The Prayer Life of St. Francis of Assisi

For St. Francis, silence was the language of God; he knew the importance of being still and resting in God. Fully half his converted life was spent in contemplation and prayer. Prayer was part of the fabric of his life, and everything he did began with and grew out of prayer. For Francis, prayer was Reality and the breath of life. Prayer enabled Francis to become more aware of God’s presence, a presence which was at once far beyond him and deep within him. Prayer was the center of the saint’s life. He devoted himself to long periods of intense prayer, sometimes lasting throughout the night. He peppered his life with periods of solitude. He sought out solitary places where he could enter into communion with God.

Francis frequently retreated to remote hermitages and caves, far from the noise of commerce and idle chatter, where he encountered his Creator in uninterrupted silence and solitude. In prayer, Francis learned about the richness of poverty of spirit and humility. In the recesses of his heart, Francis renounced his own ideas and the wisdom of the world, wanting nothing but the consolation of God. Francis heard the vibrant, pulsating sound of the great choir of silence singing harmoniously between humanity and God.

His prayer life led him to a deeper experience of conversion and a growing awareness of his constant need for repentance and renewal. Conversion, at its root, is a change of heart; it turns us away from the notion that we are the center of the universe. Conversion often means listening to the events in our lives that change our perspective. The fruit of conversion is a release from the burden of self-groundedness so we can enter into the freedom of being grounded in God, which will create a complete re-centering of our passion and a complete realignment of our affections. St. Francis tells us that we need to be given a new heart and new spirit; and that we need to be cleansed every day. Incarnation, for Francis, was a daily event.


1 Response to “The Prayer Life of St. Francis of Assisi”

  1. 1 Lewis Williams March 6, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Gerry, this is Lewis Williams. Can’t seem to access anything from the Pax et Bonum site, so I’m contacting you here. Maybe it’s because my computer is old. I want to order Silenzio, so let me know how I could do that. Did you get to Haiti in Feb.? I hope all is well with you. Thanks,

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