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The value of simplicity is rooted in our Franciscan tradition.  It is a value which speaks urgently to our world today where excess abounds for the few and deprivation for the many and where so often people’s worth is measured in terms of what they have.  In Francis and Clare’s spirituality they used the word ‘poverty’ rather than simplicity.  The word ‘Poverty’ needs some unpacking as a value in our 21st century world.  Poverty as so often understood as a deprivation of basic human rights – food, shelter, water, education, safety etc is not what Francis and Clare advocated.  They understood poverty or simplicity as something much more ‘of the heart’.  Francis, Clare and their brothers and sisters were committed to live “without anything of ones’ own” – this extends far beyond material things.  They understood this as living without judgement, criticism, anger, jealously, prejudice or fear – a huge challenge to all of us.

To understand Simplicity or Poverty in this way calls us who follow in the footsteps of Francis and Clare to:

  • Live with an undefended or unarmed heart – a heart that is open and free to receive and to give
  • Live uncluttered lives, free of the burden of material things leaving space for the Spirit of God to work within us.
  • Recognise all that we have and receive is gift from the overflowing goodness of a God who loves and cares for each of us and all of creation.
  • Live in right relationships with all; without power or domination and in a spirit of stewardship.  This is particularly relevant as we learn to live in a sustainable relationship with Mother Earth in our Common Home.

At the Franciscan Centre what is important to us is the relationships we have with one another and all who visit.  We hope to provide all that guests expect and need in a tasteful yet simple way by being sustainable in our operations and sourcing local produce wherever possible.
As Franciscans we see all we have as gifts from God and these gifts are for us to share.

Artwork right: Dancing Tree ©Mary Southard Used with permission