the Catholic Church there is a rich variety of spiritualities.
We speak, for instance, of Benedictine spirituality,
Dominican spirituality, or Franciscan spirituality
- to name a few.
have their origin in great spiritual leaders after whom they are
generally named; for example, Benedictine spirituality is from
St. Benedict and so on. A particular spirituality is a specific
system, or schema of beliefs, virtues, ideals and principles which
form a particular way to approach God and therefore all life in
these spiritualities are different does not mean they are contradictory.
They all arise from the same Christian heritage and they all aim
at the same goal to love as Jesus loved. The difference
is a matter of emphasis. These differences in emphasis give each
spirituality its unique character traits. In other words, each
spirituality has its preferred virtues, ideals and
principles without negating all the others. These preferred emphases
are what make up each particular spiritual system. Franciscan
spirituality, then, is that spirituality which comes from St.
Francis and evolved within the Franciscan order. It has its own
unique emphasis which characterizes it as Franciscan.
schema for Franciscan spirituality would look like this:
spirituality is rooted in the general Judeo-Christian, Roman Catholic
and Biblical traditions. It is rooted in the general Trinitarian
theology of the Church.
2. It is
Christo-centric focusing primarily on the Incarnate Jesus.
3. The humility
and poverty of the Incarnation of Jesus is the pattern and model
for Franciscan life (Imitation of Christ), theology (Primacy of
Christ) and its approach to all creation.
4. This downward
direction, movement, tendency is called Minority.
is expressed in Poverty and Humility. Poverty is the external
expression of Minority while Humility is the internal expression
with Minority, Fraternity is essential to Franciscan life. Minority
safeguards and effects Fraternity.
7. The third
pillar of Franciscan life is Penance. Penance is on-going, continuous
8. The fruit
of all this is the perfection of love with an particular Franciscan
emphasis on peace and joy.
sections are a short summary of these main emphases.