'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

January 2008

LESSONS FROM ST. FRANCIS:
Devotion to Prayer—His Spirit of Prophecy

St Francis
St. Francis of Assisi
FIRST LESSON:

St. Francis felt like an exile, as long as he remained in this earthly life separated from God and at the same time, his love of Christ had left him insensible to all earthly desires. Therefore, he tried to keep his spirit in the presence of God, by praying to Him without intermission, so that he might not be without some comfort from his Beloved. Whether he was walking or sitting, at home or abroad, whether he was working or resting, he was so wholeheartedly intent on prayer that he seemed to have dedicated to it not only his heart and his soul, but all his efforts and all his time. He was often taken right out of himself in such an excess of devotion that he was lost in ecstasy. Then he experienced things which were beyond all human understanding, and he would be completely oblivious of all that went on about him.

SECOND LESSON:

In order to prepare for the infusion of spiritual comfort in greater peace, he would seek out some lonely spot or an abandoned church where he could go to pray at night. There he often had to endure frightful attacks from devils who fought with him hand-to-hand and tried to withdraw him from prayer. However, he always succeeded in putting them to flight by the unfailing power of his fervent prayers; that he would be left along and at peace, and he would make the groves re-echo with his sighs and bedew the ground with his tears, as he beat his breast in sorrow. Here, in hidden secrecy, he defended himself before his Judge; here he pleaded with his Father; here he employed the company of his divine Bridegroom; here he spoke with his Lover. Here, too, he was seen raised up from the ground and surrounded with a shining cloud, as he prayed at night with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross. The raising of his body from the ground, with the miraculous light which accompanied it, was a sign of the marvelous elevation and enlightenment which took place in his soul.

Source: Bonaventure: Minor Life 1263

Father Robert Altier
VISITOR’S MESSAGE: To the Mother of God
Homily by Fr. Altier - Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God

Every year in May, our country takes a day out to remember our mothers because mothers are the most incredible of all people on the face of the earth. Today we take out a day to celebrate God’s mother because, of all mothers, she is the most incredible. When we consider what motherhood is all about and the way that it is lived - to think that life begins in the womb of a woman, she nourishes that life, she cares for it, she brings it forth; then she educates the person that she has brought forth, raises the person, cares for the person, loves the person, and all the different things that a mother does - each one of us recognizes (if we have had a good mother) the value and importance [of these things], and we all have a respect and an awe for motherhood.

But now we consider the woman that God chose to be His mother. God Himself took on our human nature and He began His human life in the womb of His mother. In His humanity he was nourished by His mother and He was educated by His mother. As He sat upon the lap of His mother, she taught Him how to pray, she taught Him how to speak, she taught Him all the natural human things that a mother does, even though he was God.

It is a mystery beyond all mysteries. Motherhood is the greatest natural miracle that we have, and we celebrate it every day. How many beautiful little babies are conceived and born every day. Yet this that we celebrate today is not a natural miracle; it is truly a supernatural one because today we celebrate the Divine Motherhood of Mary, the day that Mary is the Mother of God.

We hear how the shepherds were told about this Child who was born. When they came and saw the Child and His mother and Saint Joseph, they marveled. Now we all marvel at the birth of a baby, but this was something truly extraordinary. What they saw was what on the outside would appear to be just a normal human family: a young couple and their first child. That would not necessarily make any shepherds marvel, other than the fact that a baby has been born. But they saw something which was entirely different when they came to the little cave in Bethlehem: They found a baby who was God; they found a mother who was without sin – they found a perfect mother; and they found a husband and a stepfather who loved this woman and Child completely and as perfectly as could be.

We reflect upon the heart of this beautiful mother for a moment. We are told in Saint Luke’s Gospel what Our Lady saw and that the shepherds were marveling and telling what the angels had told them, and, after the shepherds left, Our Lady held all these things in her heart and she reflected upon them. It has been said that the closest thing to the love of God, in this world, is the heart of a mother. Imagine the heart of this mother. The beautiful heart of a mother holds all the things of her children within her heart. A mother, even with many children, carries all of their worries and anxieties and concerns, all of their joys and all of their sorrows. She carries her children with her everywhere she goes. And even when her children are far apart from her, she is still right there in her heart with her children. Imagine the heart of the woman who carries all the concerns of God because her child is God.

But not only that, because each one of us has been incorporated into her Son, this incredible woman carries each and every one of our concerns, our anxieties, our fears, our problems, our difficulties, our joys and sorrows - all the things of our life. She is with us as any mother would be, and more, because she is completely with us, never separated from us. All these things of our lives she carries with her and reflects upon them in her heart.

Now if we ponder that for a moment, we certainly give Our Lady plenty of reason to reflect and to wonder and to ponder what it is that we are up to and why we are not doing what her Son wants us to do. But what we want to be able to do is give her wonderful things to ponder, to be able to live according to the way that her Son has laid out for us, to be able to allow her to reflect upon the working of God in our lives and to be able to see the grace of God at work within each one of us. Not to be able to see her children rejecting the grace of God and going off our own way; but rather, giving her the opportunity to see her children accepting God’s mercy and love, accepting His grace and conforming themselves accordingly. That is what we want to be able to offer to our mother: to be able to fill her heart with joy as she looks at each one of us, as she sees in each one of us the image of her Son.

We reflect today upon this beautiful Immaculate Heart that, at the foot of the Cross, not only carried the pain and the sadness and the tragedy of her Son dying on the Cross, but carried at the same time the joy and the relief and the freedom of every single one of us who would accept what her Son was doing for us and would be set free from our sins to be able to live the divine life in this world. It is the most incredible thing that one will ever be able to ponder: the heart of this beautiful woman. Even for every woman that is here and [who is] able to understand the way that a woman’s heart works, no woman will even be able to understand the heart of this woman because it is perfect, it is without sin, and it is able to carry perfectly every one of us.

As we heard the prayer for God’s blessing in that first reading, that He would be gracious and bless us and let His countenance shine upon us, He has indeed done that through His mother. His face has been seen by the shepherds, by the wise men, and by all the people who lived 2,000 years ago. But He has gone even beyond that, and he has allowed the heart of His mother to shine upon us, to carry us, to bless us, to be gracious to us. God’s generosity will never be outdone. He has prepared for Himself the most perfect place for the beginning of His life. And now, as He is born into this world and we celebrate the gift of Divine Motherhood, we celebrate also the gift of spiritual motherhood because that place which was set aside for the beginning of His life (not meaning the womb of Our Lady this time, but meaning the heart of Our Lady) continues to be the perfect place for the beginning of the Christian life, for the nurturing and the growth of the Christian life, and for the education in the Christian life of every one of us. We go to our mother and there we learn, there we are nourished, there we are loved and cherished and brought up and educated in the ways of her Son. This is the beautiful thing that we celebrate today.

It is exactly what Saint Paul told us in that second reading: that her Son, "born of a woman, was born under the law to deliver from the law those who were subject to it." That is us. "We are no longer children," Saint Paul says, "of the slave woman, but of the free woman." In her freedom, each one of us is set free because she is the mother who is free from sin. She is the mother who gave birth to God so that each one of us, reborn in Baptism, reborn in her Immaculate Heart, would be incorporated into God to share the divine nature, to share the divine life, to be raised up to that divine level of acting and of being so that, as the preface says of God, He would see and love in us what He sees and loves in His Son, and that the exact same thing would be said of Our Lady: that as she carries each one of us in her Immaculate Heart, she would see and love in us what she sees and loves in her Son, and through her intercession each one of us would continue to live the divine life which God has given to us until the day we can go forward from this life and enter into the fullness of God’s blessing and behold the graciousness and the blessing of God, to look upon His face, with Our Blessed Lady, for all eternity.

In the meantime, ask Our Lady to give you her heart. Ask her to allow you to rest in her Immaculate Heart, to love her Son in you and through you, and to be able to learn from her how to love her Son perfectly. Allow her to love you in that beautiful maternal way, in the perfect maternal way. She will teach you and keep you on track so that you will be able to do the Will of her Son as she did in a most perfect way that is pleasing to God and will bring us into the fullness of God’s blessing for all eternity.

This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.

Bruce Fahey and Shelley, his wife, BSP Administrators
ADMINISTRATOR'S MESSAGE:
THE HAPPY LIFE!

“Let us always desire the happy life from the Lord God and always pray for it. But for this very reason we turn our mind to the task of prayer at appointed hours, since that desire grows lukewarm, so to speak, from our involvement in other concerns and occupations. We remind ourselves through the words of prayer to focus our attention on the object of our desire; otherwise, the desire that began to grow lukewarm may grow chill altogether and may be totally extinguished unless it is repeatedly stirred into flame.” St. Augustine

These words were given to us in the Office of Readings for the twenty ninth week in Ordinary time, and so most of us read them. They are however a wonderful meditation as we move into the new year, and like in Advent, prepare the way of the Lord in our lives. We are in fact doing that in all of our lives if you consider the intention of the Rule. We have said often the Rule is the means to an end, not an end in itself. For that reason we say we are preparing the way of the Lord in all our lives as we strive to live this holy way of life that St. Francis gave us day by day.

One of the things that Father Valerius Messerich O.F.M. said to us while he was with us was that we should each take some time each week to review our Rule of life. We had asked him how often he looked at his Rule and he said, once a week! Whether we do that or not is another matter, but it is obvious from this discussion that we need to know our Rule and consider it often if we say we are trying to live our lives according to it. It is in that sense like Scripture. If you are going to live Scripture you have to make it part of the fabric of your life so you can recall it and so that it comes to you at the times when it applies in your life.

When you are confronted by enemies you need to remember to love them. Not to attack. To turn the other cheek, and more. To smile as they strike you, offering it all to God. You don’t have to like it, but you might in the grace of God. What you need to do is to act like you like it! So that they are awestruck that you do not fight back. That you do not curse them and wish them harm. You accomplish two holy things here. You witness to Jesus by living His Gospel, and you set a good example so that maybe, just maybe, your enemies will be struck to the heart, repent, and change their ways.

There are many benefits to this regular consideration of the Rule. Piece by piece; bit by bit; article by article; it becomes who we are. We have recalled often that Father Val also said we must become the Rule. Well, you cannot become what you do not know. You cannot enter the details and facets of a change of life into the fabric of your life without taking the time to seriously consider what it means. For what it means for us is the happy life that St. Augustine talked about. The life here that will take us down the path of that marathon of life and lead us right to the finish line in heaven where the Lord will meet us and say 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.' (MT 25:21) What joy that should give us! To know we are securely on the way to eternal life! Praise God! Pass the ammunition!

That ammunition is our Rule! Know it and love it. We believe this is the reason the BSP was called into existence. To promote the Rule given to the laity by St. Francis himself. So, for all of us in the BSP and every other organization out there living by this Rule, we are a true Franciscan family, and in that we can find great joy and peace.

And prayer must become our life. In and through prayer we will have the strength to pursue the ‘happy life’ and serenely move towards the things of God as a people “who have seen a great light” (MT 4”16) and want that Light as our own. In our prayer we will gain the knowledge and grace we need to avoid being overwhelmed by the “concerns and occupations” of our daily life, and in this new year of 2008 to prepare the way of the Lord anew, living our Rule wherever we are in formation.

Bruce and Shelley BSP
Administrators of the BSP

Janet Klasson
A meditation
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
by Janet Klasson BSP

"As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. " (Gal. 4:6-7)

The above Scripture passage beautifully confirms the unimaginable dignity of the children of God. But what does it mean to be an heir? We know that we are not called to be passive heirs to the kingdom, or worse, spoiled children always asking for more but never passing on what we receive. No, we are called to be active workers, wise stewards in the vineyard of the Lord. By virtue of our baptism and confirmation, lay Catholics are anointed to share in Christ's work as "Priest, Prophet and King". It is our right to exercise this office as laity and more than that, it is our duty. I wish to take the next three articles to explore each of these "offices of the laity" in greater depth, especially as they relate to our life in the BSP.

In the Old Testament the priest was the one to offer sacrifices in reparation to the Almighty God and for the forgiveness of the many sins of humankind. However, these sacrifices were not adequate to merit what was needed for the salvation of God's people. It was not until the perfect Sacrificial Lamb, Jesus Christ was offered, that the sins of the world were washed away.

As heirs with Christ, in the office of priest, we too are privileged to participate in the perfection of that offering. Does God need our sacrifices? Not at all, but he desires our participation, and because he confers on us this honor, we must willingly take up our cross and follow him, as our Lord tells us in Matthew 15:24. How beautiful that the Lord gave this Scripture passage to St. Francis as one of three on which to base his Rules of Life! It speaks very clearly to the priestly office to which we are called.

What must we do to exercise this office? The Catechism is eloquent in its description of this office:

"For all their works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body, if they are accomplished in the Spirit - indeed even the hardships of life if patiently born - all these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist these may most fittingly be offered to the Father along with the body of the Lord. And so, worshipping everywhere by their holy actions, the laity consecrate the world itself to God, everywhere offering worship by the holiness of their lives." (CCC 901)
Our participation in the priestly office of Christ is what sanctifies and gives meaning to every act of our lives. We understand that the sanctification of our daily lives flows from our offering them to God in the Spirit, and in uniting these acts to the sacrifice of Christ in the Eucharist.

The sin of the world demands that reparation be made. If we relied on our merit alone, our sacrifices would be as ineffectual as the Old Testament offerings of rams, cattle and turtledoves. But our meager offerings, linked to the Cross and offered in the Spirit, give us great hope that God will use them for the salvation of the world. In this way we are able to fulfill the Holy Father's exhortation in his recent document "Spe Salvi":
"As Christians we should never limit ourselves to asking: How can I save myself? We should also ask: What can I do in order that others may be saved?"
I recently heard a veteran newscaster say that in 40 years of reporting on world events, he had never seen such a conglomeration of dire events, both man-made and natural, occurring in so short a period of time. This confirms what Our Lady has been warning us about for more than a century. The universal call to penance and the formation of the BSP at this time is no coincidence. It is necessary for our time. What the Lord will do with our offerings is not ours to know. We have a job to do and the merit and glory are God's alone. Let us keep in mind the words of our Lord in Luke 17:10:
"When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'"
As we begin a new year, let us embrace this priestly office with renewed fervor for the sake of God's Kingdom, through Jesus the Lord and the intercession of Mary, Mother of God. Amen.

Janet Klasson BSP - Canada

Paul Beery
NO GREATER LOVE:
by PAUL BEERY BSP - January 2008

"A great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.' The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen ... " (Luke 2, 13;20)
"When Herod realized he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under ... "
(Mt. 2, 16)

Sacred Scripture presents us with two different reactions to the birth of Jesus. These very disparate reactions continue to this day, which shouldn't surprise uso Yet hope springs eternal, and with the new year we pray for peace on earth. We are not likely to see it before the Second Coming of Jesus, however, but only times when violence is at a more acceptable leve!. I think that's what our Blessed Mother meant when she said at Fatima that Russia would be converted and there would be "a time of peace." While the threat from Communism is decreasing, that of Islamic Jihad is increasing, and may one day be a greater threat to world peace than Communism, if it isn't already. Those are external threats to peace. Others that are less obvious are infinitely more dangerous.

The world after the Fall is not meant to be a place of peace and security, but a place of chaos and disorder after God's Peace Plan was rejected. Jesus clearly states this principle when He said: "I have come not to bring peace, but a sword." (Mt. 10,34) The eternal warfare of good vs. evil is vicious and unrelenting, playing itself out on the world stage and in our daily life. Those who join with Jesus our Savior in this spiritual warfare will have His favor rest on them. But will that automatically bring us the peace of the Lord? The old version of Luke 2,14 stated: "Peace on earth to men of good will." But there are many people of good will who have no peace. Just being "good" is not good enough. The Son of God did not descend to earth, suffer and die to indiscriminately grant everyone the benefits of the good life, of a life lived as though there were no God. We need a new definition of"good." Fr. Michael Keating gives the following explanation:

"When the Light came into the world, the world rejected Him. Creation did not even recognize its own Creator. Men's hearts had turned away from God. That's why John the Baptist came, to turn their hearts back to God. Jesus came to inflict on the world the truth - and it was met with violence by those whose hearts had turned away from the truth. So too the Church suffers the same violence today when it proclaims the truth."
Often we see the world react violently to the truth. But there is also great conflict within us as believers. Is our heart truly turned towords Jesus, or is there something still holding us back? That's what the process of conversion is all about. I never understood that until Fr. Keating used the term "hostility." The world is hostile to God, to good, and to goodness. That's obvious. What is not so obvious, is that each of us has to overcome our own hostility to God before we can live in His peace.

Jesus said, "Why do you call Me good; only God is good." None can call themselves "good," until they are made good by the grace of God. Our fallen human nature never goes away completely, but is always putting up the good fight to make sure we don't hear the Word of God, or act upon it. Our victory in this subtle warfare is the key to finding peace, which comes only when we overcome the hostility towards God in our own hearts.

What have we blamed God for lately? The death of a child? Some excruciating suffering we have undergone? Plans of ours ruined by "an act of God?" How about the necessity of changing our selfish behavior to conform to that of Another? Do we enjoy doing penance? There are a million ways we can suffer some form of hostility to God who has "inflicted the Truth" upon uS. If we accept Him, the Truth will set us free. But if we don't, the consequences can be severe. Most of us are in-between, wanting to say"Yes," but not wanting to do what "Yes" requires. Let' s just do the bare minimum, try to keep on God's good side, but pretty much do what we want. Somehow we just can't seem to take that entire yoke upon us, and leam from Jesus, Who will find rest for our souls.

That's why we associate with people of like mind, for the magnitude of our endeavor to lead a holy life. We not only have to deal with conflict in our own tlesh, but from the world and the deviI. We see incredible hostility to God in the world, from atheism to apathy. We see it among those who claim to know God. Acceptance of homosexuality which goes against the very laws of nature and nature's God? Participation in abortion?

A priest observed in his homily that the Holy Innocents were not technically martyrs, but "collateral damage" in a kind of political warfare. I immediately related that to today' s holy innocents killed in the "collateral damage" of abortion. We know from Mother Teresa there will never be peace on earth as long as the violence of abortion continues. It's also political warfare. For to its great shame, a political party is involved in sustaining a million civilian deaths a year through the "collateral damage" of abortion - at the same time they decry a tiny fraction ofthat number in a country far away. Herod has his followers even today. The energy and dedication with which some promote this Culture ofDeath puts us to shame. But abortion is no big deal some say, only a small part of the big "life" picture. Excuse me. Tell that to our, AND THEIR CREATOR! Anyone who claims to know God - yet cannot understand the magnitude of this horrific slaughter of the innocents - is deluding themselves. And these are the folks who are going to bring peace to the world?

The war on the unborn dwarfs any other kind of warfare in the sight of God. "Wars and rumors of wars" are part of the human condition. They are not the main obstacles to peace. Hostility to God is. If we are to have any measure of peace, we must reject every aspect of hostility towards God as manifested by the world, the flesh and the deviI. In the world we must love our enemies, but not join with them in their nefarious works. We pray for their conversion, for the tuming of their hearts to the love of God.

The devil has a limited time to turn hearts permanently from the God he rejected long ago. We must not allow him to use our flesh to tempt us into betrayal. His best trick is to change Jesus into a Christ we are happy with. Many would like a more convenient Savior, a Christ oftheir own creation who will tell them what they want to hear. But with the real Jesus, there will be violence. Ifthe world meets the Truth with violence, we do violence to ourselves to be cleansed from any kind of hostility to God, which may require a lifetime of internaI suffering. Such redemptive suffering produces true holiness, produces a man like Nathaniel, ofwhom the Lord said: "Here is a man in whom there is no guile." Jn. l.

The shepherds were able to receive the Truth, and glorified and praised God. Herod was furious, and did violence upon even hearing of Jesus. May we be like the humble and lowly shepherds who joined with Mary and Joseph in response to the angelic invitation to come and worship Jesus, singing: "Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to all on whom His favor rests." Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

Paul BSP

ON KITTENS AND HAWKS AND MARY...

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Something happened on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, that has provided so much food for meditation, that I would love to share its fruits with you.

On this day, as I was in the kitchen, I heard a terrific slam into the patio door in the living room. When I looked, there was a huge red tailed hawk lying on the porch stunned. Evidently, he had seen our new kitten in the living room, and had come in for the kill. Only the clear pane of glass stood between him and his prey, and so he was foiled! The kitten was oblivious to any of this and continued to play. The hawk shook its head and flew away.

I realized then, it was probably this hawk that had slaughtered a previous kitten a year ago, as it played on this very porch. We'd found it there one morning, and it was a very sorrowful sight. In fact, our daughter had just come to me sobbing a few days ago, when she remembered this, and it hit home all over again. She was very upset with me, that I hadn't foreseen the tragedy, and insisted the kitten stay inside. I told her it is easy to see these things in hindsight, but we have to learn from our mistakes and go on. The following day I encountered a lady with a free kitten in front of the grocery store, and thought it would be the perfect way for Katia to get over her sorrow, and so he came home with us. This time we'd learned our lesson, and kept the kitten inside.

Now, as I thought about this whole thing, this picture emerged. How we are so much like a kitten, and such easy prey for the evil one. The only difference between one kitten and the other was the clear glass door, and as I thought about this door, it seemed to me a perfect image of Our Mother. How She protects us, even when we are unaware of Her presence, or what it is She protects us from. As soon as we are safely behind Her, and consecrate ourselves to Her and become Her children, She stands between us and the wiles of the evil one, doesn't She?

Oh! How fortunate we are to have such a Mother! How sad I am for those many souls who play without Her protection... let us pray for them that they learn of our Beautiful Loving Mother and get behind Her!

Kathy Holbrook BSP
(AS POSTED ON THE BSP MEMBER FORUMS…)

MORNING STAR
NEWS ON THE ASSOCIATION



Shelley, Kathy Holbrook, and Bruce from a recent visit to Ohio by Bruce and Shelley

On a trip to Maryland to see their son, Mark, his wife, Nicole, and their 18th grandchild (Mark and Nicole’s first), new born Alexis, Bruce and Shelley Fahey made a side trip to Ohio to visit with Kathy Holbrook, Jason Roberts, and Pat McQuinn, who are forming a new Chapter of the BSP there. They already have a spiritual director! Praise God!

It is always a joy when members meet and share the journey and the joy of following our holy way of life. Unfortunately due to the press of family and business (first priorities!) Jason and Pat were not available that day, but Kathy, Shelley and Bruce spent a full day together. It was a great day, and Kathy’s vibrant joy and catchy enthusiasm for the BSP and our Rule was truly inspiring. Kathy, Shelley and Bruce discussed the history of the BSP to great depth, and Bruce and Don, Kathy’s husband, spent a good amount of time discussing predator hunting too! It was a wonderful visit!

CHAPTERS IN THE ASSOCIATION

There are many things happening in the Association. Among the richest of late is the exploding formation of Chapters of the BSP. Praise God! We now have Chapters forming in Ohio, South Korea, California, and Canada. A Chapter can form wherever two members, from different families, can meet. They can also form in other regions and through the Internet, according to our Visitor, Fr. Altier, provided the people actually have met and want to form a Chapter. If they are of interest to you, or you would like to form a Chapter in your area, be sure to contact BSP headquarters for details on how to do it.

WATCH FOR NEW THINGS COMING IN THE ASSOCIATION… :)

THE ADMONITIONS OF ST. FRANCIS

XV. The peacemakers

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Mt. 5:9). They are truly peacemakers who are able to preserve their peace of mind and heart for love of our Lord Jesus Christ, despite all that they suffer in the world.


The rest
The rest during the flight to Egypt
by Adriaen Isenbrant (1490-1551)
painted in Bruges
now in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany


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

"Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours."
(Mk 11:24)

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