Thursday, November 2, 2017

Franciscan Happiness

Happiness is something we all seek.

St. Francis makes it clear what happiness is.

"All who love the Lord with their whole heart, with their whole soul and mind, with all their strength (cf. Mk 12:30), and love their neighbors as themselves (cf. Mt 22:39) and hate their bodies with their vices and sins, and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and produce worthy fruits of penance.

Oh, how happy and blessed are these men and women when they do these things and persevere in doing them, because "the spirit of the Lord will rest upon them" (cf. Is 11:2) and he will make "his home and dwelling among them" (cf Jn 14:23), and they are the sons of the heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5:45), whose works they do, and they are the spouses, brothers, and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Mt 12:50)."

The above two paragraphs come from the opening lines of the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order. By the way, the rule of the brothers and sisters of the Third Order Regular (TOR) also includes the two paragraphs.

Of course, St. Francis is not alone in his view of the importance of loving God and neighbor and the positive benefits of doing so. Centuries earlier, St. Augustine wrote: "Virtuous behavior pertains to the love of God and one's neighbor; the truth of faith pertains to a knowledge of God and of one's neighbor. For the hope of everyone lies in his own conscience in so far as he knows himself to be becoming more proficient in the love of God and in his neighbor." (De doct. chr 3:10) St. Augustine thought that the key to happiness was properly ordered love.

Note that St. Francis' understanding of happiness is different from St. Thomas Aquinas's understanding, which is that happiness is the vision of God that the blessed experience in heaven.


Locating a Quote from Francis

I often see quotes attributed to St. Francis of Assisi that he did not say. The words capture what he thought or was conveying, but some liberty has been taken.

I saw this the other day: "What you are before God, that you are and nothing more." I like it and I will use it because it is gender neutral. However, it not exactly what Francis said.

Francis didn't write a lot and that makes it easy to check out a quote.

Check out Admonition XIX: A Humble Servant of God. Here are two different translations.

"...for what a person is before God that he is and nothing more." FOA Early Documents, Vol. 1, page 135

"...for what a man is before God that he is and nothing more." Francis and Clare - The Complete Works, page 33.

By the way, here is how Saint Bonaventure phrased it: "[Saint Francis] often used to make this statement 'What a man is in God's eye, that he is and nothing more.' " (Legend Major Vol 1, 1.)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Transitus - The Commemoration of the Passing of St. Francis from this World into God

A bilingual Transitus service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at Sacred Heart Church (1530 S. Union Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225). 

A pitch-in reception provided by the 4 Indianapolis Secular Franciscan Fraternities (Sacred Heart, People of Peace, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and Peregrinos de La Paz) will follow immediately at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall (1125 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225) The parish hall will be open at 6:00 p.m. for food drop off and set up.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Plenty of Seeds Have Been Planted

Recently, I attended our region's Chapter of Mats. There were a lot of formation directors there. We were urged to study and master the For Up To Now (FUN) National Formation Manual.

On the way home from the chapter gathering, it occurred to me that there are over 600 Secular Franciscan fraternities in the United States. Each fraternity has a copy of the FUN Manual. Each formation director is charged with being a good steward of the FUN Manual and using it as a resource for the formation of new members and ongoing formation of professed members. It is an amazing resource.

Plenty of seeds have been planted. Many will bear fruit.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Exploring the Galilean Ministry of Jesus

Franciscans follow Christ. I am still exploring the Galilean Ministry of Jesus, the Christ. I found two resources that will help me stay focused on that topic.

Check out The Interactive Life of Jesus website, which I have yet to explore. See Galilean Ministry and Events in the Galilean Ministry.

Also, check out the Bible Training website, which I am just starting to explore. It has a helpful article on the Galilean Ministry of Jesus.

By the way, all of the apostles were Galilean, except one. Care to guess who that was?