The rule of 1223 is the Franciscan Rule properly so called, the rule which the Friars Minor still observe. Even if modern Franciscans are no longer bound by the original Rule written by his hand, perhaps some advice about how to live today as individuals, and the identity of the Order, can be derived from his original vision. The General Chapter of 2014 asked for a “period of serious reflection, involving all members of the Order,” on the future challenges to the Order, from practical management to personal spiritual formation. 1. In fact, in the USA, a group has received Church approval to follow the original Rule of 1221. In addition, some experts today basically equate penance with conversion, and downplay acts of self-sacrifice and mortification. These various fraternities are coordinated and united according to … God bless you! This is the penance that I now seek and require. What a gift it is to recognize this trajectory as God’s direction for our Order, even as we await its fulfillment. The principal act in the exercise of this virtue is the detestation of sin, not of sin in general, nor of that which others commit, but of one’s own sin.” Penance is thus an inward virtue of character put into practice through patterns of behavior, with its origins, above all, in the painful realization that we are all sinners. I have commented on their keynote addresses at the Chapter, which I think are problematic. The rule and life of the Secular Franciscans is this: to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people. The Original Rule of the Franciscan Third Order The new Rule gave us hope for renewal. I know that’s a lot of links to follow, but I’ve been wrestling lately with questions similar to yours. Feelings of depression, division, greed, fear, or apathy thwart our efforts to live our vocation authentically. Each one has its own moral personality in the Church. She made three simple requests—for personal penance, prayer, and devotion to her Immaculate Heart—to strengthen the faithful in these modern times. The American formation book, To Live as Francis Lived: A Guide for Secular Franciscans, explains that for Christians, self-denial: …is not a grim and prideful domineering of their bodies as a matter of personal achievement. Laudato Si Lesson. The current  Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order (see below) is the third Rule that the OFS has had over the past 800 years This Rule was approved and confirmed in 1978 by Pope Paul VI and the four Ministers General of the Franciscan family. In the Catechism (§1430-39), we read that penance “does not aim first at outward works,” but rather “interior conversion.” The Catechism states that this interior conversion will produce fruits. He has been involved with the Secular Franciscans in updating their ritual, providing commentaries for their new Rule and Constitutions, and facilitating a deeper commitment to their spiritual life, community participation, and apostolic endeavors. the St. John Paul II approved edition from 1982? One name given by St. Francis to the Third Order was “The Brothers and Sisters of Penance.” I think this name is a good indicator of St. Francis’ intentions, and suggests what kind of spirituality should characterize the Order, even today. The regulations for dress are very precise, limiting the cost, materials, and colors to be worn. Jan Parker & Mary Bittner, in consultation with the National Executive Council. State of Order Address OFS-USA 10-16-19 ]. “The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order is like a fine and sturdy home. Lent is a time of daily fasting, too. Formation or Disinformation? It is called the Confraternity of Penitents. These guidelines sound strict and rigorous, but St. Francis allowed flexibility in their observance as needed. Other requirements include tithing, drawing up a legal will, a prohibition on use of lethal weapons, the avoidance of formal oaths, and a rule against attending shows or dances. What did penance mean for St. Francis? A new vision through the visioning gatherings for Youth, Formation and JPIC. There are two ways to explore the archives at HPR: To Live as Francis Lived: A Guide for Secular Franciscans, https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?RecNum=4680, http://www.onepeterfive.com/secular-franciscan-charism/, http://www.onepeterfive.com/secular-franciscan-charism, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9Rpd-KAFZsMS1FLTmxuRGE0OE0/view?usp=sharing, Humanae Vitae and the Law of Gradualism – Rejoice and be Glad, Evangelization: The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. From Easter to All Saints Day, Fridays are days of fasting. These various fraternities are coordinated and united according to the norm of this rule and of the constitutions. We have just posted Fratelli Tutti on our OFS-USA website, along with an overview, summary, two study guides and a video reflection by Sr. Margaret Carney OSF. Conversion is expressed “in many and various ways,” especially fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Basically, penance is a turning away from sin, and turning towards God. For me, hearing the priest-moderator of my fraternity constantly associate acts of penance with mental illness led to my distancing myself from it. The Secular Franciscan Order is divided into fraternities of various levels — local, regional, national, and international. The Secular Franciscan Order is divided into fraternities of various levels--local, regional, national, and international. Somewhere I read where someone suggested buying the ‘not so perfect fruit or vegetable’. As Third Order of St. Francis, the object and purpose of the Franciscan Tertiaries is “to form its members in Christian perfection” (ref Sacra Propediem 16). The way is unfolding before us, and God is with us. The rule shows how to apply the grace.” John Francis Motte, OFM . It presents the rule of the Secular Franciscan Order on one side of the page with a second column of commentary on the opposite side of the page. This rule is a revision of two earlier rules, both derived from the Rule of Life given by St. Francis of Assisi to the laity in the year 1221. The new Rule gave us hope for renewal. The Rule. Br. Let us recall that Our Lady appearing at Lourdes, as well as the angel in the vision of the third secret of Fatima, emphatically beseech the faithful with the words, “Penance! About the Secular Franciscan Order. It is to Pope Paul VI that we owe this splendid gift, which he bestowed shortly before he left this earth. The Secular Franciscan Order received a new rule in 1978 from Pope Paul VI which was intended to give a new impetus to the Order so that it might flourish vigorously. While times have changed, the principle of being prepared to be judged by others as different, or even unfashionable (not just in clothing style, but in ways of thinking, working, family life, and politically), as a consequence of faith in Jesus Christ, and commitment to following his gospel, has not. He wanted them to be set apart from the world in some visible ways. All rights reserved. Come back, and make amends for all this guilt of yours, that shall else be your undoing; away with them, your defiant rebellions against me; a new heart, a new spirit. Because Google Translate is an external website, SecularFranciscansUSA.org does not control the quality or accuracy of the translated content. The ultimate motive for mortification is something positive: love for Jesus Christ and his commandments. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order. Penance is “a supernatural moral virtue whereby the sinner is disposed to hatred of his sin as an offence against God, and to a firm purpose of amendment and satisfaction. Conversion involves “gestures,” or concrete acts directed towards ourselves, others, and God, including reconciliation, concern for the poor, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, acceptance of suffering, and endurance of persecution. From what has been already said, it may be gathered that St. Francis successively developed his rule, adapting it to the circumstances. Secular Franciscans have a choice: either to hide from troubles or, with the help of our Rule and Gospel, to seek ways of moving forward in spite of difficulties. Although I agree on the primacy of interior conversion, and that mortification can be dangerous to both body and soul, the simple and humble point I want to make is that penance is not only an interior conversion to God, but involves outward action. 1995: Upon the advice of Father Pio Mandato, FPO, the living of the Rule is made known to a Rhode Island, USA, Secular Franciscan fraternity. © Homiletic & Pastoral Review (masthead). Today's reading is linked to a webpage of US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) The prayers includes: - Invitatory psalms (psalms 95, 100, 67 and 24), and canticles of the morning and evening prayers of Liturgy of Hours. America's foremost pastoral publication. The Catechism of the Catholic Church has some helpful paragraphs about the meaning of penance. They have gone up in price for sure. The delivery of our new Rule was a ‘decisive and powerful moment,’ and this ‘moment’ of grace has been prolonged into a ‘season.’. It is divided into fraternities at various levels: local, regional, national, and international. The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order The rule and life of the Secular Franciscan Order is this: to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of Saint Francis of Assisi, who made Christ the inspiration and the centre of his life with God and people (Rule #4). Ultimately, penance is about love: loving God, and loving our neighbor. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Race Relations and the Secular Franciscan Order. Penance! This is a great copy of the SFO Rule to be given at an Inquirer's Admission to the Secular Franciscan Order. Today there is a new international discussion about Secular Franciscan identity, and the future direction of the Order. You are here: Home / Formation / Reflections on the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order Part 1. The connection between inner disposition and outward lifestyle can be seen in Ezekiel’s command to the people: Each by his own life you shall be judged, men of Israel, the Lord God says. The text is short and emphasizes specific practices that, taken together, encourage what can be called a “penitential lifestyle” for Secular Franciscans. The original Rule may not be a precise roadmap for Franciscans today, but St. Francis’ call to penance echoes through the ages, and provides just as trustworthy a signpost toward holiness as it did in the past. The Secular Franciscan Order holds a special place in this family circle. New Rule, new unity, new vision. Their website says they try to “live this holy and freeing Rule of Life as closely as possible to its original intent.” So don’t let anyone say it is not possible to follow St. Francis’ original vision for the Third Order! This penance is … saying ‘no’ when we need not so that we can courageously say it when we must.”. Secular Franciscans have a choice: either to hide from troubles or, with the help of our Rule and Gospel, to seek ways of moving forward in spite of difficulties. Many feel unable to move forward, stifled by current world problems that seem insurmountable. A new spirit was placed in the hearts of the elect, and a holy anointing has been poured out in their midst.”, Perhaps one lesser known fact about St. Anthony is his great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, on account of the many references to Mary in his sermons and expressive passion with which he speaks of her, he might well be called, like St. Bernard of Clairvaux, whom he so frequently quotes, a second “Marian Doctor.”. I am not a theologian or historian, so this is just one layman’s attempt to contribute to the dialogue, only a short meditation that I hope may provoke others to think about these questions for themselves. From All Saints Day to Easter, there is fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays. The Secular Franciscan charism can be readily discerned from the Rule of the Order and the words and example of St. Francis. Tibor Kauser, the General Minister, said “that the most important aspect of managing the Order is the conversion of Secular Franciscans to Christ.” The number of Secular Franciscans has been dropping, and many believe a deeper knowledge and understanding of the Rule and Franciscan spirituality is vital. We’ve been on this journey of renewal for some time now. Staff. The Secular Franciscan Order is divided into fraternities of various levels — local, regional, national, and international. (Ez 18:30-31). The original Rule of the Third Order emphasized both private and public aspects of penance. You may be interested to read also my recent article at the blog onepeterfive.com called “In Search of a Secular Franciscan Charism.” You can read it at: http://www.onepeterfive.com/secular-franciscan-charism/. These various fraternities are coordinated and united according to the norm of this rule and of the constitutions. The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order Prologue: Exhortation of St. Francis to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance (circa 1210-1215) * Concerning Those Who Do Penance All who love the Lord with their whole heart, with their whole soul and mind, with all their strength, and love their neighbors as themselves and hate their bodies with their vices and sins, and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus … About the Lady Poverty Region. Dear Reverend Father, thank you for your comment. Pax tecum, Benjamin Vail. However, not everyone agrees that mortification is a useful addition to our “spiritual toolbox,” or that it should be a part of Secular Franciscan life. Conclusion: The Franciscan Penitential Lifestyle My certainty rests in God. dated 24 June, 1978 and “under the ring of the Fisherman,” has approved the revised Rule of the Franciscan Secular Order which abrogates and takes the place of the preceding Rule of Pope Leo XIII. It is not punishment, but “spiritual exercise” that unites us to Christ in this world, and wins us the imperishable crown in the next. We can see big differences between the first Rule and today’s version. Frankly, from a purely natural psychological perspective, I think people are motivated by a challenge and inspired by difficult demands. Reflections on the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order Part 1. Please respond. There may also be some unexpected degradation of the general appearance of translated pages. What does it mean to be a “brother of penance” or “sister of penance”? Secular Franciscan Profession. By profession and urged by the Spirit, we adopt as our program of sanctification the rule of 1883 promulgated by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII for the Franciscan Third Order Secular. I heard a quote that went something like this: “You are the other part of me, I don’t yet understand.” We need to learn from each other. The act of fasting might be classified as a more private act. Certainly we don’t need to serve rotten food to our families but we can get by, especially in America, with a few imperfections. The current Rule begins with a prologue written by St. Francis called “Exhortation of Saint Francis to the Brothers and Sisters in Penance.” Thus, from the very start of the Rule, the concept of penance is front and center. by Justin Carisio, OFS When we speak of the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order, we tend to mean the 26 articles of the Rule of 1978 that describe the nature of the order, the way of life a Secular Franciscan commits to, and life in fraternity. Certainly, from the beginning we have always “begun again” and started “something new” – but there is a particularity about this moment. It consists of a … Clothing must be of “humble quality” and “simple fashion,” and tertiaries “are not to wear silken or dyed veils and ribbons.” The second and third chapters deal with food. It is an organic union of all Catholic fraternities scattered throughout the world and open to every group of the faithful. The original Rule’s requirement for Secular Franciscans to wear only simple, inexpensive clothes of certain colors was one way they were encouraged to set themselves apart from the worldliness of their times. Chris' Examination of Conscience. Each one has its own legal personality in the Church. A new unity as we formed a worldwide Order. Those who live within this Rule of Life are the Secular Franciscans around the world. For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. These various fraternities are coordinated and united according to the standards of this Rule and of the constitutions. The Catholic Encyclopedia describes mortification as “one of the methods which Christian asceticism employs in training the soul to virtuous and holy living. Benjamin J. Vail, OFS, is an American Secular Franciscan living with his family in Brno, Czech Republic. Sister Lucy, the Fatima visionary, wrote: Many persons, feeling that the word ‘penance’ implies great austerities, and not feeling that they have the strength for great sacrifices, become discouraged and continue a life of luke-warmness and sin. Contact Us. I am certain we will get to the other side of this (Pandemic). Each one has its own moral personality in the Church. The meaning of penance is also revealed in the New Testament. Year round, meat can be eaten only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Since there are no issues within the Order in our region, our focus moved to educate ourselves on the Beatitudes of Good Communication amongst all people. St. Francis proposed specific penitential acts that should order the lives of his tertiaries. Our Lady of Fatima confirmed this. Learn how your comment data is processed. Each one has its own moral personality in the Church. I am not familiar with the TOR Rule, but I would like to learn about it. The first Rule imposed strict requirements that St. Francis obviously thought would help Secular Franciscans grow in holiness. The OFS Rule promulgated by Pope Leo XIII was blessedly short and simple and direct, and prescribed distinctly Franciscan practices. The Tau Cross of the Secular Franciscan, and Assisi, Italy. The Encyclopedia adds, “In the Middle Ages, the word conversion was often used in the sense of forsaking the world to enter the religious state. This app includes the rule of the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO), basic prayers of Catholic, and today's Gospel. Are you familiar with the Third Order Regular rule, i.e. The Franciscan charism of poverty, of voluntary simplicity—in other words, of humility and self-denial —is not an end in itself; it is rather a way of conforming to the example given by Christ, and a way of living out the gospel, a means of seeking first the kingdom of God. I hope this article provides some resources for each of these actions that you can use individually or as a fraternity for on-going formation. This is why learning and practicing mindful dialogue is so important with all people, because we don’t understand each other and what life is like from the perspective of other cultures. It is my thesis that one helpful guide to the future is to look back at the original Rule of the Third Order to see what St. Francis himself wanted for his tertiaries. The Secular Franciscan Order (Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis, or OFS) is the Third Order founded by St. Francis of Assisi in 1221 for lay men and women, and diocesan clergy, who feel called to the Franciscan way of life, but who remain with their families, and at their jobs rather than joining the First Order (the Friars Minor) or the Second Order (the cloistered Poor Clares). Articles of the Rule. Christ, the gift of the Father's love, is … One of my commentaries is online here: http://www.onepeterfive.com/secular-franciscan-charism, and the other you can read here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9Rpd-KAFZsMS1FLTmxuRGE0OE0/view?usp=sharing. Otherwise, there is no explicit call for penance, or specific plan of action for Secular Franciscans to make penance an integral part of life. Your comment the content through Google Translate penance, prayer, and maybe even dance you., a group has received Church approval to follow, but St. Francis s version and JPIC:,. 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