Peace Prayer of St. Francis (excerpt)
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
ADMINISTRATOR'S MESSAGE: A Priestly People
We are called to be a priestly people of God in this Association, and that is a very powerful call. We need only think about our own impressions of what it must be like to be a priest to ponder for ourselves the effect this call should have on us.
We could each write a lesson on this call, as it relates to ourselves in our own lives and the circumstances of those lives. First and foremost we are all, each, ourselves. As is so obvious to us, being spread out across the globe as we are, if we are going to find holiness we are going to find it where we live. We are going to find it in the way we live, and relate to others. That in itself is a call to the priesthood.
Priests first and foremost minister to others. Their lives, if you scrutinize them closely, are directed to giving of themselves to others. They don't live for themselves. They may relax, and pray, and spend their quiet time, which we all need, working on their inner set of tools, but they hone them only so they can reach out to others. They spend generous amounts of time in prayer, and spiritual reading, and directing programs and policies that impact and form the spiritual lives of others. They do not seek to be nourished by those around themselves, although sometimes they are when they see the good effects their efforts have on others. Primarily, their nourishment must come from God, whose servants they are. They find their strength in God.
So, if we look at our own lives we must be like them in that way too. We might take nourishment from seeing good fruits arise in our lives and the lives of others because of us, but primarily we must seek our nourishment first and foremost from God. We must find our strength in God, but reach out to others. For that reason we need to spend time with God, and live active lives of prayer and contemplation of His place and His power in our lives. We need to spend serious time at prayer. We need to bath all we do in prayer. It is the fuel for everything we will do in our lives, because we know our lives belong to God and we want them to, and just like that we become priestly ourselves. And we need to be disciplined. No one can be a priest and not lead a disciplined life!
Discipline is what it takes to lead a prayerful life, and discipline it takes to direct that life to God. None of us would think of leading lives of fasting and mortification of our senses, however we do that, unless we had been given the grace, and taught, that to do that was to become holy and the fruit of penance in our lives was in fact not just good for us physically, but also and more importantly, spiritually. We hear the call to penance given to us by the Gospel, and in this age, by His Mother. We know He prayed, and He was God, and so we know we must pray also, like His priests do. And we celebrate the sacraments.
The sacraments are our liturgy of life. They are the way we praise God, and glorify Him even as we minister to ourselves using the sacraments as He gave them to us. We find water refreshing in baptism. We find food for our souls in the Eucharist. We breathe spiritually in the Holy Spirit in Confirmation; He is the breath of life! We reconcile to God whenever we need to through Confession, and we prepare for death through the penances we practice, the good we do, and as God wills, the sacrament of the sick. For most of us, our journey ends as it began. In the sacraments, and in embracing them.
So, we need to remember we are the priestly people of God, and in the BSP in a most special way. Ours is a special call. We need only think about our own impressions of what it must be like to be a priest to ponder for ourselves the effect this call should have on us. A challenging call, to be more than complacent. We all need to remember that in how we live our faith and relate to others.
Praised be Jesus, our King and High Priest, Example and Savior, forever!
Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
From the First Reading on the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Janet Klasson BSP
"At Rephidim, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. Moses, therefore, said to Joshua, "Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand."[...] As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight."
(Exodus 17:8-9, 11)
There can be no doubt that we are engaged in a spiritual battle unique and quite likely unprecedented in human history. The Lord is choosing his warriors, training them with fasting and prayer, and making them lean through sacrifice. With various trials he is teaching them to persevere to the end. The time for ease and rest is past. The lines have been drawn. The battle has begun. Why else would God choose this time in history to put new emphasis on the penitential lifestyle for the laity? Is it not because it is absolutely necessary to the unfolding of his plan for the Kingdom?
Mary has been calling the world to prayer and penance for more than a century. But relatively few have responded. The evil one has amassed a great army, proud and seemingly strong. The army of God is made up of a ragtag few most of whom lack earthly power or influence, many of whom suffer from various infirmities, some are even bedridden. There is nothing in the overall appearance of God's army that would intimidate an enemy. If the enemy is quaking at this point it might be from derisive laughter; he scorns the army of God at every opportunity. But this is not yet the end of the story.
We can see how God operates in the story of Gideon in Judges, Chapter Seven. The enemy of God's people, the Midianites, Amalekites, and Kedemites, had amassed in the valley. They were "as numerous as locusts". Meanwhile, God had whittled the army of Gideon down from 10,000 to a mere 300 men. The enemy had swords and spears. God armed his band with horns, jars and torches. God's strategy was for the 300 men in Gideon's army to encircle the camp, break their jars and blow their horns shouting, "For the Lord and for Gideon!" What courage and faith it must have taken for those 300 men to fall in with such a plan! God rewarded their faith with an unimaginable victory. The enemy soldiers were thrown into confusion, turned their swords on one another and fled. There was no doubt who had won the battle. It was God's victory.
We can see in this story and in the story of Moses against Amalek, that God never chooses the strong to fight for him. He uses the weak to shame the strong. When Moses could not hold up his own arms, he leaned on the power of those God had given him. We are not meant to fight in God's army on our own power. God wants the weakest of the weak in his army so that there will be no doubt that it is his power alone that has won the battle. It follows then that God leads us to the BSP, not because we are stronger than everyone else, but because we are weaker. Weakness is what God is looking for in a recruit.
Those of us who have been in the BSP for some time are ourselves the greatest proof of that. The Rule of 1221, as we are constantly being told, is impossible to live in today's world. And humanly speaking, that is very true. But nothing is impossible for God. If he wants us in this army—and he does—he will surely equip us fully for the spiritual battles he wants us to fight. Again, we in the BSP are living proof of that, for we can only boast, like St. Paul, of our weakness. Anything accomplished through our prayer and fasting is solely God working in us and through us. Nothing but sin and weakness comes from us. This confounds the enemy. To him we seem to be of no account—a deadly miscalculation.
God uses the formation process of the BSP as our Boot Camp. No earthly soldier would desire to go into battle without at least Basic Training. Through the four years of formation, God whittles away at all that will distract us from the battle, until we are transformed—often radically transformed—into the soldiers he needs, humble, docile, obedient, ready.
We are outfitted in the camouflage of baptism; as St. Paul tells us, "Our life is hidden with Christ in God." That is a great strategic advantage for us, for our prayers and sacrifices fly at the enemy like sniper's bullets coming from all sides, "out of the blue" of Mary's protective mantle, to fell him and throw his camp into confusion. In embracing the Rule of 1221, we become the clay jars broken for battle. We carry the torch of God's Word and the horn of salvation. We shout the battle cry: "For the Lord and for Mary!" Against all odds, a few pitiful soldiers put to flight an army as numerous as locusts.
John Paul II began his Papacy with these words: "Be not afraid!" He meant it, and he meant it for us. Archbishop Sheen put it this way: "We have already won, only the news has not yet leaked out."
Think you're too weak for this lifestyle? Perfect! You've got the "right stuff". Answer the call—"For God and for Mary!"
Janet Klasson BSP - Canada
NO GREATER LOVE: by PAUL BEERY BSP - October 07
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent
to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a
hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but your would not!"
We see the ardent love Jesus has for His Chosen People. What did He
compare Himself to when trying to express this love in concrete terms? A
hen gathering her chicks, a mother hen protecting her offspring under her
wings: a MOTHER.
We know the deposit of faith was sealed with the death of the last
Apostle, John the Evangelist. We need no further divine revelation apart
from Sacred Scripture to bring us to God. But does that mean God can no
longer communicate with us? Hardly. His Indwelling Holy Spirit speaks to
each of us in the depths of our hearts. But He also wishes to communicate
with us publicly. How? We know, for example, that Jesus revealed the love
of His Sacred Heart to Sr. Margaret Mary, and most recently His Divine
Mercy to Sr. Faustina. These are powerful devotions that have brought
millions into loving union with their Savior. True love must constantly
be communicated to the beloved. And so Jesus has found a way to do that
by using human instruments to say to the people of today in effect: "You
cannot understand the depths of My Love and Mercy for you. Let Me say it
again, and again, and again, in ever new ways…"
How did Jesus learn what it's like to be a Mother? He helped make Mary
the most perfect Mother it was possible to create. SHE DEFINED
MOTHERHOOD! From Mary‘s Magnificat: "All generations will call me
Blessed, for He who is mighty has done great things for me." Those who
recognize and call Mary "Blessed" by God to share intimately in His Plan
of Salvation, are fulfilling this prophesy from Sacred Scripture. When
from the Cross Jesus solemnly gave His Mother Mary to John the Apostle
AND to US to be OUR Mother ("Woman, behold your son," and to the
disciple, "behold your Mother"), we can now claim her as OUR BLESSED
MOTHER! And what does the Mother of Jesus want for us? From the wedding
feast of Cana: "Do whatever He tells you." And who can better tell us
what Jesus wants THAN HIS MOTHER!
October is the month of the Holy Rosary. Research how this feast began.
It's a great story, only one of many ways our Blessed Mother protects her
children. The Battle of Lepanto, a turning point in Western Christian
Civilization, 1571. G.K. Chesterton wrote about it. Pope Pius V gave
credit for the victory of the Christian navy to our Blessed Mother, and
established the Feast of the Holy Rosary on October 7 at the Vatican, and
it was eventually extended to the entire Church. The power of this prayer
Books have been filled with similar stories of the solicitude of Mary our
Mother for her children, in imitation of Jesus her Divine Son. At
Lepanto, Mary sought to protect her children from physical harm. Most of
the time she seeks our spiritual protection, seeks to bring us to live
the Gospel, to "Do whatever He tells you." No one is more concerned about
our salvation than our Blessed Mother. Those who would imitate her will
have the same passion. They will not seek wealth, position, or worldly
prestige for their children, but first and foremost their salvation.
First love God, and all things will flow from that.
Following is a letter from a true mother whose sole pre-occupation is to
pass her faith, hope and love of God on to her children. It was written
on August 12, 1899, in Strand, Norway, by a grieving young Mother named
Karina, on her deathbed.
"In the name of the Triune God will I, while yet on my sick bed and under
many tears and prayers meditating on the future welfare of my dear little
ones, write a few words that you may have as a memory from your loving
mother. The reason for this letter is my concern for the salvation of
Oh, my dear children! Remember your Creator in your youth, and give Him
your heart early while it is yet possible for the Holy Spirit to make His
abode in the temple of your heart, and stamp the image of God in your
life, whose image was lost in the fall; but now by the death of Jesus His
atonement can again be in possession of every one that will love, believe
and trust in Him. Yes, my dear little ones, you now enjoy the childhood
years and do not realize the sad condition of being left alone in the
world without Father or Mother. Still it does not grieve me so much and
let it not grieve you either, for you have a Father in heaven that loves
you a thousand times more than I, and according to His abundant riches
you can trust in Him. He is able to supply all your needs. My prayer and
admonition is that you may never err from His way, but remember in every
temptation to sin, what Jesus suffered for our sins, and behold Him with
your spiritual eyes hanging on the cross, where His blood was shed for
mine, yours, and the sins of the world. Yes, consider what unspeakable
love it was that constrained Him to forsake His heavenly glory and come
down here to suffer the cross, and may the vision of Him cause you to
love Him in return out of your whole heart.
Oh, my dear children, I beseech you in the name of the Lord to love your
Savior and flee from youthful lusts. Do not allow yourselves to be
captured by the vanity of the world, but behold the loving, humble Jesus.
Above all flee wicked and sinful companions, because they have a magnetic
power to betray and lead astray even a pure and noble character to many
sins. When your companions are tempting you, remember the last words of
your departed mother and know this, that the Lord will surely hold you
responsible if you take no heed to my admonition. My hope to God is that
the hand of the Lord may protect you body and soul, and that you may be
true children of God and heirs to eternal life.
It is causing me such pain that I could not keep you all at home with me.
But on account of my sickness you had to be sent away to north and south;
only Marie is comforting me with her childish innocence. My only
consolation in my tribulation is the assurance that I shall go to the
Lord before you. It is but for a little while and so shall we meet again.
Then shall we not suffer sickness and poverty nor separation, but enjoy
an unspeakable gladness, that shall break forth in praise and thanks to
the Lamb that has bought us God with His blood.
Forget not to praise and thank God. For His grace and mercy is new every
morning over you. May the first and the last of your prayer be your
heart-felt thanksgiving to God. The best thanksgiving you can render is
your faith, and obedience to His Word.
I have no inheritance to leave you. But I have some good books that I
leave for you to read. They have been of a greater value to me than a
world of money. Therefore I hope that God's Word will be the best
inheritance also for you.
Farewell my dear children! A happy journey through the valley of tears,
and welcome home to God!"
Your loving Mother, Karina.
MORNING STAR: News on the Association
FROM OUR FORUMS: God wishes to make Mary better known
Posted by: Shirley Carabez
Date: October 1, 2007 07:07AM
God wishes to make Mary better known in the latter times.
God wishes to reveal Mary, his masterpiece, and make her more known in these latter times:
- Because she kept herself hidden in this world and in her great humility considered herself lower than dust, having obtained from God, his apostles and evangelists the favour of being made known.
- Because, as Mary is not only God's masterpiece of glory in heaven, but also his masterpiece of grace on earth, he wishes to be glorified and praised because of her by those living upon earth.
- Since she is the dawn which precedes and discloses the Sun of Justice Jesus Christ, she must be known and acknowledged so that Jesus may be known and acknowledged.
- As she was the way by which Jesus first came to us, she will again be the way by which he will come to us the second time though not in the same manner.
- Since she is the sure means, the direct and immaculate way to Jesus and the perfect guide to him, it is through her that souls who are to shine forth in sanctity must find him. He who finds Mary finds life, that is, Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life. But no one can find Mary who does not look for her. No one can look for her who does not know her, for no one seeks or desires something unknown. Mary then must be better known than ever for the deeper understanding and the greater glory of the Blessed Trinity.
- In these latter times Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, power and grace; in mercy, to bring back and welcome lovingly the poor sinners and wanderers who are to be converted and return to the Catholic Church; in power, to combat the enemies of God who will rise up menacingly to seduce and crush by promises and threats all those who oppose them; finally, she must shine forth in grace to inspire and support the valiant soldiers and loyal servants of Jesus Christ who are fighting for his cause.
- Lastly, Mary must become as terrible as an army in battle array to the devil and his followers, especially in these latter times. For Satan, knowing that he has little time - even less now than ever - to destroy souls, intensifies his efforts and his onslaughts every day. He will not hesitate to stir up savage persecutions and set treacherous snares for Mary's faithful servants and children whom he finds more difficult to overcome than others.
Mother Teresa's Wisdom
"I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper's wounds, I feel I am nursing the Lord Himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?"
"The poor give us much more than we give them. They're such strong people, living day to day with no food. And they never curse, never complain. We don't have to give them pity or sympathy. We have so much to learn from them.
"There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives - the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them. Put your love for them in living action. For in loving them, you are loving God Himself."
"It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving."
"To God there is nothing small. The moment we have given it to God, it becomes infinite."
"You have to be holy in your position as you are, and I have to be holy in the position that God has put me. So it is nothing extraordinary to be holy. Holiness is not the luxury of the few. Holiness is a simple duty for you and for me. We have been created for that."
Immersed in Trust Meditation Part II
Attempting to follow Our Lord's advice, to come to Him in the depths of the Ocean, and immerse myself in Him, yet despite my best efforts continuing to flail upon the surface… I called upon Him to help me. In an effort to draw Our Lord's attention I denied myself a great comfort, and asked Him to please accept this sacrifice and grant me that Trust which would enable me to rest in Him alone. It was First Friday, and immediately upon receiving Him in Holy Communion, I begged of Him this favor:
"Lord, I want to come to You in Trust, but how does this happen? Will this act of Trust lead me there? How do I come to You by Trust? You say not to be upset, and I try not to be, but I am still overwhelmed and exhausted. I do not understand how to do this. How is it I do not trust in You?" He replied:
"Go to My Mother, She is the Sea into which you must plunge. Ask Her to lead you to Me. Ask My Mother to give you Her Trust."
As I reflected upon this mystery, an understanding grew and I could see that in becoming the Mother of God, Our Lady became the womb, or the sea, in which Our Lord as an Infant was immersed. That this miracle came about through Her act of complete trust. The impossible becomes possible then!
I could see Our Lady in my imagination, as She prayed before the Annunciation. When the Angel Gabriel asked Her to be the Mother of God, She answered "How can this be, as I know not man?"
I turned to Our Lord then, and asked Him: "I know Our Mother cannot sin, yet how does She question, isn't this doubt?" He replied:
"This is prayer when the question is asked with humility and trust. When My Mother discerned My will, She asked no more and only offered Herself in perfect trust and union with My will. You must trust as My Mother trusts."
"Please Lord, I still don't understand. Tell Me what you mean. How do I not trust?"
"When you go into the world to do My work, you doubt. You are uncomfortable, you do not want to do it, or you think you are incapable, and you wish to find another to give it to. But I have given it to you, and I will help you with it, if you ask with the same humility and trust as My Mother. Your eyes must remain upon Me, upon My will, not upon the path or its difficulty. When you remove your gaze from Me, you are alone, and then you waver and your fear overcomes you. Go to My Mother. She will help you."
Now I go often throughout the day to Our Dear Mother, and ask Her to help me trust as She trusted. When I begin to drown within my fears, looking upon those difficulties which lie upon my path, She gently draws my gaze back to Her Son, and reminding me of His words, I catch my breath and we go on. As trust grows, so does my strength, which is no longer mine, but that of our Merciful Lord!
There is something so wretched in sin, that it destroys our very capacity for any correct feeling toward it. This is why all true sorrow for sin must be imparted to us from God. God must give us not a human, but divine kind of sorrow. Human sorrow is a poor sort of grief over sin. When God's love in our hearts makes us to grieve and mourn over the corruptions of our inner self, it is by the light of pardoning grace shining in us that we see the vileness of our sins.
God's sorrow for sin is the sorrow that Jesus had for the sinfulness of sin, from the hour He clothed Himself in our flesh and bones. This kind of sorrow is deep and quiet; it can blend itself with holy joy and praise for God's mercy.
We must have this kind of sorrow when we go to confession. There is no need that confession of sin give you emotional experience. But true sorrow is needed. The more deep our sorrow over sin, the more persistent will be our progress in holiness.
Then, after we are pardoned and purified, even though the sting of guilt and the inward motives of sin are removed, there is planted in us, by the Holy Spirit, a finer and continuous sorrow for the dreadful fact and effects of sin.
After we have been washed in the precious Blood, there will be times in holy devotion when the spotless character and goodness and majesty and tenderness of our Lord will so open up to our view that the hot tears will burst from our eyes, and a deep, tender, melting sorrow for the sad fact of our sin will go all over us.
St Basil the Great : Prayer of repentance
In profound humility I weep for all my sins, voluntary and involuntary, conscious and unconscious, covert and overt, great and little, committed by word and deed, in thought and intention, day and night, at every hour and minute of my life.
I weep over my pride and my ambition, my self-love and my boastfulness;
I weep over my fits of anger, irritation, excessive shouting, swearing, quarreling and cursing;
I weep for having criticized, censured, gossiped, slandered, and defamed, for my wrath, enmity, hatred, envy, jealousy, vengeance and rancor;
I weep over my indulgences in lust, impure thoughts and evil inclinations; covetousness, gluttony, drunkenness, and sloth;
I weep for having talked idly, used foul language, blasphemed, derided, joked, ridiculed, mocked, enjoyed empty gaiety, singing, dancing and every pleasure to excess;
I weep over my self-indulgence, cupidity, love of money and miserliness, unmerciful ness and cruelty;
I weep over my laziness, indolence, negligence, love of comfort, weakness, idleness, absent-mindedness, irresponsibility, inattention, love of sleep, for hours spent in idle pursuits, and for my lack of concentration in prayer and in Church, for not observing fasts and not doing charitable works.
I weep over my lack of faith, my doubting, my perplexity, my coldness, my indifference, my weakness and unfeeling ness in what concerns the Holy Orthodox Faith, and over all my foul, cunning and reviling thoughts;
I weep over my exaggerated sorrow and grief, depression and despair, and over sins committed willingly.
I weep, but what tears can I find for a worthy and fitting way to weep for all the actions of my ill-fated life; for my immeasurable and profound worthlessness? How can I reveal and expose in all its nakedness each one of my sins, great and small, voluntary and involuntary, conscious and unconscious, overt and covert, every hour and minute of sin? When and where shall I begin my penitential lament that will bear fitting fruit? Perhaps soon I may have to face the last hour of my life; my soul will be painfully sundered from my sinful and vile body; I shall have to stand before terrible demons and radiant angels, who will reveal and torment me with my sins; and I, in fear and trembling, will be unprepared and unable to give them an answer; the sight and sound of wailing demons, their violent and bold desire to drag me into the bottomless pit of Hell will fill my soul with confusion and terror. And then the angels of God will lead my poor soul to stand before God's fearful seat of judgment. How will I answer the Immortal King, or how will I dare, sinner that I am, to look upon My Judge? Woe is me! I have no good answer to make, for I have spent all my life in indolence and sin, all my hours and minutes in vain thoughts, desires and yearnings!
And how many times have I taken the Name of God in vain!
How often, lightly and freely, at times even boldly, insolently and shamelessly have I slandered others in anger; offended, irritated, mocked them!
How often have I been proud and vainglorious and boasted of good qualities that I do not possess and of deeds that I have not done!
How many times have I lied, deceived, been cunning or flattered, or been insincere and deceptive; how often have I been angry, intolerant and mean!
How many times have I ridiculed the sins of my brother, caused him grief overtly and covertly, mocked or gloated over his misdeeds, his faults or his misfortunes; how many times have I been hostile to him, in anger, hatred or envy!
How often have I laughed stupidly, mocked and derided, spoke without weighing my words, ignorantly and senselessly, and uttered a numberless quantity of cutting, poisonous, insolent, frivolous, vulgar, coarse, brazen words!
How often, affected by beauty, have I fed my mind, my imagination and my heart with voluptuous sensations, and unnaturally satisfied the lusts of the flesh in fantasy! How often has my tongue uttered shameful, vulgar and blasphemous things about the desires of the flesh!
How often have I yearned for power and been gluttonous, satiating myself on delicacies, on tasty, varied and diverse foods and wines; because of intemperance and lack of self-control how often have I been filled past the point of satiety, lacked sobriety and been drunken, intemperate in food and drink, and broken the Holy Fasts!
How often, through selfishness, pride or false modesty, have I refused help and attention to those in need, been uncharitable, miserly, unsympathetic, mercenary and grasped at attention!
How often have I entered the House of God without fear and trembling, stood there in prayer, frivolous and absent-minded, and left it in the same spirit and disposition! And in prayer at home I have been just as cold and indifferent, praying little, lazily, and indolently, inattentively and impiously, and even completely omitting the appointed prayers!
And in general, how slothful I have been, weakened by indolence and inaction; how many hours of each day have I spent in sleep, how often have I enjoyed voluptuous thoughts in bed and defiled my flesh! How many hours have I spent in empty and futile pastimes and pleasures, in frivolous talk and speech, jokes and laughter, games and fun, and how much time have I wasted conclusively in chatter, and gossip, in criticizing others and reproaching them; how many hours have I spent in time-wasting and emptiness! What shall I answer to the Lord God for every hour and every minute of lost time? In truth, I have wasted my entire life in laziness.
How many times have I lost heart and despaired of my salvation and of God's mercy or through stupid habit, insensitivity, ignorance, insolence, carelessness, and hardness sinned deliberately, willingly, in my right mind, in full awareness, in all goodwill, in both thought and intention, and in deed, and in this fashion trampled the Blood of God's covenant and crucified anew within myself the Son of God and cursed Him!
O how terrible the punishment that I have drawn upon myself!
How is it that my eyes are not streaming with constant tears? ...If only my tears flowed from the cradle to the grave, at every hour and every minute of my tortured life! Who will now cool my head with water and fill the well of my tears and help me weep over my soul that I have cast into perdition?
My God, my God! Why hast Thou forsaken me? Be it unto me according to Thy will, O Lord! If Thou wouldst grant me light, be Thou blessed; if Thou wouldst grant me darkness, be Thou equally blessed. If Thou wouldst destroy me together with my lawlessness, glory to Thy righteous judgment; and if Thou wouldst not destroy me together with my lawlessness, glory to Thy boundless mercy!
THE ADMONITIONS OF ST. FRANCIS
We can never tell how patient or humble a person is when everything is going well with him. But when those who should co-operate with him do the exact opposite, then we can tell. A man has as much patience and humility as he has then, and no more.
The Stigmata of St. Francis
painted by Jan van Scorel ((1495-1562) in 1330
Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy
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
firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
"But I have written to you rather boldly in some respects to remind you, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in performing the priestly service of the gospel of God… "