The Spiritual and Theological Intention of the Course
Some aspects of the spiritual and theological intention underlying this Course is highlighted in a special manner in this lesson.
All Christians and, that includes the Franciscan family, are endowed with a mission to pass on the message of Jesus. Whoever follows Jesus, the "Missionary of the Father," is summoned to bear witness in word and deed to God’s love for us. Therefore, the traditional distinction drawn between a "missionary" and a "non-missionary" belongs to the past, not only historically but also theologically.
Today the individual Churches all over the face of the globe understand themselves as self-sufficient local Churches. Hence, the distinction is superseded between the actively mission-sending Church and the passively receiving-mission Church. Likewise, the Franciscan spirituality does not merely contain a missionary element: it is in its very essence missionary and therefore, is duty-bound to unfold itself as such in the Church and before the world.
The whole life of Francis and Clare of Assisi was thoroughly a life of witness: an example of life and of prophecy. Without these elements the whole sense and purpose of Franciscan life is null and void.