ON ST. FRANCIS…
When St. Francis was living in his cell on Mount La Verna, one of his companions had a great desire to have some short phrases of the Bible in the saint's own handwriting. He was assailed by a violent temptation of the spirit and he was sure the writing would put an end to it, or at least make it easier to bear. He was worn out with longing and he was all on edge; but he was so humble, so self-effacing and unassuming, that he was overcome with shyness and did not dare to tell St. Francis about it. However, St. Francis learned from the Holy Spirit what his companion was afraid to tell him. He told the friar to bring him a pen and paper and then he wrote out some verses in praise of God with his own hand, as the friar wished, and added his blessing at the end. He gave the friar what he had written and immediately the temptation vanished. The sheet of paper was afterwards preserved and it restored innumerable people to health, showing the whole world how high a place the saint who wrote it held in God's eyes, that he should be able to give such efficacious power to a written message.
Another time a noble lady who was a very religious person came to St. Francis, confidently asking his help. Her husband treated her cruelly and tried to prevent her from serving Christ, and she begged the saint to pray to God for him, that he would soften his hard heart by his grace. When Francis heard what she wanted, he spoke to her and encouraged her in her good desires. He promised her that she would soon enjoy the consolation she longed for, and he told her to tell her husband from him and from God that this was the time of mercy, afterwards for justice. The woman put her trust in the words which the saint spoke to her and when she had received his blessing, she returned home without delay. There she met her husband and told him what the saint had said, expecting her wish to be granted without hesitation, as she had been promised. The moment her husband heard the words, the spirit of grace came upon him; his heart was touched, so that he allowed his wife to serve God freely and offered to serve him with her. At his wife's suggestion, they lived a life of continence for many years, and they died the same day, she in the morning, "a morning sacrifice," he in the evening, "an evening offering."
When the saint was lying sick at Rieti, a loose living and worldly cleric named Gedeon became seriously ill. He was brought to St. Francis, lying on a stretcher, and together with those who were present he begged him tearfully to bless him with the sign of the cross. But the saint replied, "You have lived a life of sinful indulgence, without a thought for God's judgment. I shall make the sign of the cross over you, not for your own sake, but because of the sincere petition of those who are pleading for you. But I tell you here and now that if you go back to your old ways, after you have been cured, you will infallibly have worse to suffer." Then he made the sign of the cross over him from his head to his feet and they all heard his bones cracking like dry wood being broken. The sick man stood up there and then, completely cured, and he gave praise to God saying, "I have been saved." After a short time, however, he forgot God once more and gave his body over to impurity. Then one evening he had supper at the house of one of the canons and spent the night there. That night the roof of the house collapsed on them all without warning; the others escaped death, but he was killed. So it was that this one event revealed the severity of God's justice for those who are ungrateful, and the accuracy and truth of the spirit of prophecy which filled St. Francis.
Bonaventure—Minor Life 1263
MORNING STAR: News on the Association
The Universal Call to Deep Contemplative Intimacy
with the Holy Trinity
By Father Thomas Dubay S.M. – Retreat Master
Monsignor Aloysius Callaghan will celebrate Mass for us on Saturday.
(Archbishop Nienstedt directed us to him as he is not available to hold Mass for us that weekend.)
Fr. James Reidy will be with us for reconciliation and fellowship.
Friday July 25th to Sunday July 27th
Franciscan Retreat Center—Prior Lake, Minnesota
Put it on your calendar
and send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place!
Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Tobit 11:5-17) Gospel (St. Mark 12:35-37)
In the first reading today, we hear again about Raphael. You recall that Saint Raphael is one of those angels whose names we know. There are only three angels whose names are listed in Scripture: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Raphael means "physician of God." The fact that he gave Tobiah medicine which would be able to heal his father, the fact that he was able to show Tobiah how to break the curse that was on Sarah, and a number of other things that happened demonstrate that he was, indeed, this physician. He is also the patron of travelers. For those who are traveling, it is a good thing to pray to Saint Raphael. He is also the patron saint of love. For any of our young people who are praying about their vocation and seeking a spouse, Saint Raphael is also a good person to pray to.
It is important that we recognize the importance of the holy angels. They are with us always. They are the messengers of God. It is an easy thing to forget that the angels are there because we cannot see them, but they are before the face of God always. Each one of us, of course, has a guardian angel. We celebrate their feast on October 2. The angels are present, worshipping God day and night. They are present helping us, guiding us, and guarding us. The angels perform a very important role in the work of salvation.
We know there are also fallen angels and they war with the good angels. The angels are directed toward us. It is an amazing thing, the angels are greater than we are by nature; yet, they were created for us. They are also created to glorify God, but God created the angels to serve us. The problem, however, is that when the angels fell (the bad ones) they continued to have their direction turned toward us. So, we have the good angels that are trying to serve us, and we have the bad angels that are trying to destroy us. There is this clash that is constantly taking place. Yet, God asks that, in the midst of all that, we keep our focus on Him. The angels help us to do that.
We need to make sure we are praying and asking the angels for help, that we turn to them and remember them because we know that they are real. It is an amazing thing how we, often times, remember the devil and the demons but we forget about the other half - the good angels. In fact, it is two-thirds. Scripture tells us that when Satan fell, he swept a third of the stars from the sky. A third of the angels fell, but two-thirds remained faithful to God. Your guardian angel, even by nature, is lower than Satan because Satan was the highest angel. By nature, your guardian angel is lower than Satan; but by grace, he is higher than Satan and he will help you. You need to pray to your guardian angel.
You can pray to Saint Raphael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Michael. We know there are seven spirits around the throne of God, but we are not told the names of the other four. In one extra-biblical writing, there is one angel whose name is Ariel, which means "the fire of God." That is considered to be one of their names, but we do not know that for a fact. We only know the three. They are called archangels, by the way, because that means "the leading angels." They are actually seraphim and not archangels from the choir of archangels, which is the second-lowest, but rather they are the highest of the angels. So, we need to pray to them.
We see that God has given them to us for a purpose. That purpose is to guide us through this world and bring us to heaven. We can trust them and count on them. We need to, especially in our day and age where Satan has a lot of power. He has been given a lot of free reign to do things in the world. In that case, the work of the holy angels is going to be even more heightened for us. They are there, but we need to ask for their help. We need to take advantage of the fact that God has given them to us.
Jesus tells us in the Gospel that He is Lord. The Messiah is Lord. That is what the angels help us to understand: to trust in Jesus Christ, to keep our focus on Jesus Christ. That is what they do constantly, day and night, and that is what they will help us to do, as well. As we see the work of Raphael helping Tobiah by working through all these things, so too, we can take it from there and pray to those angels. We can remember our own guardian angel and pray to him, knowing that he has been given to us by God for the very purpose of leading us through this life to the face to face vision of God in eternity.
Note: Father Altier does not prepare his homilies in advance, but relies solely upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.
ON OUR JOURNEY... Sing to the Lord a new song!
"His praise is in the assembly of the saints: it is the singers themselves. If you desire
to praise Him, then live what you express. Live good lives, and you, yourselves, will
be His praise.
These words speak to us of what our life is all about. Wherever we go. Whatever we do. Our lives are the praise we offer to God.
This is not always true as we all know; we have to learn to live up to this song. Certainly, it is not true of the world we live in. You can watch the news forever, or TV, or the movies, or listen to the crowds around you and no where will you hear men speak favorably of God except among those who center their lives in him. Sin abounds, but the praise of God is absent, except among those who love Him. This alone points to the value of being one of a family of people, as we are in the BSP and all in religious orders are, who have in common their desire to serve God and be among His people. In these families the common tie of the love of God binds all they do into a prayer of praise before God and speaks so well as to why Orders and other such families, like the BSP, come into being by God's will. As we walk amongst each other; email each other; meet with each other in Chapter meetings, or after Mass, or on the street, we share our common mission. To promote the love of God and a holy way of life to each other in a true spirit of unity, love, and humility, in this very confused and evil world.
It is not that we have the answer for each other. We don't. It is that we are on a common mission. To love God; to praise Him in our lives; to share Him however gently, and gentle we must be, with all those around us. Our lives become our praise, and for that reason alone our lives should be shrouded in prayer. That prayer moves us to be holy, without trying to be holy. It gives us the wisdom of God as an invisible but present power in our words and our spirits, even if we don't know it or try to show it.
God moves where he will, and always in great silence. He doesn't need us; he loves us and is in us, because He is in all things, and all things exist because of His love. Also us. We exist because of His love, and because He has willed we should be born. We are born to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him, and to be happy with Him forever in heaven. That is what we were taught was the purpose of our lives by our good Catholic teachers, and such wisdom abides there. We are not born to be happy with Him forever here, but that too becomes the reality if we but live for Him here. We are born to weather this life, which is a valley of tears and trials, for the greater honor and glory of God and in that weathering is our praise of God, in ourselves as St. Augustine so well put it and St. Francis so well lived it.
We may live in great suffering, and the suffering can become part of our prayer. We may be depressed, but having it we do not have to let it have us. Depression can become our prayer. We may have much work to do, but the work doesn't own us. The work becomes our prayer. The Holy Spirit will come to move in us and in His motion we will find the reality of God, and prayers that flow from all we do and are in every day of our lives. Not that we were always that way, but that we are now. We will express our love of God in our love of neighbor and in the reverence of our lives and how we hold in awe the beautiful and holy Name of God, in our beloved brother and Savior Jesus, in His Most Holy Father, and the Spirit of the union of the Father and the Son. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and always, the power in our lives, the prayer in our hearts, the praise in our very existence as His servants and disciples.
Praised be God forever!
Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
From the Gospel reading 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Janet Klasson BSP
(Jesus) heard this and said, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."
"I desire mercy, not sacrifice." Our Lord, quoting Hosea to the Pharisees had a very important message for them. This message is also important for us penitents. Our life of penance gives us many opportunities to offer sacrifice to God. However, this reading serves as a warning: if we are not first of all instruments of mercy all our penance is in vain. Further, the mercy we exercise must flow from charity, a charity that originates in the will of God who is love. If it doesn't, then as Ecclesiastes tells us, all is vanity.
St. Alphonsus de Liguori in his booklet "Uniformity with God's Will"* has some very strong words about the way in which we offer our sacrifices to God.
"Mortification, meditation, receiving Holy Communion, acts of fraternal charity are all certainly pleasing to God, but only when they are in accordance with his will. When they do not accord with God's will, he not only finds no pleasure in them, but he even rejects them utterly and punishes them.
This emphasizes how crucial obedience to God's will is to the life of penance. How tragic it would be if we came to the end of a life of penance and the Lord rejected everything because we had lacked the one thing necessary - obedience.
There is no greater sacrifice than obedience. Our will is the only thing that is truly ours. That is what makes it the most valuable thing we can offer to God. Jesus was obedient unto death for our salvation and Mary's obedience was the point on which salvation teetered while creation held its breath.
Our life of penance cannot please God outside of obedience. That is the whole point of a Rule - to train us in obedience so that we can be effective instruments of God's mercy in the world. That is why obedience is one of the vows taken by religious. That is also why the enemy tries so hard to convince us that our happiness depends upon doing what we want when we want. I once heard it said that the theme song of hell is "I Did It My Way."
The obedient soul becomes an instrument of God's mercy, a conduit of his power, which is love in action. We see all that the saints accomplished and we marvel at it. Yet this is well within the reach of all of us if we but train ourselves in the virtue of obedience.
It makes sense. God has infinite power that he wants to share with us for the good of all. However, infinite power can be abused by creatures who are free to sin. So conformity to the will of God must come first. Dying to self. Voluntarily decreasing so that he may increase in us. God longs for this, the world needs it and the Rule can help us accomplish it.
"I desire mercy, not sacrifice." God is not interested in our sacrifices for their own sake. Unless they accomplish what God desires, they are meaningless, harmful even. No, our first sacrifice must be our own will. Embrace the Rule, dear Brothers and Sisters. If you do the mercy of God will flow through you and you will see miracles.
Janet Klasson BSP - Canada
NO GREATER LOVE: by PAUL BEERY BSP - June 2008
"What is man that You should keep him in mind, mortal man that You should care for him? Yet you have made him little less than a god, with glory and honor You crowned him, giving him power over the works of your hand, putting all things under his feet.
" (Ps. 8)
This will be the last in a series of articles on the Environment, one that proposes an alternative to the world's pagan worship of Nature, and rebellion against Nature's God. That rebellion also distorts the place of MANKIND, God's CROWNING GLORY, with whom He seeks an intimate, loving relationship – unlike the rest of creation, which could be called mere window dressing in comparison. The alternative is STEWARDSHIP. All followers of Jesus, especially Franciscans drawn to imitate Francis's love of Nature AND Nature's God, can give themselves wholly to this mission, without having to join some wildlife group to fulfill our duty as good stewards of God's Creation. So please stay with me one more time as lessons on how NOT to be good stewards are drawn from past experiences, some of them quite deadly for the human family.
Under the guise of concern for humanity, we were told by Environmentalists that DDT would cause cancer and inflict all manner of harm on us. Obviously there were problems with it, as with many chemicals, mainly due to its overuse for it was so effective. But what "facts" we were told about DDT were greatly exaggerated, and most were completely untrue. Banning such a life-saving substance instead of regulating its use has led to an unprecedented human and environmental catastrophe. True ecologists could count up the billions of dead elm trees, because DDT was not available to kill the elm bark beetle, one small example among many I could give. But I lament something far worse: the gruesome and needless deaths of 50 million PEOPLE from malaria, and the terrible suffering experienced by survivors of this deadly disease.
Try to get your mind around that number: 50 million innocent people dead since 1972, in a war on mankind. Many are bent out of shape because ONE PERCENT of that number has died in a fight for the survival of Civilization against Jihadist terrorism. At least that's a worthy cause. Banning a life-saving product that would have prevented the deaths of millions of people IS NOT. It is MORALLY INDEFENSIBLE to deny developing nations the means to protect their people, especially when DDT has proven to be safe and effective when properly used. This callous attitude towards poor people in distant lands is a direct result of the Environmental Movement's Culture of Death - to humanity. And if disease won't allow enough people to die, they will cause food shortages by burning food for fuel. Truly, the greatest threat to humanity, as well as our environment, comes from the Environmental Movement. By their fruits you will know them. It's not an accident that the executive director of the Sierra Club also heads Zero Population Growth. Save the whales, kill the babies. If anything deserves to be put on the Endangered Species list, it's the HUMAN SPECIES! A good book detailing Environmentalist follies is: "The REALLY Inconvenient Truths, 7 Environmental Catastrophes…" by Iain Murray.
It was a government agency that banned DDT, and wealthy nations that continue to with-hold this life-saving chemical from the poor in developing nations. What does that say about the wisdom of trusting in government? At one time Christian principles governed the West. Not anymore. Today we have weak-kneed politicians paying homage to a new pagan religion, genuflecting before the power of this "Animal Rights" lobby, instead of protecting the God-given rights of human beings. But perhaps that is being too harsh. There is, after all, another reason: money. Follow the money trail. Chemicals and pesticides are continually demonized as "pollutants." Now even carbon dioxide is a "pollutant," that which we exhale and is NECESSARY FOR LIFE! So politicians by "carbon credits" have figured out how to TAX THE AIR WE BREATHE!
In many ways, as a former president said many times, "Government is not the solution, it's the PROBLEM!" Daily indoctrination extols the wonders of government control INSTEAD OF actions by individuals, who will be too selfish and not care for the common good. Really? That's an absolute INSULT to the People of God who cooperate with the Creator to fulfill God's plan for mankind. A double insult is the Marxist proposition that "Religion is the opium of the people." Communism's first obligation was to stamp out religion and transfer their subjects' allegiance to the State. Look around today and see how this influence permeates society. Politicians have convinced even people of faith that they need Caesar - instead of God, and their own God-given talents - to take care of them. Where is that in the Gospel? The poor have been victimized by government programs, causing dependence, moral breakdown, and destruction of the family.
But that still didn't bring Utopia, so more government control and more victims were needed. Change tactics. Conjure up a WORLD-WIDE CRISIS that DEMANDED world-wide government action: VOILA! The ENVIRONMENT – ruined by "man-made" Global Warming! Make treaties demanding MORE GOVERNMENT CONTROL. Transfer wealth from producers to politicians and Environmentalists. Promote envy and jealously, class warfare. Denigrate people of faith. Stop drilling for oil and return mankind to the Stone Age. (VATICAN INTERVENTION. Msgr. Renato Volante, permanent observer to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, has denounced the use of agricultural products for fuel. "It is not ethically just to use food for purposes other than human consumption when there are people who suffer from hunger." Someday we may see God's abundant gift of fossil fuel actually used for fuel, and food for food. But only if hysteria is categorically rejected in favor of common sense.) Problem: the "crisis" just won't cooperate, and is being increasingly seen for the MYTH that it is. Over thirty-one THOUSAND reputable scientists, willing to put their academic careers on the line for refuting politically correct dogma, have publicly refuted the "Global Warming" lie. That's called a consensus. So the drive to take over the world by another phony crisis is stalling, largely due to actions of ordinary freedom-loving people, whose faith in God allows them to recognize a scam when they see it, and do something about it. That's wonderful news! Environmental hysteria is being discredited, and true Environmental STEWARDSHIP under God is taking its place, THANKS BE TO GOD.
The Acton Institute (for the study of religion and liberty) has put out a 120 page booklet called "Environmental Stewardship in the Judeo-Christian Tradition." The four chapters are titled: "The Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship," "A Comprehensive Torah-Based Approach to the Environment," "The Catholic Church and Stewardship of Creation," and "A Biblical Perspective on Environmental Stewardship." This is a true ecumenical effort, "Jewish, Catholic and Protestant Wisdom on the Environment," to channel the energy of those of us who hold fast to the Judeo/Christian tradition. One of the main themes throughout the booklet is to remain steadfast in our faith, and be guided by the Word of God concerning creation. That takes real discipline, learning to constantly reject agenda-driven environmental junk science assaulting our senses every day through the media. Genesis to Revelation unfolds a blueprint for how we are to treat FIRST of all, God's crowning glory, MANKIND: "God created man in His own Image, in the Image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them and said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over every living thing that moves on the earth.'"
In the foreword, Fr. Sirico says the Institute is advancing the conversation on environmental stewardship, "helping us all see our moral and religious responsibilities in keeping and tilling the garden that is our world. By virtue of his created nature, man is placed at the head of creation as its STEWARD. This stewardship cannot be arbitrary, for man rules creation in God's stead, and must do so according to HIS DIVINE WILL." Few lived more closely united with the Divine Will than our holy father St. Francis. Nothing will make us better stewards than to be Intimately united with God, for then we will never place creation above its Creator, but see it for what it is: a visible expression of the immense beauty and majesty of the infinite Mind of God, a tiny peek into the beatific vision that awaits us in heaven.
"Almighty, most high and supreme God, Father, holy and just, Lord, King of heaven and earth, we give you thanks for YOURSELF. Of your own holy will, you created all things spiritual and physical, made us in your own Image and Likeness, and gave us a place in Paradise, through your only Son, in the Holy Spirit. We give you thanks because your Son is to come a second time in the glory of His Majesty…to those who acknowledged you, adored you, and served you by a life of penance, He will say: ‘Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'" Rule, Chapter 23
Paul Beery BSP
THE ADMONITIONS OF ST. FRANCIS
XVIII. Compassion for one's neighbor
Blessed the man who is patient with his neighbour's shortcomings as he would like him to be if he were in a similar position himself.
CHANGES TO OUR STATUTES:
FROM FR. ROBERT ALTIER—VISITOR TO THE BSP
We, Bruce and Shelley, had a meeting with Father Altier on May 22nd. We spent several hours going over the Statutes and a number of simple changes and clarifications were made to the Rule. The more significant changes are highlighted briefly below and will be added to the Statutes on the Web page as time allows. There were numerous smaller changes and additions of less impact where they clarified particular Statutes. These are not shown here but can be found on the Web page as the changes are added there.
Colors are no longer defined in the Statutes, except blue in honor of our Lady. Our
clothing should be of solid colors, but we have the freedom to select the colors we
wish to wear and therefore can also continue to wear the colors we have as in the past.
C. For evident and necessary cause a dispensation on clothing colors and quality may be given by the individual's spiritual director or confessor, who also has the authority to approve their wearing a habit if they wish to do so.
D. A penitent is not required to dispose of their existing wardrobe when they begin to conform these prescriptions to their life. They may keep and wear existing clothing until it is worn out and replace these things with garments that conform to the Rule when they need to do so. (This has always been approved for us, but was not in the Statutes previously.)
Clothing that is not visible may be of any color or pattern. Also ‘inexpensive' was changed to ‘moderate cost" to accommodate the times.
All clothing should be modest, simple, conservative, and tasteful.
Penitents may eat three meals daily except when fasting. ((The Rule of 1221, and the Statutes until now stated two meals were to be eaten daily (Statutes also said a 'small meal or snack' could be taken if needed) but this is thought to relate to the practice of actually eating two meals daily that was prevalent in the Medieval Ages. Today our practice is to eat three meals daily, and the Church states two small meals and one full meal daily constitutes fasting. Of course, a penitent is free to eat less if they choose.)) Beverages may be taken at any time.
Appendix C, and any references to it in the Statutes, is eliminated in its entirety. If penitents wish to offer psalms in place of the Divine Office on any day they may choose any of the psalms to accomplish this.
Since public recitation of Matins is rarely available these days penitents are
encouraged to go to daily Mass when they feel they can. Kneeling during
the Consecration of the Mass, after receiving Holy Communion, or in Adoration
of the Blessed Sacrament is always encouraged and deemed appropriate in the BSP
and by its Visitor, except where the local Bishop has otherwise specified. (Our
Visitor pointed out that it is never sinful to obey the Bishop, but it can be sinful
to ignore what He prescribes. The Visitor himself added this last prescription after
we pointed out there has been much discussion on this subject in the BSP.)
Members wishing to assist other members financially or otherwise may do so anonymously through the BSP and its Administrators.
Every penitent should have a spiritual director if they can be found. Everyone who professes to live this Rule should have a spiritual director if possible. (Recognizes the difficulty members are having finding spiritual directors.)
REFLECTIONS IN AN HOUR-GLASS…
I arise today, and have toast for breakfast as it is a Friday and a fast day for me. I am a penitent, so I offer it up. Then I think today I will pray as I do in the morning, first an hour of contemplative prayer and then the Divine Office. I decide I will not go to Mass. It is raining and a week day and I have much work to do.
I have email to do after I say my hour of contemplative prayer, and the Divine Office. So, I prepare to go and pray. I sit to begin this hour and talk to the Lord a bit, and then I ponder that there is much I could do if I go to Mass before even the hour begins, or I begin the Divine Office. I consider that I could pray for some work that I must do that is important and offer Mass for that. Also, I could go to the adoration chapel which is a block or so from the Church after Mass. I am so hungry to visit with the Lord. On the trip to my work, after Mass, I could gas up the car, which is almost empty, and then go and do the work which is 20 miles from my home, or a little closer to the Church anyway. I must drive regardless after all. So I change the plans. I get up and go and do the email. With that done I am free to go to Mass. I offer it up.
On the way to Mass I pray the rosary. I love the rosary. I arrive at the Church and park in a place near the Church but a long ways from the adoration Chapel. I think nothing of it. After Mass I will drive the car to the Chapel. I have a trailer on it for the work I must do, but that is ok. There is room in the parking lot at the adoration chapel.
The Mass as I walk in the door is filled with children. The adults are at the back of the Church, and it is packed. It is the school day Mass of the week and the school is part of the parish life of the Church. I have no children any longer but believe in Catholic education. That means the Mass will be longer, and there will be no homily. Father will speak to the children in children's terms. There is always a message there. I did not know this was also a grandparents Mass. The grandparents of the children were there. They are called to the front of the Church after the homily. The children go and get their grandparents to do that. The grandparents are integrated nicely by Father to the joy of the children. Usually they are integrated. He asks the grandparents if they would die for their faith. They all say they would. It takes some time. These Masses are always longer. At the end we all applaud the grandparents and children. There is penance here and I am a penitent. So, I offer it up.
After Mass I go to confession and return to my car. As I am walking to it I decide not to drive to the adoration chapel. I will walk. It is cool and misty but I will offer it up.
My time in the chapel is wonderful. I wait until my heart is at peace before I leave. I am filled with the Lord. As I walk to the car my hands grow cold in the morning air. I put them in my pockets to keep them warm and then decide not to. I take them out and the cold bites them a bit. I offer it up. It takes no more time to have cold hands than warm. I gas up the car and decide to buy a cup of coffee. I love cappuccino but I buy regular coffee. I offer it up.
I pray more rosaries on the way to my work. I get two more said and I am there. The work is heavy, and I offer it up. When it is done I drive home praying my fourth rosary, and then a prayer option of the Rule. When I get home I can decide if I will then also pray the Divine Office. If my wife asks me to I will, and I can offer it up.
I arrive at home and the work there goes on. I offer it up. It is lunch time and I eat light, and offer it up. My morning is over, and it has been an offering. I feel the peace of Jesus in my heart and I have still a half of a day to work, and offer up. The clock did not stop. The sands of time still ran, but my life has been an offering to God, my day is really just beginning, and I am happy.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO ALL FATHERS!
LET US REMEMBER TO CELEBRATE OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN ON THIS DAY TOO!
Madonna and Child
little painting on wood panel
Author: Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Italian painter
painted around 1340, now in Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, 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
email@example.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!
"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit."