A Dwelling Place
An important aspect of Franciscan Spirituality is to make room for God in our lives. In the Early Rule of 1221 for the Friars, Francis wrote these words:
“Within our hearts we must make a home and dwelling place for God our Lord, the almighty Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. God is always near us, and in prayer we consciously think of God, we place ourselves in his presence. Francis tells us it is the opposite. We must make a presence – a home for God in our hearts so that we may carry him with us always.”
There is an interesting reflection on making a home, a dwelling place for God.
Luke 11:24-26 When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest; and finding none he says, `I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.
Francis reminds us that It is not good enough to just banish evil thoughts and habits, “to hate ones body with its vice” as he says in his Letter to all the Faithful. It isn’t sufficient to just clean one’s house. We must also fill the void with God who is the source of all that is good and upright. We must make a home and dwelling place for God.
Franciscan Spirituality is centred on three key mysteries of our Faith. These mysteries Francis meditated on frequently. They are the Incarnation, the Paschal Mystery and the Eucharist. We might say the crib, the cross and the Mass.