St. Francis and Christ
Religion research papers can be written on any saint's relationship with Christ. When focusing on St. Francis, the writers at Paper Masters will tailor the project to fit your guidelines and directions.
St. Francis' way of life, as we shall see, integrated the spirit of self-denial as taught by Christ with action in the world. His life and teaching give us an example of someone molding his life to the spirit of the Gospels. St. Francis practiced the imitation of Christ, but he did so humbly. St. Francis research papers note that "he created a new Christ life; a Christ life partial and reduced from the breadth and balance of the original, yet veritable and living. " Francis' miniaturization of Christ in his own person accepted a fundamental reality, the difference between the Son of God and man. And it turned away from an imitation based on strict literalism, a strict literalism that would have made of Christian piety something analogous to the Hebrew observances of the Mosaic Law, a kind of religious devotion which early Christian writers, including Paul, thought outmoded and mechanical. It is the spirit of the example and words of Christ to which St. Francis adhered, not a futile attempt to reenact His life and passion.
That Jesus practiced austerity and that he was anti-materialistic in the extreme is obvious, but he was willing to "bend the rules" at times in a way that no fanatic would have done. When Mary anoints his feet with spikenard ("very costly") and Judas protests that the spikenard should have been sold and given to the poor, Jesus dismisses this (John 12:38). The one example of extreme mortification practiced by Jesus was the passion. St. Francis was born in the year 1567 between southeastern France and western Switzerland. A well-educated man, he chose to serve God his entire life at the age of nineteen. While independently studying theology, Francis penned his "Spiritual Exercises" that he used as a governing of his own life and later shared with his church. He became a lawyer and senator only to realize that this was not God's plan for him. At the age of twenty-six, Francis became an ordained priest and was sent to restore the town of Chablais to Catholicism.
- Francis became an active missionary throughout his war torn homeland.
- Francis' success was attributed to his sincerity to touch anyone with the prospects of eternal peace.
- From Chablais, Francis was anointed Bishop of Geneva.
- Francis possessed such zeal for spreading knowledge and truth that he expanded outside of the church walls to touch any one in need of divine teachings.
Before too long Francis attained national recognition and he was asked to speak throughout France. He made no regard to people's social status or class. His teachings were for one and all and his mission was to spread God's Love. This was Francis' message that has endured throughout time.
An interesting note of historical value was Francis' undertaking as Spiritual Director to Jane de Chantal. He did this in the form of spiritual letters, which offered instructions on dealing with a great many issues that affect daily life. These letters have been combined into various texts that have been handed down for religious instruction. He also wrote his own works, "Catholic Controversy" and "Defense of the Standard of the Holy Cross". A spiritual classic written in response to his followers' insistence on writing instruction for everyone is his book "Introduction to the Devout Life". This was followed by his "Treatise on the Love of God".
His writings and teachings labeled him as a literary genius and yet he could reach the common man of ordinary living. His philosophy of attaining God's blessings while remaining in everyday life was a direct contrast to the religious thinking of the day which allowed man could only commune with God if he removed himself from the world. This propelled him to open the Visitation of Holy Mary, a religious order founded simply on the principle of love. This was unique in that it was not founded on the traditional vows of religious orders.
Francis traveled extensively spreading his message of God's love. He died at the age of fifty-five after twenty years as the Bishop of Geneva. Forty years after his death he was beatified and canonized in 1665. He was honored with several other distinctions such as Patron of the deaf, Doctor of the Church, and Patron of Catholic Journalists and Catholic press.
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