Franciscan Mysticism


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Now the Franciscan School is essentially mystical. It always tends towards the mystical life; even when it treats professedly of asceticism, there is felt in these authors the interest in that seraphic life that is the motive power of their thought: could they ever forget Alverna? But what they give to us is a very simple mysticism, in which the speculative element is reduced to a secondary role. There are no complications.

They have hardly any formula or classifications. Does one confine love within formula? For them, to love means to know, but they only wish to know in order that they may love. That is their mysticism.

Their mystical theology is a practical science, and is summed up as the love of God. They seek to love Him with love, with passion, as St. Francis loved Him. “One cannot help regretting,” wrote the venerated Cardinal Mercier, “having wasted so much time in seeking elsewhere the lessons of spirituality, when it would have been so easy to learn from St. Francis in contemplation of “Jesus Crucified.”

-From the Introduction

A short and practical synthesis of Spiritual Theology according to the Franciscan School, written by a 17th Century Franciscan of the Recollect Reform.