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Reading creation as the reflection of Christ Crucified The early Franciscan saints had the insight that creation was a great mirror of the divine. Christ Crucified is understood as the model or ‘exemplar’ and centre of all creation. The life of Jesus Christ reveals the key to understanding our disordered world. We deepen our understanding through reflection and prayer. Saint Clare of Assisi proposed a way of prayer centred on reflecting on the image of Christ. She asks us to gaze, consider, contemplate and imitate the image of the Crucified Christ in the world.

Christ Crucified is understood as the model or ‘exemplar’ and centre of all creation. Gaze

First, Saint Clare suggests we gaze on Christ as if looking into a mirror. In this mirror we see ourselves as a son or daughter of the Most High. Similarly, Pope Francis asks us to consider that Jesus gazed on our world (LS 96-100). To gaze is to see things more deeply and clearly, we must remove the filters that blur our vision and spend time to allow God to reveal God’s self more

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clearly. Saints Francis and Clare invite us to see creation as our brother and sister. Saint Francis could see Christ in rocks, worms and lambs.

Consider

Secondly, Saint Clare asks us to consider how Christ self-emptied himself in love through poverty, humility and charity. We are also asked to consider how we too may self-empty ourselves to allow God to express God’s love through us. Jesus came into the world as a naked baby, defenceless, calling for us to care for him. He gave his life for others. He opened himself totally to experience our sin damaged world. Christ emptied himself completely on the cross to fill creation with God’s love.

Our emotions are a very important way of experiencing God’s creation and we need to take them into prayer. Contemplate

Thirdly, Clare asks us to contemplate. To experience the world as Jesus experienced the world. What did he see as he walked the streets of Jerusalem? What did he feel as he climbed the rolling hills of Galilee?

THE FRANCIS EFFECT II: PRAISED BE YOU – ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME

Profile for Catholic Mission

The Francis Effect II - Praised Be You - On Care for our Common Home  

Twelve prominent Catholic leaders from various sectors and ministries of the Australian Church offer their perspectives on Pope Francis’ enc...

The Francis Effect II - Praised Be You - On Care for our Common Home  

Twelve prominent Catholic leaders from various sectors and ministries of the Australian Church offer their perspectives on Pope Francis’ enc...

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