The Rule of the Gospel

In a recent daily meditations, Richard Rohr, OFM, speaks about what it means to follow the Franciscan vocation:

To be a Franciscan is nothing other than always searching for “the marrow of the Gospel” as [Francis] called it. Francis said the purpose and goal of our life is to live the marrow or core of the Gospel. Honestly, the core is so simple that it’s hard to live.

You can read the entire meditation here.

Recycled Orchestra

Trusting in the Father, Christ chose for himself and his mother a poor and humble life, even though he valued created things attentively and lovingly. Let the Secular Franciscans seek a proper spirit of detachment from temporal goods by simplifying their material needs. Let them be mindful that according to the gospel they are stewards of the goods received fore the benefit of God’s children. (OFS Rule, #11)

Phyllis Sadowski shared this video that offers us an opportunity to remind us that we are called to live simply; even in simplicity, God gives us the means to find beauty in the world, and make treasures out of trash.

The Prologue

The minister of the St. Bernardine of Siena Fraternity, Jerry Stecker, OFS, offers a reflection of the Prologue to the OFS Rule. This talk was given at our general gathering in April, and can be downloaded from the Formation page of this site.

After I professed as a Secular Franciscan I thought I knew enough to continue on in my vocation. Yet as time went on I realized I had just scratched the surface in understanding my calling. What does it mean to be a secular in today’s world? How do I live my vocation each day? Continue reading “The Prologue”

Vitality in Fraternity

The following message is from our former national minister, Tom Bello, OFS.

When my Mom’s health really began to plummet after the death of her younger son, I needed to take her to her wonderful and wise General Practitioner, Doctor Leibowitz. I remember his asking her to the effect: “Jackie, do you know the number one positive thing you can do to maintain a high quality of life? I mean you know the negative things: Don’t smoke. Don’t drink or eat too much. Avoid stress. But I’m talking number one positive. Do you know?

Neither Mom nor I had a quick answer. Continue reading “Vitality in Fraternity”

Our Friend Natia

Moreover, they should respect all creatures, animate and inanimate, which “bear the imprint of the Most High,” and they should strive to move from the temptation of exploiting creatures to the Franciscan concept of universal kinship. (OFS Rule #18)

Phyllis Sadowski reminds us that this rule calls us to be aware how our actions impact our non-human brothers and sisters:

As Franciscans, we should give a voice to the voiceless. If humans treat animals as objects to be discarded when not convenient, then it is just a small step away from treating human life the same way. Let’s remember to be good stewards to our animal friends.

One we can be good stewards by helping organizations such as  Fur Keeps Animal Rescue, who shares a story about a kitty named Natia. . . Continue reading “Our Friend Natia”

Peace and Nonviolence

Mindful that they are bearers of peace which must be built up unceasingly, they should seek out ways of unity and fraternal harmony through dialogue, trusting in the presence of the divine seed in everyone and in the transforming power of love and pardon. (OFS Rule #19)

Daniel Horan, OFM wrote on his blog that “Nonviolence as an attitude, disposition, and strategy is not optional for Christians. . . . Pope Francis is confirming in his World Day of Peace message this basic truth of our Christian faith.”

As we think about our calling to be “bearers of peace,” let us consider ways we can, in the words of Pope Francis, “cultivate nonviolence in our most personal thoughts and values.”

Fraternity & the Rule: Thoughts, Insights, and Questions

By Jerry Stecker, OFS

At the most recent council meeting we discussed our rule. There seemed to be an agreement that we all could benefit from some discussion of our rule and constitution. It was suggested perhaps we could dedicate 10 or 15 minutes of our gathering to this each month. I thought I would get a start by discussing our rule and “fraternity” in light of our discussions both in our gathering and in the council regarding attendance and financial support. I thought I would highlight what I gleaned from my own look at our documents and share my thoughts.
Continue reading “Fraternity & the Rule: Thoughts, Insights, and Questions”