Oct 24, 2010

Secular Franciscan ORDER

Pope John XXIII wearing the striped papal fano...
As Secular Franciscans we all know the origin of our ORDER. It was Francis himself seeing a need going to the Pope and getting permission to form the first Third Order in history. Since then the rule has been amended and approved by other popes. In fact, several popes have been Third Order Franciscans including Blessed John XXIII. There are also canonized third order saints. My question is: do we professed SFO live our lives as if we believe we are in a recognized Franciscan Order? Of course, we had the ceremony and we say we are, but how does that transmit to how we carry out life day to day? Is it possible that after a time we get jaded and little by little through the culture get drawn into a life not so much different than the average citizen of the world? Does one begin following a life of prayer out of mere habit because we have stopped growing and developing our spiritual life? In Screw Tape Letters C. S. Lewis' main character is an officer of Satan and advises his nephew working in the “field” that if your client becomes a Christian do not panic, all is not lost. You must convince him that he is the most holy Christian ever or at least better than most. This way in his pride you will once again get a hold on him.We have been called to the Secular Franciscan ORDER. We have promised to follow the rule. It may become easy to begin feeling like we are in a social fraternity because there are social aspects to the type of community we are part of. If we are not being fulfilled as Secular Franciscans we should take a look to see what our expectations have become. Are they SECULAR or are they FRANCISCAN? Before we drift off looking for something more take time to think back to our profession day and what our expectations were then and look to see how it compares to today. God had a purpose leading us to the Secular Franciscan ORDER. It is up to us to keep it fresh and continuously growing. We need to support our local fraternities, and not look for what we are getting from it, or what we once did, but what are we putting to it. Look at the sacrifices of Francis. When he got discouraged did he quit and find another way to satisfy himself. You know the answer. POC. Bob, SFO

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