Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Lessons of Saint Francis: How to Bring Simplicity and Spirituality into Your Daily Life” as Want to Read:
The Lessons of Saint Francis: How to Bring Simplicity and Spirituality into Your Daily Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Lessons of Saint Francis: How to Bring Simplicity and Spirituality into Your Daily Life

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  392 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Combining deep spiritual insight with the offer of a saner, less complicated way of living, this beautifully designed treasury of fundamental wisdom provides gentle guidance on the path to peacefulness and joy in a hectic age. 20 photos.
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by Dutton Adult
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Lessons of Saint Francis, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Lessons of Saint Francis

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 778)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 10, 2008 Marc rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read "The Lessons of Saint Francis" with my 20s/30s Sunday school class at, of all places, St. Francis UMC in Cary, NC, so unlike many of the other books I have read on here, I had a purpose other than just enjoyment in reading it.

Let me start off by saying this is not a bad book. I didn't hate it. But it did leave me personally a little flat. The author, John Michael Talbot, is an ex-hippie, ex-evangelical, Franciscan devotee (for lack of a better description). He follows the teachings of Fra
Feb 14, 2013 Joan rated it it was ok
I was a bit disappointed by this book. I really didn't learn anything I hadn't known before. It annoyed me that Talbot would begin to discuss a "Franciscan" ideal and then back it up with a quotation from a different saint or religious figure. I understand the presented idea, just not what makes that particularly Franciscan.

We learned a lot about the author's life and how the friars of his community practice, but frankly that doesn't interest me as much as the Franciscan philosophy does and how
Peter Davids
Aug 02, 2013 Peter Davids rated it it was amazing
John Michael Talbot helps one read St. Francis and then think through what he means for today. Since JMT is a goldmine of information on the various saints and monastics, he has the background needed to understand Francis in his own situation and then translating that to what it might mean in our situation. This is not a book you read right through, but a book you read slowly and then think about. Yet it is also an easy read in terms of language, although challenging in terms of ideas.
Erica Adams
Jun 05, 2015 Erica Adams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the title line of this book, it reads, "A Monk's Guide to Daily Life". That is exactly what i was able to take away from this book... a guide to daily life. I am not a religious, nor am i considering a vocation to the religious life ; nevertheless , this book spoke to me. It gave insight on the ways of a simple monk and how his humble life of simplicity , quiet meditation , prayer, and service achieved for him lasting joy. After all, isn't everyone's goal in life to achieve peace for themselv ...more
Apr 30, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
this is not a history or biography of st. francis, but each chapter is a meditation on a highpoint of his life/practice. i found it to be well thought out and thoroughly illustrated with examples from the saint's life. i especially enjoyed the chapters on simplicity, joy, and humility. every chapter had some thought-starters / jumping off points at the end to encourage integration of these concepts into one's own life.

i liked the author's modern voice, but be warned: he talks a bit about his ow
Pam I.
Aug 22, 2012 Pam I. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This very readable and practical approach to the spiritual practices of St. Francis of Assisi seems almost like a guidebook for authentic life in this modern world. The pages encourage the reader to reject consumerism for simplicity and generosity; refuse sexual promiscuity to observe chastity or celibacy; strive for downward mobility - humbleness, obedience and service - over self-centered individualism; cultivate joy, creativity and compassion; show respect and practice reverence for creation. ...more
While this book does have a strong Catholic bent (which is not unreasonable since it is written by a Brother), Talbot did a very good job writing it in a way to be used by people of all faiths - or anyone who is looking for a deeper connection to the Universe and a less frenetic life. He quotes everyone - musicians, Jesus, Saints, Gandhi, the Bagavad Gita, and St. Francis himself. He tells stories of Francis and himself without being too preachy. I got the feeling from reading this book that he ...more
Dec 07, 2013 Andrew rated it it was ok
The book takes themes from the life of St. Francis and attempts to explain and teach the concepts in a approachable way. What one gets from the book is a basic explanation of what are supposed to be deep penetrating concepts. The radical nature of St. Francis' life is dawdled down to simple life applications like wear earth tones to promote modesty. I was left wanting more of the writings, teachings, and prayers of St. Francis and less of the author talking about his commune in the Ozarks. If yo ...more
Aug 09, 2015 William rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. It was easy to read, yet still boring at times. I found myself agreeing and disagreeing with various of the author's quotes. Also, the author was slightly unrealistic to the everyday person (like me) and some of the stuff he said was contradictory. On the educational factor, it really wasn't very informational. Most of the information about St. Francis I already knew. If someone who didn't know that much about him, they might have gotten more out of this bo ...more
Mar 07, 2013 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
The Lessons of St. Francis tells the basic biography of St. Francis and draws from the books written about him to teach modern believers lessons about spiritual disciplines, including, but not limited to simplicity, prayer, and solitude.
I enjoyed this book. It certainly helped me to look at my life, evaluate what is important, and to step back and slow down. I especially appreciated the biographical information on St. Francis. The first person in history known to have received the stigmata was a
Jan 01, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing
On my third reading of this... I get something new each time! Powerful lessons from a flawed but passionate man who lived hundreds of years ago, but whose life was a manifestation of the fundamental elements of "walking the walk" that are still relevant today. Well-written, honest, and relatable (even for a non-Catholic such as myself).
Tim Gannon
Aug 14, 2011 Tim Gannon rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable book about St Francis - it talks briefly about the key points in his life but focuses mainly on his views on life and living that became the basis for the Franciscan order of monks - the main topics are simplicity, joy, solitude, humility, creativity, chastity, community, compassion, creation, service, peace and prayer - trying to incorporate any of these areas into your life would seem to be a wonderful way towards bettering our world
Apr 18, 2013 Terri rated it really liked it
A book about simplifying your life and enhancing your faith. I found it to be a very thought provoking book. Using the life and teachings of St.Francis, a modern day Franciscan brother teaches us about simplicity, joy, solitude, humility, creativity, chastity, community, compassion, creation, peace, service, and prayer and how to use these as a way to come closer to God.
Frederick Lucies
Sep 01, 2013 Frederick Lucies added it
Shelves: jesus
While the author clearly has an ovrrly laudatory vision of St Francis, he does offer some simple and practical suggestions for living a more simple life in our society that is dominated by greed and consumerism. The suggestions, if everyone took them to heart, would dramatically improve the fabric of our society, and the sense of meaning and purpose in our individual lives.
Nov 01, 2015 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful little book.
Jul 07, 2012 Rebecca rated it liked it
I learned a lot about St. Franncis which was the intent. I found the writing to be good but not striking, organized but occasionally prone to wandering and not powerful. I'm glad I read it but not sure I'll read more on the subject.
Jon Newswanger
May 01, 2008 Jon Newswanger rated it it was amazing
I loved it.

Just to make sure, my paperback edition was subtitled: How to bring Simplicity and Spirituality to you daily life. I'm not planning on entering a cloister! :-)
Dec 12, 2009 booklady rated it really liked it
Recommended to booklady by: the author
Bought and read this after attending a retreat conducted by John Michael Talbot at Little Portion Hermitage, AR, back in 1998 with my sister. Wonderful retreat and book!
Dec 09, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it
This book was a real gem for me. One of those where I didn't want it to end. Full of fantastic wisdom. Especially loved the chapters on humility and creativity.
Nov 28, 2008 Doreen rated it it was amazing
One of my all-time favorite books on the life and teachings of St. Francis of Assisi. Written for the lay person seeking a deeper way of living.
Mar 15, 2009 Betsy rated it really liked it
'St. Francis walked the world like the Pardon of God'
great learning more about such a wonderful man.
Preach always. If necessary use words.
Oct 14, 2011 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book exploring the teachings and practices of St. Francis and how to live simply in modern society even if you're not a monk!
Jan 17, 2008 Victoria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to incorporate Franciscan values into their current lives.
Talbot has some excellent suggestions for living a more Franciscan life although I good have done without some of the self-glorification.
Jan 01, 2009 Jessie rated it it was amazing
My all time favorite spiritual guidance book I have read it countless times more than the hobbit even I keep it by the bed.
Jan 04, 2013 lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mine-mine-mine, 2010
i never actually finished this because it got a bit boring. i wish it had been more about st. francis and less about the friars.
May 19, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it
It was good, but I'd give it more like 3.5 stars if I could work out how to do a half star!
Dec 18, 2012 Matthew rated it really liked it
Although a little disjointed in places, this is an excellent spiritual life resource.
Jan 22, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it
this book nearly made the francisians overtake the jesuits in my book.
Dec 14, 2012 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
In another life I could have been a Sister of Claire. I loved this book.
Dec 05, 2010 Patricia rated it really liked it
Simply stated, good practical advice.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 25 26 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Teresa of Ávila: An Extraordinary Life
  • The Intimate Merton: His Life from His Journals
  • Saint Paul
  • The One Thing Is Three: How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything
  • Navigating the Interior Life: Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God
  • Uniformity with God's Will
  • Prayer Primer: Igniting a Fire Within
  • 7 Secrets of the Eucharist
  • On Loving God
  • When the Well Runs Dry: Prayer Beyond the Beginnings
  • The Sacrament of the Present Moment
  • In the School of the Holy Spirit
  • Teresa of Avila: The Progress of a Soul
  • Why Catholics are Right
  • A Life with Karol: My Forty-Year Friendship with the Man Who Became Pope
  • From the Library of C. S. Lewis: Selections from Writers Who Influenced His Spiritual Journey (Writers' Palette Book)
  • Theology of His Body / Theology of Her Body
  • The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross
Talbot was born into a Methodist family with a musical background in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and started learning to play the guitar at an early age. At age 15 he dropped out of school and was performing as a guitarist for Mason Proffit, a country folk-rock band formed with his older brother Terry.

Talbot embarked on a spiritual journey that led him through Native American religion and Buddhism to
More about John Michael Talbot...

Share This Book

“God, you made me. You love me. What would you have me do? Where would you have me go? Who would you have me serve? Show me how I can be your eyes of compassion, your heart of love, and your hands reaching out to this world. Amen.” 2 likes
“Christ has no body now but yours No hands, no feet on earth but yours Yours are the eyes through which he looks Compassion on this world Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good Yours are the hands with which he blesses all the world.” 0 likes
More quotes…