'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

September 2007

St Clare of Assisi
HOW ST. CLARE MIRACULOUSLY IMPRINTED THE CROSS ON SOME LOAVES OF BREAD

St. Clare, a most devout disciple of the Cross of Christ and a noble little plant of St. Francis, was so holy that not only bishops and cardinals but also the Pope strongly desired to see and hear her, and often visited her in person.

At one time among others the Pope went to St. Clare's monastery in order to listen to her heavenly and divine conversation, for she was a shrine of the Holy Spirit. And as both of them conversed for a long time about the salvation of the soul and the praise of God, St. Clare meanwhile ordered loaves of bread to be set out on the tables for all the Sisters, for she wished to keep those loaves after they had been blessed by the Vicar of Christ.

So when their very holy conversation was over, the Saint knelt with great reverence and asked the Supreme Pontiff whether he would deign to bless the loaves of bread which had been placed on the tables.

The Pope answered: "Very faithful Sister Clare, I want you to bless those loaves of bread and to make over them the sign of the Cross of Christ to whom you have offered yourself completely as a spotless sacrifice."

But St Clare replied: :Most Holy Father, please excuse me, but I would deserve to be severely blamed if a vile little womanlike myself should presume to give such a blessing the presence of the Vicar of Christ."

And the Pope answered: "So that it should not be attributed to presumption, but that you may also earn merit by doing it, I command you under holy obedience to make the Sign of the Cross over those loaves of bread and to bless them in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ."

Then St. Clare, as a truly obedient daughter, very devoutly made the Sign of the Cross over those loaves of bread and blessed them. And a marvelous thing happened: all of a sudden a very beautiful and clearly marked cross appeared on the all the loaves.

Afterwards some of those loaves were eaten with great devotion, and some were set aside as evidence of the miracle for the future.

And when the Holy Father saw the miraculous cross that had been made by the spouse of Christ, he first gave thanks to God, and the, after granting to St. Clare the consolation of his blessing, he took some of the bread and left.

At that time there were living in that monastery Sister Ortolana, St.Clare's mother, and Sister Agnes, her sister, all of whom, with many other holy nuns and spouse of Christ, were full of virtue and of the Holy Spirit. St. Francis used to send many sick people to them. And by the power of their prayers and of the Cross, which they loved with all their hearts, they would restore to health everyone over whom they made the Sign of the Cross.

To the glory of Christ. Amen.

Bruce Fahey and Shelley, his wife, BSP Administrators
ADMINISTRATOR'S MESSAGE:
Commitment

When we last visited with Our Visitor, Fr. Robert Altier, he made the point that the one thing we always need to look for in our members is commitment. Without commitment he said the Association would never be successful, and uncommitted members would add nothing to the life and health of our little family of St. Francis. This says a lot to all of us and is worthy of some deeper examination.

What does commitment look like? What does it look like for the Association? What does it look like for our members; in their lives. What does it look like in the Church? In the World? A lot of pretty serious questions.

Let's examine the life of members first. A good friend of ours in the Association recently sent us her lifestyle. She had decided she needed to write down how she was going to try to live the Rule of 1221, and she was professed. It came out of the clear blue. We had not requested it. She, in her commitment to her profession, decided she needed to document, FOR HERSELF, how she was going to live the Rule.

We were humbled, but obediently went over the three page detailed letter on how she intended to live the Rule. It was profound. It covered details on how she would pray; how she would fast; what her fasts would look like; how she would dress in the daily situations she faced and how she would spend her time and money. It included detailed sections on how she would study to improve her spiritual life; what work she would offer to God including her response to the spiritual and corporal works of mercy which Archbishop Nienstedt at our retreat explained was a holy response to a holy way of life. She had sections on what recreation would be hers; personal monastic promises she was making on poverty, chastity, and obedience, and conversion of life. She addressed her income and how it would be used, and ended extending power of attorney to those she knew and trusted in the event of her death, and included her last will and testament. It was all very beautiful.

Now the point of this is at least two fold. One, we need to be converted and make a firm decision on how we will live the Rule, at least once we are professed. We can also do this at each stage of formation, prayerfully and thoughtfully, taking into account where we are in formation. Secondly, it shows commitment to living the life. Explaining in detail so she can never forget, how she intends to live her profession. It is a good thing for us all to do, and at a minimum to bring this discussion to our spiritual directors.

Commitment in the Association, for all of us that are committed, is how will we work in the Association, on the forums, in our email dialogues or Chapters, and more importantly, how will we promote the life of penance in the world around us by example and word, without seeking fanfare but while seeking true disciples of Christ and helping others gain their salvation. In it all we must be prayerful, careful, and respectful of others. God gave us freedom and we need to respect the freedom others have even while encouraging them to the right path.

Commitment in the Church? We as an Association must shine with Christian virtues and be organized to build up the Church. St. Francis was told by the Lord: "Go and build my Church for you see it is falling into ruins." We join him in trying to add to the Church all we can by way of good example; holy living; penance promoted and the sacraments cherished; the Word of God in motion before all. A positive influence, supportive of the Holy Father and the traditions of the Church; in love with Jesus and Mary and the Saints while trying to become one ourselves. Gentle and encouraging, with joy, the wayward especially and foremost in our families, surrendering all things to Christ.

Finally, of course, there is the world. Our commitment in the world should change it for the better. Draw it closer to Christ. Certainly and always by our work, our prayers and sacrifices. Also by our words and example. We should always speak respectfully of God, and support our parishes and the Church in its mission. Servants of all, even if we encounter, as we certainly will, opposition and criticism for being too radical. We need to be radical in the way we live our lives for Christ while being the gentlest, humblest, kindest people we can be.

There is so much more we can say on this subject. We all do well to take some time and decide what our commitment should look like. In it all, let us be true servants of Christ.

Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
Administrators

Janet Klasson
A meditation
From the Gospel reading, 23 Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Janet Klasson BSP

"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:27)

      "...cannot be my disciple." These are harsh words for the followers of Jesus, then and now. Jesus gives us two choices: carry your cross and come after me—or don't; be my disciple—or don't; live with me forever—or don't. Two choices. Seen through the eyes of faith the choice is obvious, a no-brainer.

Then why do so many, and even so many Christians, seem to be making the wrong choice? "Carry a cross? Now? Can it wait until after the game?" "Be your disciple? Sure! I'll give you an hour every Sunday. You're welcome." "Live with you forever? Wow! That would be great! Come back when I'm on my deathbed and we'll talk."

Frank Sheed in his book Theology for Beginners says: "As a body, we hope to go to heaven, which means spending eternity with the Blessed Trinity, and we expect the experience to be wholly blissful; but in the prospect of spending an hour with the Blessed Trinity here below, there is no anticipation of bliss."

So many of us are like St. Augustine before his conversion, who prayed: "Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet." Yet he was converted. Our gratitude can never come close to thanking God for the unfathomable mercy and patience he grants to sinners. What hope this gives us for ourselves and those we are praying for! St. Augustine and St. Monica, beg the grace of conversion for all those we are praying for and for all sinners! Pray that all will finally make the right choice.

I have been reading the book, The Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin. The book draws on the wisdom and experience of the saints on the path of holiness. He makes this statement in the first chapter:

"Holiness isn't an 'option'. There are only saints in heaven; total transformation is not an 'option' for those interested in that sort of thing, but is essential for those who want to spend eternity with God."
Total transformation is essential. Period. Ralph Martin goes on to point out that we must aim high to enter heaven. If we aim for purgatory and miss—well, there just isn't a good backup plan if you miss purgatory. Aim high. And you can't aim higher than total transforming union with the Trinity.

Since attending the BSP retreat this past summer, having heard Fr. Thomas Dubay speak on the universal call to this union through contemplative prayer, I have been thirsting to learn more. That is what led me to Ralph Martin's book. The really good news I am getting from all this is that if you aim high there is no need for a backup plan. If you really desire this union more than you desire to cling to what is standing in your way, God will grant it to you. You will become a saint, for his mercy desires to give you this gift far more than you could ever desire it yourself.

St. Therese of Lisieux and all the saints who walked the way of perfection learned and taught that total trust and confidence in God was the secret to holiness. Self-reliance is death; self-abandonment is life.

One thing that gave me great hope in listening to Fr. Dubay at the retreat was that in living faithfully the Rule of the BSP the penitent has a great head-start on the path of self-renunciation so necessary to transforming union. Devotion to the sacraments and time spent in prayer foster the deep conversion of heart that God desires from all his children in order that the words of Jesus may be fulfilled: "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him." (John 14:23)

St. Teresa of Avila teaches that there is no reason why a person who is living a good Catholic life can't progress all the way to "spiritual marriage" in this life. Then what is stopping us? Our bridegroom waits. What will we choose?

Brothers and sisters let us choose the cross. Let us choose discipleship. Let us enter into the life of the Trinity. It is the fulfillment of all desire, most especially God's desires for all of us.

"I set before you life and death...Choose life." (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Janet Klasson BSP - Canada

Paul Beery
NO GREATER LOVE:
by PAUL BEERY BSP
September 07

"He who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted." (Matt. 23:12)

      How did King Louis IX ever become patron of the lay followers of the little poor man of Assisi? Like the nobleman St. Francis, the King of France humbled himself. As kids we used to say the higher you are, the farther you fall. "See how the mighty have fallen." So too, the higher one's position in life, the more important the virtue of humility, and the more efficacious that humbling becomes. It may be easy for those of us who were never born into, nor achieved any kind of high position in life, to humble ourselves. But we should never minimize the heroic virtue necessary for the mighty to humble themselves, nor how priceless that process is in the eyes of God.

Donna and I have been on a real pilgrimage through the mountains and valleys of life the past month. First we learned of the universal call to holiness at our BSP retreat with Fr. Dubay. Indeed, the call to intimate, contemplative union with the Holy Trinity. Then we traveled to a place where it is actually carried out, and immersed ourselves in it. We went to Mother Angelica's Shrine to the Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama. It was magnificent. A very worthwhile journey, and one we may make every year.

The first morning we attended the Divine Office at 6:00 AM, sung by the nuns, followed by Mass, and later the Rosary. It happened to be the Feast of St. Clare, their patron Saint. There was a spectacular celebration of the Liturgy, with incense aplenty, many servers around the altar, and a number of priests concelebrating. We were in chapel for three hours, and it seemed like three minutes. But that is only part of the story.

One needs to understand the incredible life and work of Mother Angelica to appreciate what she has accomplished. Part of that story is told by Raymond Arroyo in his book on Mother Angelica, of her incredible fidelity to Jesus Christ in the midst of the greatest trials imaginable. Only a Saint can say YES to Jesus at every turn, no matter how difficult, even impossible the request. Only those with much love would even dream of becoming a fool for Christ. Anyone who thinks ill of Mother Angelica needs to explain how a penniless Poor Clare nun could bring into being an international orthodox Catholic television and radio network in the midst of a hostile environment, that is instrumental in strengthening the faith of Catholics, while evangelizing others of good will through fidelity to Jesus and the teachings of His Church - without God's direct intervention - as His explicit will.

And why would God want a shrine in the middle of nowhere? People look at the cost of Mother Angelica's Shrine to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the opulence, and we hear the familiar refrain: why couldn't this money have been used for the poor? (Five anonymous families donated all the money needed for building the Shrine) Jesus Himself gives the answer: "The poor you will always have with you," but you will not always have Me. And how many there are without Jesus. Even those who are called His followers, yet do not believe in His Real Presence, are diminished without Him. I would urge them to come and experience a divine liturgy, fit for God alone. His Presence was palpable.

All the things that were done in the name of liturgical reform, which have only diminished reverence for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, while removing the awe and majesty of the divine liturgy, have been undone at the Shrine. There is no better way to diminish reverence for Jesus than to get the people of God off their knees, and receive Communion in the hand. Fr. Altier has begged us to receive Jesus as the humble of heart are wont to do - on the tongue. At the Shrine, we all knelt at the altar rail and were on our knees when we received Jesus. It was as it should have been: a mere creature receiving the Creator in a position of humble docility.

Doubting Thomas would reach out and touch the wounded Jesus. But at the sight of the Glorified Jesus, he had no further desire to touch. Blessed are those who do not see, yet believe, and have no need to put their hand into His wound. Who kneel at the feet of Jesus and don't seek to handle Him as ordinary food, or routinely reach out to take possession of the ineffable.

In honor of St. Francis, there are also Knights present. A group of men serve the Lord at Mass, and His Community at the Shrine as their main task. There are about a dozen of them: young, dedicated, devout, and inspiring. In fact, the average age of the entire community of 45 nuns and the Knights is about 26 years. Wall to wall young people, a vision of the Church renewed, ever youthful and vigorous. They have chosen to renew the Church as did St. Francis, by lives of holiness through deep contemplative prayer.

Where there are Knights, there is a castle. Located opposite the Shrine. This is what the sign in front of it proclaims: "Castle San Miguel was built to complement the architecture of the 13th Century Temple. We pray that the Great Hall will inspire you to imitate the valor, the chivalry, the honor and the courage of both the Saints and Knights. May you obtain from the Lord God as you leave this place, a new spirit of courage and strength to define and defend the Faith." Here one can see the fighting spirit of Mother Angelica.

I hate to use the word choreographed, which smacks of Hollywood. But the liturgy on the Solemnity of St. Clare and the following Sunday was exquisitely designed, and carried out to perfection. One was left with the distinct impression that it was a service worthy of Almighty God. Here were people who have dedicated their lives to giving glory to God and drawing others to glorify and praise Him. Here we were, drawn to deep, contemplative prayer in union with the Blessed Trinity. It was a little bit of heaven.

After an hour's drive to the headquarters of EWTN in Irondale, we were in for a treat once again, as we visited the original monastery of Mother Angelica's nuns. It is now the operating center for the Eternal Word Television Network, with over 300 employees, and a backyard full of satellite dishes and other electronic paraphernalia. We watch the Mass on EWTN almost daily, so are very familiar with the chapel. But when we first walked in, it seemed tiny. Many seeds are tiny, but this one was planted on fertile ground. And from such small and humble beginnings, the Word of God goes forth to the ends of the earth.

One could say that everything after that was a letdown. But when we returned home, and attended Mass with the Missionaries of Charity, I realized the Universality of the Church. Sister commented on how different it must have been for us to celebrate the Eucharist with them after being at the resplendent Shrine. I said no, we were just as happy to be there, with these humble little ones who serve the poorest of the poor. I understood the mystery of how we must glorify God in the midst of great beauty and majesty, fitting for the King of the Universe, yet also be right at home worshipping Him in littleness and simplicity. Both/And, not either/or.

That's just part of the beauty of Holy Mother Church, home to kings and paupers, to the rich and famous as well as the poor and seemingly insignificant. God does not discriminate. He cares nothing about our status in life or the wealth we possess. He wants only the fidelity of a heart full of love, one that will exalt Him and humble itself, one that recognizes that there is NO GREATER LOVE!

Paul

MORNING STAR: News on the Association

FROM OUR FORUMS: A DIALOGUE BETWEEN PATRICIA MCQUINN BSP AND SHIRLEY CARABEZ BSP WITH A MESSAGE FOR US ALL
How do you explain..............
Posted by: Patricia McQuinn
Date: August 4, 2007 02:38PM

So my friends, if you have attempted to explain to anyone why in the world you would want to live a life of penitence, how did you do it? In the age of luxury we live in the concept of voluntarily depriving oneself is extremely alien.

Knotting Pat

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hi Pat!

Why do body builders stay on a particular diet?
Why do students spend hours studying hard and depriving themselves of going out and having fun?
Why do people wake up in the morning to go to work while they could stay cozy at home?
Why do parents do all sorts of sacrifices for the benefit of their children?
Why to sports men spend a good amount of hrs daily doing training?

Answer: To gain a particular result. To obtain a particular end. So, sacrifices are all a mean to an end.

Other Questions now:

1. Why do Our Lord and Our Lady want us to fast?

2. What do they earn for Themselves?

3. What do we earn after all?

1. Why do Our Lord and Our Lady want us to fast?

They want us to fast for 2 main reasons:

1st - fasting helps us to keep ourselves disciplined. Being in control in what we eat helps us greatly to be in control in other things. We will be able to keep our prayer life in control, keep checking our deeds and keep an overall watch upon what we think, say and do. In fact, SELF CONTROL is one of the fruits of The Holy Spirit, therefore it is holy and we are all called to grow in it.

2nd - From what do Our Lord and Our Lady want us to fast? From that which is of a lesser worth. We are not to fast from anything which is spiritual and eternal but from that which is material and temporal. When one gives less importance to the temporal, one directs his/her energy towards that which will actually remain forever. Therefore, Our Lord and Our Lady are like Very Good Bankers. The account we have opened in THEIR Bank, will has eternal benefits when we would withdraw our savings back in Heaven. Guess what? Our savings will be multiplied by 100!

2. What do they (Our Lord and Our Lady) earn for Themselves?

During mass, we have a prayer that says that we wouldn't increase their glory but it would be useful for our salvation and that of others. THEY are glad to see us getting richer in holiness for our sakes not for theirs.

3. What do we earn (with fasting) after all?

We earn answered prayers. With verbal prayer, we are giving some of our time and some of our good thoughts to Our Lord, but with fasting we are showing HIM that we really mean business here. We would be nearly forcing HIM to give us what we would be asking of HIM because fasting is harder and therefore it is a VERY STRONG PRAYER before HIM! We would make an impression on HIM and attract HIS attention! How could HE refuse us?

Once, the disciples asked Jesus what was the reason they couldn't get an evil spirit out of a man only by prayer? We find HIS answer in Mark Chapter9:

28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and FASTING.

So, we BSP do have a lot to gain here! We don't want cheap, material things but eternal ones. We want to be pleasing to the Lord. We want to see Our Mother smiling as we saw HER crying many times in various apparitions, staring from those of Fatima. There She asked the 3 little children to do penance and they did! Their gain was to see less people going to hell (which She actually showed them) and to see more people going to Heaven.

What a gain my friends! We are the wisest! We are not content with temporal, passing things for our fulfillment. We rather nourish what we will hold on for eternity and withdraw from the heavenly bank.

It's difficult to explain all this to persons who don't have faith but I would simply keep a loving smile on my face and would tell them the reasons the way the listeners would be about to get them. If they ridicule me, I'd say to myself: 'Our Dear Lord Himself didn't receive a better treatment.'

Dear sister, even if people don't understand your explanation, they would keep asking 'WHY???' Why is Pat different? What are her intentions? Why does she sacrifice? Probably, they would either avoid you or get more interested and would want to know more of your reasons. It will be then that you will have the opportunity to testify and invite these people to converse with you on spiritual matters. There you would have the grace to be a witness to Dear Lord.

I'll pray for you. I am sure that Our Lord and Our Lady will give you strength. Remember what Jesus said to his disciples in Luke 12:

8 Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:

11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:

12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

Jesus never fails us, never breaks His Promises. So, HE will give you teach you what you are to answer them.

Love and blessings dear Pat,

Keep Knotting

Shirley

FROM THE WEB…A MESSAGE FOR ALL THAT LIVE THE RULE S OF LIFE THAT ST. FRANCIS GAVE US

A Publication of the Societas Portiuncula :

On True Devotion to St. Francis

DEVOTION TO ST. FRANCIS

The English word devotion is derived from the Latin verb devovere (to consecrate). Devotion, as a relationship between wayfarers and the Saints, is nothing other than fidelity, loyalty, and resoluteness in the following of Christ after their admirable example.

The devoted follower, is one who has consecrated, that is, dedicated, his entire life to discipleship. The devotee of a saint is in common parlance one who invokes the Saint daily and frequents celebrations, churches, chapels, sanctuaries built in the Saint's honor. But the devoted follower, the devoted disciple, is something much more. For him, the imitation of the Saint is the fundamental character of his existence, the foundation of his identity, the key to his personal destiny in Christ.

Devotion to St. Francis is no less such devotion. The devotion that the sons of St. Francis should have no less such a devotion.

One can imitate a Saint by incorporating into one's behavior, ideals, habits, customs, things taken from the life and virtues of the Saint. But such devotion moves only on the material level. Just as the material cause is subordinate to the formal cause in Aristotelian philosophy, so is a devotion to particular things associated with the life and times of a Saint subordinate to true devotion.

True devotion to a Saint necessitates a formal union of heart and mind with the Saint. There is no greater imitation than for the disciple to become one with his teacher. Our Lord taught this kind of devotion when He said of his own disciples, "No disciple is greater than his Master; a disciple should rejoice to be like his Master."

True devotion then, to a Saint must transcend material devotion. For such a devotion fails to incorporate the truth in Christ that the Saints are means not ends to imitation of Christ Jesus, the One Teacher of all. To truly imitate a Saint then, is to make the desire, wisdom, and resoluteness that was his to follow and imitate Christ, one's own. In such a manner, devotion to a Saint is transfigured into authentic Christian life and perfection. True devotion to St. Francis then, must not strive to attain nor merely admire the spirit of the Poverello and his way of life. True devotion to St. Francis must love what he loved with the love and purpose he loved it.

Now the historical sources on the life of St. Francis delineate clearly what this preeminent love in the heart of St. Francis was. He himself declares it on the morning of February 24, 1208 A.D. at the Portziuncula, outside Assisi: "This is what I want; this is what I long for with all my heart."

The Saint said this of the passage of scripture which the priest had just explained to him, and which had been read than morning at the Mass in honor of St. Matthias, the Apostle. It was Our Lord sending out the Apostles and establishing the apostolic life of mendicancy: "Take nothing with you on the way ...".

The unlimited entrustment that this form of life requires of the disciple to the Master was the essential hallmark of the spirituality and religious consecration of the Poor Man of Assisi. This is the key to his life and love of Christ Crucified.

It follows then, that true devotion to St. Francis necessitates this essential adoption of the life of mendicancy in all its rigor and simplicity, and not for the reason that St. Francis lived it, but for the reason that Christ taught it. Not so as to become a disciple of St. Francis; but rather, to walk with the Saint in this life so as to become a perfect disciple of Christ Jesus Our Lord.

Such devotion requires, then, nothing less that a return to and resolute observance of the precepts of the Rule of St. Francis. This is the form of life that the Saint wanted expressly to hand down to his sons as a perpetual inheritance and heritage. This Rule embodies simply and rigorously the principles of the life of mendicancy that Christ taught to the Apostles. This is the teaching of Popes Nicholas III and Clement V.

To be a true son of St. Francis is to be, then, an observer of the Rule. One who finds the essence and form of his life, vocation, and charism, not in the constitutions or statutes or customs of the Franciscan community to which he may belong; but rather, one who finds essence and form of his consecrated life and vocation; indeed of his very identity and destiny in the Rule of St. Francis, and holds this to be the very day to day discipline that guides his personal life and apostolate.

A Publication of the Societas Portiuncula :

Angel of Light

As I prayed in our Adoration Chapel, struggling to keep my attention upon Our Lord, but failing as my mind continued to wander, I was suddenly captivated by the reflection of an angel in the glass doors. It was the large angel that decorated one side of the tabernacle. I attempted to pull my distracted mind back to Our Lord, but it seemed that He asked me:

"What do you see?"

"The reflection of the angel, Lord. It is funny, it doesn't look like a reflection, but as if it is truly hovering in the hallway beyond the doors."

"What else do you see?"

I looked again, and the other item that was reflected was the lamp. It too seemed to be fastened to the wall in the hallway beyond the doors.

"I see the angel and the light, Lord. I know they are right here in this room, but it seems they are in the hallway too, at the same time, in a real way… but I know this is an illusion. They are both right here, with You."

There was an expectant pause then, and suddenly I put two and two together. "Angel of Light! What are you telling me, Lord?"

"When you are attached to Me, then you too will be reflected into the world, as an Angel of Light, as a messenger of My Truth. In reality, you are with Me, you live with Me, in Me, and because you are entirely within Me, you can now reflect Me into the world, yet you are not in the world, but in Me. But you must remain within Me, or you will not reflect Me, but yourself."
Anonymous

THE ADMONITIONS OF ST. FRANCIS
XII. How to know the spirit of God

We can be sure that a man is a true religious and has the spirit of God if his lower nature does not give way to pride when God accomplishes some good through him, and if he seems all the more worthless and inferior to others in his own eyes. Our lower nature is opposed to every good.


Mary feeding Jesus
Suckling Madonna
painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti ((b. ca. 1290, Siena, d. 1348, Siena) in 1330
located in Palazzo Arcivescovile, Siena, Italy


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
Email: minncc@aol.com

"But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."
(Matt. 19:30)

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