Franciscan Wisdom


One of Siena’s signature strengths is its Catholic Franciscan Tradition. It is an 800 year-old legacy of intellectual inquiry and Christian spirituality inspired by St. Francis of Assisi’s transformative experience of God. It stresses:

  • the goodness of God and the goodness of God’s creation
  • the humility of God and our call to serve humbly the least of our brothers and sisters
  • the love of God in whose image we were made to share life, love, and the good things of the earth with one another

This webpage offers a weekly sampling of the riches of the Franciscan tradition. May it help you to make the legacy of St. Francis your own.


From the tradition:

To those who deny the resurrection: “You want God to be unable to go beyond nature, the worker unable to go beyond the work . . . You want nature to possess hidden powers, such that a magnet attracts iron . . . [but] you do not want God to have power that you are unable to observe with your eyes.” —St. Bonaventure, The Sunday Sermons, Sermon 21

For your reflection: 

What does Easter mean for us? The Church will spend the next 50 days of the Easter season pondering that question. But this year’s occurrence of Earth Day  during Easter week prompts this one thought on Easter’s meaning. Easter boldly and joyously proclaims something terribly important about nature and the God of nature. First of all, Easter means that the natural world, the material world, our flesh and everything to which our bodies connect us are infinitely precious in God’s sight, so precious in fact that God takes them to himself in the risen body of his Son. If matter matters so greatly to God, then surely it should matter to us whether or not the natural world is used or abused, whether or not the environment is protected or polluted, whether or not our bodies and those of our brothers and sisters are respected and cared for or exploited and demeaned.  Secondly, as St. Bonaventure points out to those who deny the very possibility of the resurrection, the God we profess in the Creed is “the Creator of heaven and earth.” The One who brought something out of nothing in the first moment of creation and who sustains all things in being at every moment of their existence is the same God who can bring forth life where all hope of life seems lost. Just as nothingness is no match for God’s creativity, so death is no match for God’s re-creative force. Easter trumpets the priceless worth of the natural world and the peerless power of nature’s Creator.


For your prayer and petition:  

O God of life, refreshed by Easter hope and joy may we commit ourselves anew to defend and promote life in all its infinite variety and incomparable beauty.  Amen.




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