‘Young Franciscans – young people seeking God through contemplation and action, after the pattern of Francis of Assisi. They embrace a daily discipline of silent prayer and reading the scriptures, committing themselves to both a deeper self-understanding and to an attentiveness to the needs of those around them. Through hospitality and action, they share the mission of Jesus Christ in the world’.
Young Franciscans started out of a God-given hunger and thirst: for more depth, more prayer, more discipline, for deeper spirituality, for the pursuit of truth, for holiness and, ultimately, for more of God. When we look on the world today there is much to be thankful for, greater education, healthcare, rights for people; but there is also such blindness and shallowness. We are called for so much more! The world and its fleeting ways just do not satisfy.
The aim of Franciscans is to make Jesus Christ known. The Gospel calls us constantly to a death to self-centeredness and a rising to new life. This means a radical transformation of our being so that the Holy Spirit will fill us and act through us. It is in the different situations of our life and in the daily choices we are called upon to make that we find this permanent transformation taking place. 2 Timothy 2:20 Paul urges a young Timothy to pursue holiness so that God will use him for special purposes,
This new life came to St Francis when he embraced a leper and we too begin this way by giving ourselves in love to the needy, the unloved and the unattractive. The love and service of the poor is large part of Franciscan spirituality. We are called to love. It is from giving ourselves to this calling that the particular attributes that define Franciscan spirituality come, these being love, joy and humility.
These virtues should mark our lives and love, joy and humility are all gifts from the Holy Spirit. Our aim will be to use the Franciscan spirituality as a frame work to help us grow and thrive in our Christian calling. Like a bamboo stick planted next to a fledgling plant and tethered to it. The bamboo gives it an anchoring, a strength and helps it to stand up straight and to flourish. The principle aim of the order will not be to control or restrict any member but to help them focus, mature and know Jesus more fully.
The voice of Francis is so relevant today. As well as is love for the poor he proclaimed ‘nature is my cathedral’ he had a love for God’s creation and saw its beauty as a catalyst to pray to the creator. He took seriously the charge to Adam and Eve to shepherd the world and see it thrive. One of his favourite things to do was to walk and pray in natural surroundings. He was devout, humble and joyful. The voice of Francis speaks today, drawing people to God through the beauty of creation. Francis is well known for his love of animals too, perhaps you have seen statues of him with birds about him. The stories of his relationship with animals are quite unique and inspiring. The journey of YF members is to be inspired by Francis' voice, one which we seek together and one which ultimately leads to deeper relationship with Jesus, our sweetest friend.
The way our Franciscan journey is framed is we develop a rule of life with others and seek to live it out for a year. It is like setting up a spiritual scaffolding around your life that allows you to get into areas of your life more fully for Christ. Like scaffolding it can be moved and adjusted, it is not meant to be constraining, but freeing. It should be challenging and it will not always be easy, but it will be good and it will lead to deeper more fulfilling relationship with Christ. See ‘developing a rule of life’ for more info on what it looks like.
Francis said “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
This is why YF began if you feel it is something you would like to walk with us in, please get in contact. Through this website or email directly Chris@saintsaviours.net
Pax et bonum