Franciscanism is a particular belief system within the Catholic church which shapes a person’s spirituality, the way he/she views God, and the way they relate to God. The Franciscan theology was first practiced and taught by St. Francis and later by St. Clare. Franciscan spirituality will permeate the beliefs and values of its followers, leading them to a distinctive understanding of God and the way God relates to mankind. God God’s nature embodies love, creativity and being. God is not dependent upon anyone or anything else. God’s infinite creativity resulted in the formation of all created things as we see them today. God always has the free capacity to choose, which has led to God’s presence with mankind through the Incarnation and through the Eucharist as well as to the gift of salvation. God remains free from spatial and chronological limitations, making way for choices that result in perfect love and goodness. God’s nature is one of relationship in the Trinity. Christ Jesus Christ came to earth by means of the Incarnation as a freely chosen demonstration of the love of God. He remains with mankind today through the Eucharist. Christ demonstrates to people what God is like and what mankind is intended to be. His death on the cross, though not a requirement for God to save mankind, was nevertheless an unparalleled demonstration of love that was intended to draw people to God. Incarnation The Incarnation was God’s choice to show his love for men and women before humans chose to sin. Sin led to the particular way Christ came, but the choice to take on human form was a result of divine love. Christmas holds special significance for Franciscans because it reminds humanity of the love God showed when Jesus Christ came to earth in human form. Humanity Every person’s life holds unique significance, having been gifted in a special way by God. Humans can do nothing to limit God or to make Him act in a particular way. Instead, we must come to God understanding that we are poor before him, that he owes us nothing, and that even our capacity to do good comes from him. Salvation There is no action a human can take that will earn justification from God. Mercy, forgiveness, and justification are all freely chosen by God, not as a result of human action, but as a demonstration of divine love. Humans, however, can choose not to partake of the love of God. God gives man the ability to choose to cooperate with him and man is then responsible to work on his salvation, recognizing that even the desire to do good is a gift from God.

The Franciscan Renewal Center is a retreat center which encompasses counseling, various support groups, workshops, retreats for spiritual growth and personal development and Franciscan Way programs.

What’s the best way to raise money for the Northeast Iowa Foodbank? Use more food! As part of the food drive challenge last month at Wheaton Franciscan Healt…
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