Saint Francis’ Beatitude Spirituality

Franciscan spirituality proceeds from the counterintuitive spirituality of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12).

Read them and see how Francis exemplifies each one so well. While the Ten Commandments are about creating social order (a good thing), the eight Beatitudes of Jesus are all about incorporating what seems like disorder, a very different level of consciousness.

With the Beatitudes, there is no social or ego payoff for the false self. Obeying the Commandments can appeal to our egotistic consciousness and our need to be “right” or better than others.

Obedience to the Ten Commandments does give us the necessary impulse control and containment we need to get started, which is foundational to the first half of life. “I have kept all these from my youth,” the rich young man says, before he then refuses to go further (Mark 10:22).

The Beatitudes, however, reveal a world of pure grace and abundance, or what Spiral Dynamics and Integral Theory would call the second tier of consciousness and what I call second-half-of-life spirituality.

Francis doesn’t call it anything; he just lives it on his path of love.

Richard Rohr

See Cynthia Bourgeault’s meditations on the Beatitudes

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