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Ep. 23 - This Lent: Grow in the Virtues of St. Francis of Assisi w/ Jen Arnold

A new Lenten Series on the wisdom of St. Francis by way of St. Bonaventure

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Summary of Episode 26:

In this conversation, Jen Arnold discusses her upcoming Lenten series on the spiritual life according to St. Francis of Assisi, as written by St. Bonaventure. The conversation covers various themes, including the virtues of austerity, detachment, humility, obedience, and poverty. Jen shares insights into St. Francis' intense approach to martyrdom, his humility and obedience, and his radical detachment from worldly comforts. The importance of spiritual direction and the challenges of scrupulosity and pride are also discussed. The conversation highlights the counter-cultural nature of these virtues and their relevance in today's society. In this conversation, Jen Arnold and Will Wright discuss the virtues of St. Francis of Assisi and how they can be applied in today's world. They explore the virtues of begging and humility, piety and reverence for creation, charity and love for God and neighbor, and the culmination of these virtues in prayer. They emphasize the importance of starting where you are on the path to holiness and taking small steps towards virtue.

📖 Chapters:

  • 00:00: Introduction and Background

  • 01:30: The Book: Life of St. Francis of Assisi by St. Bonaventure

  • 03:00: St. Francis' Intensity and Approach to Martyrdom

  • 04:40: Visiting Assisi and Contrasting St. Francis' Life

  • 07:12: The Incarnational Principle and Nativity Scenes

  • 08:41: The Virtues: Austerity and Detachment

  • 11:05: Choosing the Virtues for the Lenten Series

  • 12:31: Defining Austerity and Its Purpose

  • 15:07: Cultivating Detachment and Filling the Void

  • 19:14: The Role of Technology and Detachment

  • 21:20: Humility and Obedience

  • 23:44: The Importance of Spiritual Direction

  • 27:26: The Challenges of Scrupulosity and Pride

  • 28:15: Finding a Spiritual Director

  • 32:06: Humility: Recognizing Our Littleness Before God

  • 33:18: Obedience: Contrary to the World's Notions of Success

  • 38:43: The Counter-Cultural Nature of Obedience

  • 44:33: Poverty: Detachment and Motivation

  • 46:56: Virtue of Begging and Humility

  • 52:49: Piety and Reverence for Creation

  • 58:50: Charity and Love for God and Neighbor

  • 01:04:22: Prayer as the Culmination of Virtues


  • St. Francis of Assisi's approach to martyrdom and his intense commitment to his faith serve as an inspiration for living a more radical and authentic spiritual life.

  • The virtues of austerity, detachment, humility, obedience, and poverty are central to St. Francis' spiritual journey and offer valuable lessons for modern believers.

  • Cultivating detachment from worldly comforts and embracing intentional discomfort can help individuals focus more on God and develop a deeper spiritual life.

  • Finding a spiritual director is crucial for discerning God's will and avoiding the pitfalls of scrupulosity and pride.

  • The virtues of humility and obedience challenge the prevailing cultural values of success, power, and self-assertion, offering a counter-cultural approach to living a truly Christian life. Begging can be seen as virtuous because it requires humility and recognition of our dependence on others and God for our survival.

  • Piety extends beyond reverence for God to include reverence for all of creation, as everything created by God is worthy of respect and love.

  • Charity should begin with love for God above all things, and from that love, extend to our neighbors. True charity involves introducing others to Jesus Christ and sharing the love of God.

  • Prayer is the culmination of all virtues and is essential for deepening our relationship with God and living a virtuous life.

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