Francis understood keenly that a spiritual life is ultimately found in our intentions, not only in our actions. Francis taught from this passage in the First Epistle of St. John:
We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them. We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? (1 John 3:14–17)
The prayer life of St. Francis was fueled by regularity, and the Scriptures were a large part of what he prayed, as well as the teachings that informed how he should pray. We, too, deepen our spiritual lives and multiply our connections to our Creator when we make daily prayer a priority in our lives. Repeated words and phrases from the Scriptures, the tested rhythms of ancient liturgical hopes and confessions, and the even more mystical communion of other believers doing the same thing around the world at the same time—which is what praying the Divine Office, or fixed-hour prayer, is all about—all serve to school us in our devotion.
-Jon M. Sweeney, Lord, Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace: The Complete Prayers of St. Francis, St. Clare, & other early Franciscans