Religious Studies Review
15 Days of Prayer with Saint Francis of Assisiby Thaddée Matura O.F.M., Paul Lachance O.F.M.
Many contemporary readers may be familiar with Francis' life, but not his spiritual vision. In 15 Days of Prayer with Saint Francis, Thadde Matura selects key texts and provides a commentary that introduces the Poverello's gospel-based message. This volume provides a spiritual itinerary: the grandeur
Celebrating the 800th Anniversary of the Franciscan Order!
Many contemporary readers may be familiar with Francis' life, but not his spiritual vision. In 15 Days of Prayer with Saint Francis, Thadde Matura selects key texts and provides a commentary that introduces the Poverello's gospel-based message. This volume provides a spiritual itinerary: the grandeur and misery of the human condition; the love of neighbor, especially the poor and the marginalized; poverty, the path to perfect joy; wonder over all of creation; and, above all, discovering and praising the mystery of the Trinity, the center of every Christian life. Those who may have only an anecdotal acquaintance with the facts of Francis' life will be astonished at the density of his spiritual message.
Religious Studies Review
Meet the Author
Thadde Matura, a specialist in Franciscan spirituality, has written over a dozen books on St. Francis of Assisi and his message.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
Matura's book, as others in the15 Days of Prayer series, includes suggestions for choosing a time and place for prayer and exercising the freedom "to be myself and to be gentle and understanding of who I am." Each session begins with a focus point and ends with reflection questions. The introduction explains that the book is not the story of Francis or his personal journey but of his concept of God and his understanding of life according to the Gospel. Francis' spiritual message, Matura writes, is theological, mystical, and styled not in abstract language but as a poetic song of praise. Of particular interest is one of Francis' most famous works, the "Canticle of the Creatures," in which elements are addressed as brother (sun, wind and fire), sister (water, moon and stars), and mother (earth). Matura explains that the canticle grew out of a period of despair. It praises not created reality but God, who is all powerful and worthy of praise, glory, and thanksgiving from all of creation "for all creatures give us a glimpse of God's dazzling glory." It was a stroke of genius, Matura writes, that led Francis to discover "a sort of parental linkage with inanimate beings." Francis saw that the elements and humankind consist of similar matter and result from the same creative impulse. Matura expresses it with these words: "Between ourselves and them there is not a radical discontinuity but rather mutual bonds that need to be highlighted." The reflection questions for the Canticle material deal with ecological issues and such personal considerations as whether it is easier to find God in the harmony of creation or the sufferings of the poor.