not provide a guide to holiness, as do other works, such as St. Francis' DeSales "Introduction To The Devout Life" or St. Ignatius of Loyola's "Spiritual Exercises". This is more like a law school case book in which one reads the material in order to discern the important themes.

The important themes are not difficult to ascertain. One obvious one is the well known Franciscan emphasis on poverty. From these readings the reader gets the idea that the virtue of poverty is the detachment from things of earth so that one may concentrate on the things that truly matter. A second theme, which I had not associated with Francis, is that of reverence for and adoration of the Holy Eucharist. The prescriptions made by Francis in his day resonate well in our time with its struggle in maintaining a balance between Eucharist reverence and accessibility.

This book serves well as a tool in a study of the life of St. Francis. We look to biographies to learn from him through an organized rendering of his life. We look to "Francis and Clare: The Complete Works" to learn from the saint himself.
(Amazon reviewer)
  societystf | Apr 2, 2016 |
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