The Lessons of Saint Francis: A Monk's Guide to Daily Life
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The Lessons of Saint Francis: A Monk's Guide to Daily Life

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  268 ratings  ·  27 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
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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...more
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...more
Peter Davids
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.
Pam I.
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
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
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...more
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
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
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.
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
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! :-)
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!
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.
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.
'St. Francis walked the world like the Pardon of God'
great learning more about such a wonderful man.
Preach always. If necessary use words.
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 3 of 5 stars  ·  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.
My all time favorite spiritual guidance book I have read it countless times more than the hobbit even I keep it by the bed.
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.
It was good, but I'd give it more like 3.5 stars if I could work out how to do a half star!
Although a little disjointed in places, this is an excellent spiritual life resource.
this book nearly made the francisians overtake the jesuits in my book.
In another life I could have been a Sister of Claire. I loved this book.
Simply stated, good practical advice.
Love St. Francis.
Jessica is currently reading it
Apr 23, 2014
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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
More about John Michael Talbot...
The Way of the Mystics: Ancient Wisdom for Experiencing God Today Simplicity Come to the Quiet: The Principles of Christian Meditation The World Is My Cloister: Living from the Hermit Within The Universal Monk: The Way of the New Monastics

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