Franciscan Spirituality is characterized by its application. It is very popular among ordinary people, those men and women of action who want and need to do things for others. Acts of loving service can be a most effective form of prayer. Franciscan Spirituality is very optimistic and sees the beauty, goodness, and love of God everywhere. When you consider that a Sensing–Perceiving person like Francis of Assisi makes contact with God primarily through their sense impressions … what we see, smell, touch, hear and taste … it would follow that since the Incarnation is the visible, audible, tangible presence of God upon earth, the Sensing–Perceiving personality could relate quite well to Jesus’ life and teachings through the parables.
What is your favourite parable? Make note of it now in your Prayer Journal. Come back to it later as you apply your insights to the Scripture as a Prayer Suggestion…
The Sensing–Perceiving personality type does not respond well to the symbolic but is primarily interested in the real and literal. Franciscan Prayer makes full use of the five senses and will be flexible and free-flowing. It is what is sometimes referred to as “spirit-filled prayer”, totally open to the presence and voice of the Holy Spirit present in each one of us. Since Sensing–Perceiving persons can see God in the whole of creation, they are able to make a fruitful meditation on the beauty of a flower, a meadow, a lake, a waterfall, a mountain, the ocean, or any event in nature such as sunrises or sunsets, the changes of the seasons, Spring, Fall, a fresh snow in Winter.
Much of their prayer is called virtual prayer, or the prayer of good works. A prayerful Sensing–Perceiving person will find the thought of God predominates every waking moment. The famous Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner,” and other such prayers are readily used by Sensing–Perceiving persons and enable them to live constantly in the presence of God and see His hand in everything.
The Sensing–Perceiving persons dislike formal prayer and prefers a free-flowing informal communion with God.
The Sensing–Perceiving person may or may not find it useful to follow the four steps of Lectio Divina. However, when other temperaments use these Sensing–Perceiving prayer suggestions, it is recommended that the four steps of Lectio Divina be used.