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1 Most High and glorious God bring light to the darkness of my heart. Give me right faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, Lord give insight and wisdom,

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Presentation on theme: "1 Most High and glorious God bring light to the darkness of my heart. Give me right faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, Lord give insight and wisdom,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Most High and glorious God bring light to the darkness of my heart. Give me right faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, Lord give insight and wisdom, so that I might always discern your holy and true will. SFO Minister's Meeting Formation -- June 2006

2 2 Franciscan Theological Tradition The Alternate View Project of the English speaking conference of Ministers General of the Franciscan Order. ESC-CFIT FST Berkeley, CA Franciscan Institute St. Bonaventure University NY

3 3 Starting Question answer on card Why did Jesus take on Human flesh? Would Jesus have come if Adam & Eve had not sinned? What is our most important Holy-day?

4 4 "Today, as is the case with every generation, we are being asked to re- imagine our faith life and our church structures. Unfortunately, we too often are not up to the task. We stand before a very complex and radically new situation with either petrified imaginations (the proclivity of the conservative..."We've never done it this way before!") or with the fuzzy uncritical imagination (the proclivity of the liberal..."let the new times roll!"). In both cases, there is very little chance that fate might be turned to destiny, very little reading of the signs of the times. In the case of petrified imagination, there is too much sticking one's head in the sand whereas with the fuzzy uncritical imagination there is an abdication of any critical reponse in favour of rubber- stamping recent opinion polls. In both cases, the imagination is dead. Religion dies with it.

5 5 "We can respond with petrified imagination ("only what worked before can work now!") or with a fuzzy uncritical imagination ("change is always a sign of progress!"). Or, we can respond with a paschal imagination, we can look at the pattern of death and resurrection in Christ and then move on to positively and critically shape our destiny by naming our deaths, claiming our resurrections, letting the old ascend, and living with the spirit that God is actually giving us" (Against an Infinite Horizon - Ronald Rolheiser Crossroads Publishing - Page 203). Come and See - An invitation to explore the Secular Franciscan Life Orientation & Inquiry Inquiry Chapter 2 You & the Holy Spirit

6 6 St. Augustine Original Sin St. Anselm Doctrine of Atonement Dominican Tradition Thomas Aquinas Sin & atonement centered Jesus as expiation for sin work at worthiness Jesus – no Pope Leo XIII 1879 Aterni Patris Primary view Juridical

7 7 Creation Fall Redemption -But what if Scripture describes an Alternative view of events -Standard view/sequence of Creation

8 8 St. Augustine Original Sin St. Anselem Doctrine of Atonement Dominican Tradition Thomas Aquinas Sin & atonement centered Jesus as expiation for sin work at worthiness Jesus – no Pope Leo XIII 1879 Aterni Patris Primary view Juridical – Path of Ascent Franciscan Tradition Francis Bonaventure Scotus Love-centered Jesus - blueprint of creation Jesus – Yes Eph 1:3-14 & Col 1:15-20 Alternate view relational - Path of Descent The Cappodocians Athanasius Basil the Great Gregory of Nyssa Gregory Nazianzus pseudo-Dionysis Victorines

9 9 Beginning with the Blue-print Jesus Christ God's activity begins before time Franciscan View of the Creation Sequence

10 10 Jesus the Master Plan First born of Creation – Alpha & Omega Pre-existant Word- Logos Center, focus, reason for creation goal of creation All things created through, for Him & have their goal/fullness in Him Jesus Creation Fall Incarnation & Restoration Design execution Completion in the fullness of time

11 11 Ephesians 1: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. 5 He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. The Revised Standard Version (Eph 1:3). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

12 12 Colossians 1: He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; 16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authoritiesall things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first- born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre- eminent. The Revised Standard Version (Col 1:15). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

13 13 Francis of Assisi vernacular theologian Humility & Poverty of God God as Trinity predominates his writings God organically connected to all creation, Francis expresses this in the Canticle of the Creatures Most high & supreme Good, You alone are good aside – God alone is worthy, we are not, but are by pure giftedness. Reason not to get caught up in the worthiness/performance (Path of Ascent) game

14 14 Poverty of God – Perfect love requires the lover to hold nothing back from the beloved! God freely, by choice empties Himself for the good of the other (self- communication -- kenosis) Humility of God – God turns toward Jesus completely (God's full self-expression in one other then Himself) and through Jesus The Father turns toward us (finite self-expression of Jesus) and all creation. Two Key beliefs as foundation of Franciscan Life

15 15 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8 The Revised Standard Version (Php 2:5). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. Poverty of God

16 16 Bonaventure Trinity humility, poverty, givingness is an essential aspect of God's nature of Love [self-communication/expression] Fountain fullness – constantly outpouring, overflowing Fullness & emptiness Relationship/dance of unbounded & uncontainable love bonum est sui diffusivum goodness is diffusive by its very nature – this is the very heart of Franciscan Theology

17 17 Jesus Christ – Book of Life goal and center of all creation [universe], the plan from the very beginning completes and is the fullness of creation Lastly as a remedy for sin Book of Creation: The created world is like a book in which its maker, the Trinity, shines forth, is represented and can be read at three levels of expression: namely, as a vestige, as an image, and as a similitude. The reality of the vestige is found in all creatures; the image is found only in intellectual beings or rational spirits; and the similitude is found only in those creatures which have become conformed to God. -- Breviloquium

18 18 God comes down (Path of Descent) Incarnation God bends down to embrace us in Love, to lift up our nature and all of creation to invite us into the Dance of the Trinity If God bends down in love for us through the Word Incarnate, then we who are little words must bend down in love for one another and for all creation if the universe is to find its fullness in Christ

19 19 Doctrine of Emanation: In much Catholic theology, creation is presented as divine work ad extra or outside of God's nature while the internal Trinitarian relationships are ad intra internal to God's nature. The Franciscan view of creation is that the nature of God is love/goodness which constantly is out-pouring, creating, and that God and creation are intrinsically/organically united in a continuous on-going relationship (dance). By the Incarnation we are invited into the Dance of the Trinity

20 20 Bl. John Duns Scotus Primacy of Christ The Incarnation is not a divine after thought or reaction to any event, but the cornerstone of the whole plan of creation Everything that was, is & ever will be is based in Christ The relationship between divinity & humanity God & humanity are intrinsically, organically united and all creation is centered in Jesus Creation is based on God's absolute freedom and love, e.g God's very nature, and not a need.

21 21 Thisness [haecceitas] The doctrine of thisness applied to the human person invests each individual with a unique value as one single individual wanted and loved by God, apart from any trait, attribute, accomplishment, similarity to others or any contribution to society. Of the infinity possibilities for a you the specific, unique you is the one wanted & loved by God and called into being. Our unique, customized, personal gift from God

22 22 1. God is absolute love, being and creativity. Creation is dependent upon God to exist. 2. God has freely chosen incarnation (taking on human form) before the human choice for sin. 3. Christmas is of primary importance to us. 4. Christ is the perfect image of who God is for creation. 5. Every creature is unique, gifted, and living in relationship. 6. Nothing humans have the ability to do has the capacity to make God do something. 7. Mercy, forgiveness and justification are God's actions. Brother Joe Schwab, OFM Executive Director, Franciscan Renewal Center Summary

23 23 Why? Its really about spirituality not theology NO Sin-Atonement- performance model Primary YES Dance of Life {The Trinity}– Relationship model Alternate God planned from the very beginning to Incarnate to be God with us LOVE Take out answer card Christmas

24 24 Goal of Spirituality Image of God & union with God St Clare's Gift to Franciscans Gaze – consider – contemplate - imitate Ultimate purpose Christify creation and bring about more fully the Reign of God


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