'FOLLOW ME!'
Luke 9:23

Published for the Lay Association of

The BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE

Butterfly Symbol of the BSP of Saint Francis

of
          St. Francis

October 2006

St. Francis stigmatized
St. Francis receiving the Stigmata
We begin the Admonitions anew…
THE ADMONITIONS OF ST. FRANCIS

I. The Blessed Sacrament

Our Lord Jesus told his disciples, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me. If you had known me, you would also have known my Father. And henceforth you do know him, and you have seen him." Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us. Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long a time with you, and you have not known me? Philip, he who sees me sees also the Father." (Jn 13:6-9).

Sacred Scripture tells us that the Father dwells in "light inaccessible" (1 Tim. 6:16) and that God is spirit (Jn 4:24), and St. John adds, "No one at any time has seen God" (Jn 1:18). Because God is a spirit he can be seen only in spirit; "It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing" (Jn 6:64). But God the son is equal to the Father and so he too can be seen only in the same way as the Father and the Holy Spirit. that is why all those were condemned who saw our Lord Jesus Christ in his humanity but did not see or believe in spirit in his divinity, that he was the true Son of God. In the same way now, all those are damned who see the sacrament of the Body of Christ which is consecrated on the altar in the form of bread and wine by the words of our Lord in the hands of the priest, and do not see or believe in spirit and in God that this is really the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Most High himself who has told us, "This is my Body and Blood of the new covenant" (Mk 14:22-24), and, "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting." (Jn 6:55)

Eucharist
And so it is really the Spirit of God who dwells in his faithful who receive the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord. Anyone who does not have this Spirit and presumes to receive him "eats and drinks judgment to himself" (1 Cor. 11: 29). And so we may ask in the words of Scripture, "Men of rank, how long will you be dull of heart?" (Ps. 4:3) Why do you refuse to recognize the truth and "believe in the Son of God?" (Jn 9:35) Every day Jesus humbles himself as he did when he came from his "heavenly throne" (Wis. 18:15) into the Virgin's womb; every day he comes to us and lets us see him in dejection; every day he descends from the bosom of the Father into the hands of the priest at the altar. He shows himself to us in this sacred bread just as he once appeared to his apostles in real flesh. With their own eyes they saw only his flesh, but they believed that he was God, because they contemplated him with the eyes of the spirit. We, too, with our own eyes, see only bread and wine, but we must see further and firmly believe that this is his most holy Body and Blood, living and true. In this way our Lord remains continually with his followers, as he promised, "Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world." (Mt. 28:20).

MIRACLES OF THE EUCHARIST IN THE BSP:

These things have been reported to us as happening when members received communion. They were reported as unsolicited miracles and had nothing to do with the merit of those who received them. They are pure gift, from the Lord to those who received them. They enhance the Admonition of St. Francis for this month and so we humbly share them with all. May they enhance how reverently we receive Our Lord in the Eucharist! How sweetly He comes to each of us in that sacrament!

"…Once at Mass I was praying for all of the people going to communion, as everyone went, which led me to believe there were probably people in serious sin who were going to communion. Suddenly before my eyes as each person received communion they flashed with a golden light from their flesh in any way that I could see their flesh. Their faces, hands, and legs, in fact, all exposed flesh flashed as brilliant golden light, as bright as the sun, after they received the host, as soon as they put it in their mouth. It was truly awesome, and did not vary between any person although some flashed immediately and some only after a few steps from the priest. No one did not flash! Was no one in serious sin? Not likely. Yet, the Lord came the same to all."

"…after communion I could see a glowing red light in the middle of everyone who received communion as we were knelling in the pews and making our thanksgiving. It was awesome!"

"…I see the face of Christ, all the time, in the host in the Monstrance during Adoration.. It is pure gift to me. Undeserved…"

Letters from members

Father Robert Altier
VISITOR'S MESSAGE: Fr. Robert Altier:
The Two Become One: A Perfect Unity of Persons

Monday October 29, 2002

Reading (Ephesians 5:21-33)
Gospel (St. Luke 13:18-21)

In the first reading today, we hear Saint Paul giving his teaching about the relationship between husband and wife, and how a wife is to be submissive to her husband and a husband is to love his wife. At the same time, as I pointed out many times, what he is really doing is simply asking each one of us, as male and female, to look at the natural weaknesses that are inherent in us because of Original Sin. As it is, men have very little difficulty being submissive to their wives – they just have difficulty loving them. Wives, on the other hand, have very little difficulty loving their husbands – they have difficulty being submissive to them.

But we have to recognize what Saint Paul said in verse 21: Be submissive to one another out of reverence for Christ. So he is not asking of one anything that he is not asking of the other. He is asking that each one of us would approach things differently because he is asking that we approach it from the point of view of our own personal strengths and weaknesses as male and female, and to be able to address our own weakness. Recall, this is not something that the husband and wife can hold over one another's head. That is not the point that he is making here, but rather what he is trying to do is to address each one to be able to tell them to grow in holiness according to their own person.

So too in the Gospel reading, we can connect these two as Our Lord presents to us what the kingdom of God is like, one from a male perspective, and one from a female perspective. He says, "It is like a man who takes a mustard seed and plants it in the ground. And it is like a woman who takes some yeast and puts it into the dough."

What we see is that the two of them on the day they get married basically place themselves within one another; the two become one. Just as you can no longer separate the yeast from the dough when it is all mixed in together, so too with a marriage; you cannot separate the two, they have become one. Their souls are joined together. They literally are placed within one another and it is there that they must grow. On the day a couple gets married, it is planted, basically, in seminal form. But now as they grow together, that must develop and it must grow together so that the two not only are one in the most basic sense of that, but that the two are so intertwined together that you can barely tell the two apart because the two grow together. They mature together, they are united in all things, mind and heart and soul. In all things they have to be one.

That is the goal of what married life is all about, just as the Church and Christ are one. While we can make a clear distinction between Jesus as the Second Person of the Trinity and the Church as the Mystical Person of Christ, nonetheless, Christ and His Church are one. And so it is to be with married couples. Both are to be giving totally of themselves for one another, just as Christ gave Himself up for the Church and the Church, in turn, gives everything for Christ. That is exactly the way it is to be in marriage. Not looking at the other one and trying to measure up what the other is doing for me, but rather simply looking at the Lord and saying, "I vowed that I would love this other person and that is what I have to do. Regardless of what the other person is doing for me, I have to pour myself out for the sake of this other one." That is what God is looking at, so we cannot be looking at the other. Remember, Saint Paul did not say, "Okay, husbands, here's what you have to hold over your wives' heads. And ladies, here's what you have to hold over your husbands' heads." No, he said, "Husbands, you listen. You love your wives. Wives, now you listen. You be subordinate to your husbands."

That is the point we need to look at: what God is asking of us. We need to help the other one to grow in holiness, absolutely. But it is not a matter of holding it over the other one's head and trying to put the other one down. Rather, it is simply seeking to serve one another and to pour oneself out for the sake of someone else. That is what Christian life is all about. In married life, God has given us a microcosm of what we are preparing for in Heaven, where there are two who love one another so perfectly that they are going to reflect what the unity of the Mystical Body in Heaven is all about: loving Christ and loving one another in a perfect unity of persons.

Bruce Fahey and Shelley, his wife, BSP Administrators
ADMINISTRATORS MESSAGE:
by Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP

OCTOBER

Dear Members and Friends of the BSP,

October is the month of the Holy Rosary, Words cannot express how powerful is this prayer. How wonderfully Our Lady is with us in our journeys. Always mother. Always caring. Like her Son she does not make us do anything. We have the terrible and wonderful gift of free will. Yet she gave us this prayer so we can bind ourselves to her in our journeys to life with her son. Try to make it part of your daily prayer life in addition to the other prayers you say.

It is a marvelous way to keep before your eyes the mysteries of Our Lord's life, and to consider always the beautiful life of Jesus, what He did for us, where we are going, and how to get there. The rosary is a brief summary of the key messages of the Gospel.

Our Lady has defined the way to personal holiness in her modern messages to us. The MASS, the EUCHARIST, CONFESSION, PRAYER AND FASTING, bound together in a life of love and good works to others. Principle among the prayers she suggests are the Mass and the rosary. In Mass we receive the most holy Body and Blood of Our Savior and live in our words the calling he gave us when He said: "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you." . (JN 6:53) St. Francis addresses it so well in his first Admonition to us. In the rosary we unite ourselves to Our Mother and her marvelous intentions for us and consider always the beautiful life of Our Savior.

Pray, pray, pray...

God bless you in all things, all ways. Sincerely yours in Jesus Christ,

Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP

Janet Klasson
A meditation
From the First Reading, 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Janet Klasson BSP

"I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light, because her radiance never ceases. All good things came to me along with her, and in her hands uncounted wealth." (Wisdom 7:10-11)

The month of October bestows on us an opportunity each year to honor Mary through the Rosary. It is difficult to adequately express what Mary means in the church today. The Catechism has this to say in paragraph 721:

"Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church's Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary. Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the 'Seat of Wisdom.'"
Tradition teaches that the beautiful passages of scripture referring to Wisdom may be applied to Mary. It is worth dwelling on a few of these passages in the month of October. I begin with the following three verses from Sirach, chapter 24. Referring to wisdom:
18 "Come to me, all you that yearn for me, and be filled with my fruits"
If we come to Mary, we will be filled with her fruits. St. Elizabeth proclaimed Jesus the fruit of Mary's womb. So, as foretold in this passage, if we come to Mary we will be filled with Jesus.

21 "He who obeys me will not be put to shame, he who serves me will never fail."
Jesus himself obeyed Mary. Even as an adult Jesus modeled this obedience at the wedding feast at Cana. Will we do less? The promise of this passage is that we will never fail. That is because Mary in Scripture tells us this one thing: "Do whatever He tells you." We cannot fail if we obey her in this.

26 "The first man never finished comprehending wisdom, nor will the last succeed in fathoming her."
The Old and New Testaments give us what we need in order for God's plan of salvation to be fulfilled. The focus of Scripture is Jesus and rightly so. Yet, for such a crucial figure in salvation history, very little is said in Scripture about Mary. Does that mean there is nothing to say? On the contrary.
This verse from Sirach tells us that there is more to Mary than we will understand this side of eternity.

In fact much has been written on Mary that is eloquent and inspired, for she who inspires these writings is eloquent and inspirational. Most eloquent of all is Louis Marie deMontfort's "True Devotion to Mary". If you haven't already read this book, I encourage you to take this month to do so. It is an essential tool in contemplating the indescribable beauty and mercy of God through Mary.
Interwoven throughout the Wisdom books is a yearning for something uncommonly beautiful, infinitely valuable and absolutely attainable. Wisdom 6:12-14 tells us:
"Resplendent and unfading is Wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of men's desire; he who watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate."
Mary anticipates our needs as she did at Cana. She hastens to help those in need as she did for her cousin Elizabeth. She is longing for us to ask for her help. Those who pray the rosary have the promise of her special protection. She stoops down to us in her apparitions and inclines her head towards us, guiding us and showering wisdom like dew on our parched souls.

If we want to imitate Jesus perfectly, we must love his mother as he did. Jesus not only obeyed the law, but fulfilled it perfectly. "Honor your Father and your Mother." Being God, would he not give her the highest honor he could, an honor beyond our imagination? When Mary proclaimed in the Magnificat that God had "lifted up the lowly", was she not foretelling her own glorious Assumption and her crowning as Queen of Heaven and Earth? If we who are sinners honor our mothers who are also sinners, how much more would the sinless Son honor the perfect Mother. There can be no doubt that he would give her nothing but the highest honors.

Then, knowing how Jesus has honored his Mother, and seeking to imitate Him to the best of our ability, should we not also honor her to the best of our ability? Should we not trust her with our daily needs as He did and submit to her in obedience as He did? Should we not give her to others as He did while she suffered with him at the foot of the cross, and honor her more by praying the Rosary?

Let us read that Scripture passage from Wisdom again, but this time let us apply its beautiful sentiments to Mary:
"I loved (the Blessed Mother) more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light, because her radiance never ceases. All good things came to me along with her, and in her hands uncounted wealth."

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, for we love you.

Janet Klasson BSP
Canada

Paul Beery
NO GREATER LOVE:
by PAUL BEERY BSP
October 2006

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Mt. 28, 18)

We don't talk about all nations converting to Christianity anymore.
But we do talk about nations converting to Islam. Is that the fulfillment of the last words of Jesus before he left this earth? Has God's plan for mankind changed, making the prophet Mohammed correct in stating that Islam is the final religion of Allah (and Mohammed is his prophet - greater than Jesus the Son of God) to whom all must submit (or be killed) if there is to be "peace" in the world? I don't think so, but you wouldn't know it from events of the past fifty years or so. Fundamentalist Christians are told to respect other cultures, and not be intolerant. Catholics especially have done bad things in the past (not as part of Catholic teaching but in spite of it) and we must not only apologize daily, but promise never to do it again. We are seriously wounded by our own sins and scandals which merit criticism. We have lost our confidence, our identity; so we obey the world, not Jesus our Savior.

Meanwhile, Islam marches forward converting nations by the sword as they have for the past 1375 years. Yet the same critics of Christianity remain strangely mute in the face of this frightening menace, silenced by multicultural PC and their own hatred of Jesus and His true followers, who they say are a GREATER THREAT to them than Muslim extremists. Moral equivalence is taken to new heights. Or depths.

I believe we can understand such apparent stupidity better by looking at the history of Catholic Spain in the 15th and 16th centuries, the America of it's time. Nobody likes the top dog, especially the underdogs. Spain was hated as an imperial power and the Catholic Church with it, since the two were closely allied. The dreaded Inquisition is still condemned as though it happened yesterday (look for a future article on the truth about the Inquisition, for the father of lies has really outdone himself on this one).

Christian America is in a similar position, especially since it promotes Capitalism, which its enemies equate with economic imperialism (For an enlightening graduate course on this dynamic, cf. "The Intellectual Origins of America-Bashing" by Lee Harris in Policy Review, No. 116). Its enemies look at Capitalist America as the root of all evil in the world, and this "evil empire" is unapologetically Christian in origin, with Manifest Destiny as a motto, and "In God We Trust" on our coins, as in the God of Judeo/Christian tradition divinely revealed in Sacred Scripture. America proclaims that Christian culture is superior to any other, as the One True God is superior to any false god. Nobody wants to hear all this except Christians in America, and even they are divided, for some have accepted the false god of multiculturalism, at least as it is popularly understood - that all cultures and religions are equal. But if we are to believe in Jesus Christ our Savior and obey His command to make disciples of all nations, then that notion is totally wrong.

So here comes a brave pontiff to state that a very prominent and fast-growing religion, Islam, is not justified in using violence to achieve world domination, which is the ultimate goal of Islam. Christianity has the same goal, but will use only peaceful means to accomplish it. Big difference. Muslim reaction was swift and predictable, for they realize that their only real long-term enemy is the same one they have been fighting since Mohammed picked up a sword. Only people of faith, true believers, have the stamina and perseverance to fight against equally committed true believers of another persuasion.

But a statement has been made. Pope Benedict, in effect, called Islam a religion of violence which is AGAINST REASON and the NATURE OF GOD. His scholarly speech at Regensburg made many who LOVE THE TRUTH want to STAND UP AND CHEER! To his credit, Pope Benedict did not apologize for his central assertion, but only expressed regret that some were unable to deal with reality. Accuse someone of using violence and they prove your point by reacting with violence! Case closed.

The pope quoted the emperor Manuel II Paleologus in about the year 1391, shortly before his Byzantine empire fell to the armies of Islam, on the relationship of religion and violence: " 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.' The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. God is not pleased by blood (recall Genesis 4, Cain and Abel: "Your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground.") and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…"

The pope then draws his conclusion: "The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The editor (of the edition of the dialogue between the emperor and a leading Muslim) observes: 'For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, (Allah) is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality.'"

As Jesus points out so beautifully, "By their fruits you will know them." If one doesn't believe in a rational God, then one need not act rationally, and many followers of Islam have certainly proven that point.

The pope goes on: "As far as understanding God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we find ourselves faced with a dilemma which nowadays challenges us directly. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true? I believe that here we can see the profound harmony between what is Greek in the best sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in God. Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: 'In the beginning was the logos.' This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts with logos. Logos means both reason and word - a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason. John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of God, and in this word all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis. 'In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God.'"

Pope Benedict goes on at great length to explain this point further in a scholarly manner. To the world the gauntlet has been thrown down. To people of faith, both Muslim and Christian, a seed has been planted that will bear much fruit. A real dialogue has at long last been opened. Are disciples to be made of all nations using the threat of fear and violence by the sword, or the peace of the Word – and reason – of God?

Paul

THE MOST HOLY NAME OF MARY
Icone of Our Lady of Tenderness
Icone of Our Lady of Tenderness

"Is thy name Mary, maiden fair?
"Such should, methinks, its music be.
"The sweetest name that mortals bear,
"Were best befitting thee.
"And she to whom it once given
"Was half of earth and half of heaven."
Amen. (Oliver Wendel Holmes)

Our salvation began when the Archangel Gabriel spoke the name of Mary: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace with God." [Luke 1: 30] And because of Mary's Fiat: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word" [Luke 1: 38], Our Savior, Jesus, the Son of God became Man and we have been praising Our Lady with the "Ave Maria!" from generation after generation in thanksgiving.

There was once a woman who had great devotion to Our Lady. And like Our lady, she had one child, but the child was "brain damaged", and though he was happy in his own way, he never learned to talk.
He could say just two words, which his mother had taught him with much patience: "Ave Maria". He seemed to love saying those words over and over. If someone asked him his name, he would only answer "Ave Maria." Everyone grew to love this "Ave Maria Boy," as they called him, and they were all sorry when one day he died.

On the day of his burial, a marvelous miracle happened. As soon as the grave was covered over, a green shoot appeared, and by evening, it was a tall and beautiful lily growing out of the grave. The mourners were startled and insisted that the gravedigger uncover its roots to find where it grew; as he removed the covering, the face of the child came into view and the mystery was solved -- the miraculous lily was springing from the child's lips.

The mother and everyone rejoiced at such a wonderful sign from heaven; her little boy had been dumb in life, except for his "Ave Maria," but now from his grave he was preaching a most eloquent sermon on Our Blessed Mother and her goodness to those who have confidence in her Name! [Thanks to Fr. L. Hull, C.SS.R. for this story.]

"Thy name and thy remembrance are the desire of my soul: my soul hath desired thee in the night." (Isaias 26: 8)

When we honor the Holy Name of Mary on September 12 we are simply following the unwavering devotion of the Church from the dawn of Christianity. This devotion is appealing and powerful. There are about seventy different meanings for the name of Mary. The most appealing one is that Mary means "beloved of God." It is from two words, one Egyption, "myr," which means beloved, the other Hebrew, "iam," which means God. Mariam was Moses and Aarons sister, (these are Egyptian names too) who was the first woman in the Bible to be known as Mary.

This explanation seems most correct when we consider that the Blessed Virgin was truly beloved of God. Of all men and women she was the only one who was always pleasing to God, because she alone was always free from sin (the Immaculate Conception), and thus always beloved of the Almighty. From all eternity God loved her. Out of love He created her; out of love He preserved her from sin; out of love He adorned her with every grace and beauty. In every sense her name is holy.

No wonder Mother Church honors her name. No wonder the Saints and Fathers of the Church have sung her praises. A few examples:

Saint Bonaventure:
"Blessed is the man who loves thy name, O Mary. Yes, truly blessed is he who loves thy sweet name, O Mother of God, for thy name is so glorious and admirable, that no one who remembers it has any fears at the hour of death."

Saint Anthony of Padua:
"O name of Mary! Joy in the heart, honey in the mouth, melody in the ear of her devout clients."

Fr. Thomas A Kempis, Author of "Imitation of Christ":
"Greet Mary frequently with the 'Ave Maria!' Salute Mary, think Mary, honor Mary, lean on Mary, commend yourself to Mary and repeat the Name of Mary. Be with Mary everywhere, be silent with Mary, pray with Mary, rejoice with Mary, be sad with Mary, work with Mary, walk and sit with Mary, and be recollected with Mary."

Saint Louis de Montfort:
"The salvation of each individual is bound up with the Hail Mary."

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
"Mary herself promised Saint Gertrude as many graces at death as she should have said 'Hail Marys.' Blessed Alan asserts, 'that as all heaven rejoices when the "Hail Mary" is said, so also do the devils tremble and take to flight.' "

So, dear friends, let us whisper quietly and lovingly: "Mary . . . Mary . . . Mary." And as we call out to her, "Hail Mary," remember the meaning of that title, "Beloved of God." Then we can understand why the Church has selected this verse from Scripture for the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary:

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

You have been blessed, O Virgin Mary, above all other women on earth
by the Lord the most high God;
He has so exalted your name
that your praises shall never fade
from the mouths of men.

(see Judith 13: 23, 25)

Deacon John

Posted by Deacon John to Deacon's John Blog

FRANCISCAN SAINTS: Blessed Angela Salawa (1881-1922)

Blessed Angela Salawa

Angela Salawa was born in Siepraw, near Kraków, Poland, on September 9, 1881. She was the 11th child of Bartlomiej and Ewa Salawa, poor but religious farmers. The country was unproductive, and Angela grew up undernourished, weak and sickly. She was somewhat disobedient and capricious. She received some schooling and learned to read, but was not able to spell very well. She became pious and eager to read good books after a period of rebellion.

In her teens, 1897, Angela moved to Kraków where her older sister Therese lived, and found a job as a servant in a rich family. There she also joined the Association of Santa Zita, a religious Association for domestic workers.

Angela was open to God's voice. She soon understood her call by God to be holy in the lay state, among the difficulties of everyday life, participating in the Passion of the Lord for the salvation of souls. Deciding to be a religious in the world, she made a private vow of chastity and engaged herself in apostolate. She began to gather together and instruct young women domestic workers. In order to follow more of and near the poor Crucified Christ, she also became a Franciscan Tertiary. She began her formation in the Third Order of St. Francis, on March 15 1912, and professed on the 6th of August of 1913.

Little by little she understood that her vocation was to be poor and suffer with Christ, and accepted it resolutely. Although conscious of her weakness, she prayed many hours before the Blessed Sacrament, and read books of high mystical content, taking notes from the practical points that she found. The writings of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross were a great comfort to her. By order of her confessor, she began to make notes of her mystical experiences in a personal diary.

The lady in whose house she worked, became seriously ill and died, attended by Angela. She remained in the family, anyway, continuing her work and apostolate. During World War I, she helped prisoners of war without regard for their nationality or religion.

After 1918 her health declined. Addressing herself to Christ, she wrote in her diary, "I want you to be adored as much as you were destroyed." In another place, she wrote, "Lord, I live by your will. I shall die when you desire; save me because you can."

She died on March 12, 1922 in Krakow, where she is buried in the church of St. Francis.

At her 1991 beatification in Kraków, Pope John Paul II said: "It is in this city that she worked, that she suffered and that her holiness came to maturity. While connected to the spirituality of St. Francis, she showed an extraordinary responsiveness to the action of the Holy Spirit".

Here is a quote from Angela's diary:

"After having examined my life, I feel that I am at the stage where God has called me since my childhood; as far as I can remember I have always felt a strong attraction to suffering and poverty. As a child I always felt in my heart that I could only reciprocate the grace of God in a state of humility. That is why I chose to work as a domestic assistant, having many times renounced the riches offered to me, trusting that in persevering in this humble state I may satisfy God's will.

For this I see that I must sincerely and practically love every kind of poverty that comes my way, so to better respond to that first attraction during my childhood. I also have to find a way to respond to this grace no matter what happens in my life, even if it is very difficult. I have always felt that God wanted even more from my soul. I remember these words: "You have not chosen me, it is I who have chosen you…" (Jn15:17). I see from these very words that God has destined me to travel this way from my youth. I feel that an easier way is out of the question, as it is only by responding to a so outstanding grace that my life can put into practice these words: "Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear" (Lk 10:23; Mt 13:16).

The following are the indications to follow along the way that God has marked out during my life:

l. In the many difficulties and sorrows that spring from others, strength is needed, as well as suitable energy, proper silence, patience, serenity, understanding of others, and as far as possible, pursuit of justice. If I can follow these indications, it means I will have to abandon myself even more to God, and with all my strength try to not allow any bitterness in my soul, remembering that these are things that a Christian soul is made of.

2. I have to be sure that this is my way and the goal of my life: thinking this way, I will be able to accept all things peacefully and for the greater good of my soul; and at the moment of my death I can say:"All is accomplished".

Submitted by Anna Ferroni—Turin, Italy


St. Francis near to die is transported to Assisi, and blesses the town from the hill
St. Francis near to die is transported to Assisi, and blesses the town from the hill
By Francois Leon Benouville, French painter (1821-1859)
Musee d'Orsay, Paris

St. Francis died on the eve of October 4,1226 lying on the bare floor, naked and poor in the eyes of men, but rich in God's grace. He was canonized on July 16, 1228 by Pope Honorius III, and his feast is observed on October 4. Among his last words was a call to continue the work of renewal in the Catholic Church: Let us begin again, for until now we have done nothing. May each of us do our share to spread the Gospel, the true Catholic faith!


The
BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE OF ST. FRANCIS

a.k.a. the BSP, is a non-profit Private Association of the Faithful, which is dedicated to renewing the ancient way of penance as contained in the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis of 1221 for lay people in our modern world. We have the blessing of the Catholic Church to do this through several of its bishops. If you are bound by another Rule of life in another profession of the way of St. Francis that does not permit you to enter other religious families you are nonetheless invited to become an Honorary member of our Association and add the elements of this beautiful way of life that Saint Francis of Assisi gave us to the lifestyle of your profession.

All members, and Franciscans, are welcome to submit articles for consideration for inclusion in this newsletter if they are directed towards the spiritual formation of members or are the outgrowth of the lifestyle of the Association. Just send them to the BSP at minncc@aol.com. Feel free to share this newsletter with your friends or neighbors. It is intended to be the primary monthly communication of the Association. And if you can find it in your heart and in your budget remember that donations to the BSP are used strictly to promote the lifestyle and are tax deductible. We remain, always, sincerely yours in the love of Jesus Christ!

Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP



Welcome to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance!

Website: www.bspenance.org

"He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. "
(Luke 2:51)

In the world, but not of it, for Christ!


Communication Center & Headquarters:

20939 Quadrant Avenue N - SCANDIA MN USA 55073
Phone: 651-433-2753   

minncc@aol.com

postmaster@bspenance.org