Approved [friar] Rule – 1223
Here the intention is not to offer an analytical study of legal documents, but just to help us to get the flavor and some highlights from how Francis approached these topics. He quickly reveals that he did not have the personality to be a legislator or developer of rules to describe particular ways of life.
At root Francis was convinced that “living the holy Gospel” described all that one needed to know and live by. There was the heart of Wisdom, of Goodness, of Compassion Personified. …Identify with Christ and all is well.
This was only too obvious in Francis’ view.
Because of his own lack of legal expertise, Francis had to have assistance to develop the legislative particulars of an Order of friars in vowed life in the Catholic Church. This part of Francis’ life (as a founder) was not easy. Fortunately, help came from many sources – from fellow friars as well as from Cardinal Hugolino.
We might start with Francis’ Rule for Hermitages, because of our own challenge from our SFO Rule (article 8) to live lives of prayer and contemplation.