“Do Not Extinguish the Spirit of Prayer” The Act of Prayer According to Francis of Assisi
Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Münster, Hohenzollernring 60, 48145 Münster, Germany
Religions 2018, 9(10), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100318
Received: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 18 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Franciscan Spirituality and Its Impact for Today’s World)
Francis of Assisi did not shape a systematic tractate about prayer and contemplation. He was first of all a Man of Prayer and secondly a Master of Prayer. This article tries to work out some mainlines of St. Francis’ practice of prayer based on a small selection of his writings. Despite an incomparable situation of spirituality, society, and lifestyle between the 13th century and today, it is possible to figure out some persistent elements of what it means “to pray”: acclamation to and dialogue with the ineffable God; the logic of donation and restitution; the relevance of identity and universal solidarity in prayer; the relation between prayer and action or the meaning of “unceasing prayer”. The spiritual practice of Francis of Assisi may help us to approach and to understand the human act of prayer, which is no longer self-evident—and probably never was.