ON ST. FRANCIS…
When St. Francis went to preach at Celano after his return from overseas, a knight begged him insistently to come to dinner. Francis was reluctant, but his host almost forced him to come, in his devotion to him. Before they sat down to eat, the saint offered praise and prayers to God as usual, like the truly spiritual man he was. There he learned in spirit that his host must die in the very near future, and he remained standing with his mind fixed on God and his eyes raised to heaven. When he had finished praying, he drew his host aside and told him that he was going to die soon, advising him to confession and encouraging him to do what good he could. The knight took his advice and confessed all his sins to the saint's companion. He put his affairs in order and entrusted himself to God's mercy, doing everything he could to prepare for death. They were all beginning their meal when the knight, who seemed quite strong and well, suddenly passed away, as the saint had foretold. He was carried off by a sudden death, but he was clad in the armor of repentance, thanks to St. Francis' spirit of prophecy. So, he escaped eternal damnation and entered the dwelling places of heaven, as our Lord promised in the Gospel.
Creatures obey St. Francis—God's condescension towards him.
I. FIRST LESSON:
The Spirit of God who had anointed him, together with "Christ the power of God, Christ the wisdom of God" (1 COR 1,24), was always with St. Francis. By his grace and power, hidden secrets were revealed to the saint and the elements were made subject to him. On one occasion, he was advised by his doctors to allow a cauterization in the hope of curing his eye troubles. The friars begged him to agree and the saint humbly gave his consent. He knew that it would be an opportunity to practice virtue, as well as a remedy for bodily ills. However, he recoiled instinctively at the sight of the searing iron, which was red hot: then he addressed the burning fire, calling it his brother, and commanded it in the name of God the Creator and by his power to temper its heat and burn gently, so that he could bear it. The sizzling iron was plunged into the soft flesh and drawn from his ear to his eyebrow. Full of God as he was, Francis was overjoyed in spirit, "Give praise to the Most High!" he told his friars. I can truthfully say that the heat of the fire did not harm me, and I felt no pain.
Bonaventure—Minor Life 1263
Note the change in retreat masters. Fr. Dubay has undisclosed health issues and cannot do the retreat because of medical care he will be receiving. Please keep him in prayer.
Leading a consecrated life as a lay person:
Prayer, Sacrifice, Love, and Work.
By Bruce Fahey BSP – Retreat Master
Friday July 25th to Sunday July 27th
Franciscan Retreat Center—Prior Lake, Minnesota
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. He will celebrate Mass for us on Saturday.
Put it on your calendar
and send an email to
email@example.com to reserve a place!
$180 for meals, talks, and all stipends.
Homily by Fr. Robert Altier
ON SUFFERING FOR CHRIST
In the second reading today, we have an utterly astounding statement by Saint Paul: "I make
up in my body for what is lacking in the suffering of Christ, for the sake of His body the Church." Have you ever pondered that statement to ask what was really lacking in the suffering of Christ? How is it that Saint Paul can talk about making up for what Jesus did not do? But that is precisely what he is saying: There was something that was lacking in the suffering of Christ and Saint Paul, through his suffering, is adding to the suffering of Christ and making up for what is lacking.
First, we have to look at the point of what was lacking. The answer is that in the suffering of Christ there is nothing lacking. But Jesus, knowing that He was going to continue living on in His mystical body and recognizing the dignity of those who would be incorporated into Him as members of that body, allows us to actually share in the work of redemption.
It is mind-boggling for most of us to think that God loves us so much that He would allow us to share in the work of the salvation of souls. But that is precisely what He is doing. Jesus, in His passion and in His death, took on everything that was necessary for the salvation of humanity; but out of love for us, there was a little bit that He did not do Himself because He knew that we would. Rather than just simply handing salvation to us on a silver platter and saying, "Here it is and you do not have to do anything," what He does is hand it to us and say, "Here it is. Now, what has been given to you as a gift, also give to others as a gift."
As Catholics, from the time we are little kids, we heard the statement: Offer it up. Whenever there was something that was not going so well, our moms probably taught us to offer it up. What exactly does that mean – to "offer it up"? This is something so important for us to understand because even the majority of Catholics do not understand it anymore and, tragically, do not do it. How many souls are being lost because of the lack of generosity of the people who are not offering their suffering in union with the suffering of Christ? This is what we must understand because it is precisely what Saint Paul is talking about in that second reading. To say "offer it up" means that the Lord is offering you His Cross - a share in His suffering, a share in the work of redemption. What He wants you to do is to take that suffering and accept it, which means: do not whine about it, do not complain about it, do not try and seek any kind of attention because of it.
Jesus said this about Himself: "I came to serve, not to be served." To serve is to share in the work of Christ. It is merely a matter of how we do it. If we are serving and looking for attention, then that is not a share in the suffering of Christ and in His work. If we are serving and trying to make sure people see us, that they are impressed by us, and that they recognize what it is that we are doing, then we are doing our own work and not the work of Christ. If we complain about the work and the service, which are ours, then we are not sharing in the suffering of Christ; but we are rejecting His suffering and rejecting the gift He is offering.
We need to simply step back and ask ourselves, "Of all the things that Jesus Christ could give to us, what is the greatest gift?" Many of us would think that the greatest gift would be lots of money. Or the greatest gift would be if He gave me the spouse of my dreams. Or the greatest gift would be if He gave me a mansion, a fancy car, and an easy life. That is nonsense.
You can turn on the television set on Sunday morning and hear the "gospel of health and wealth" being preached and it is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nowhere in the Gospel will you find Jesus saying to you, "If you follow Me, everything is going to be easy. You do not have to take up your cross daily and follow Me," because that is not what it means to be a Christian. Nowhere will you find any nonsense like that - just the opposite. Jesus said things like: " If they hate you it is because they hated Me first. You must take up your cross and follow Me. Blessed are you when they persecute you and slander you and utter every kind of thing against you." On and on, we could quote one passage after the next of what He told us would happen to us. We must share in the suffering of Jesus Christ.
So, the greatest gift, the single greatest gift that Jesus Christ can offer us is a share in His cross. As I have said many times before, If you are not suffering, then you need to worry. Many of us fall into the trap of thinking, "If things are going well, then God must really love me. If things are not going well, then I must have done something wrong. God must be angry with me because things are not going well in my life." Once again, you can turn on the television set on Sunday morning and you can hear lots of televangelists who are looking for money, telling you that exact same thing: "Oh, Jesus does not want you to suffer. He wants your life to be easy. He wants everything to be wonderful. If you serve Jesus, you are going to be on ‘easy street' and you are going to have lots of money and you will not have to suffer." That is not what Jesus Christ teaches. It is not what His Church teaches. And it is not what His saints teach.
If we want to share in the life and the Person of Jesus Christ, we have to share in His passion, in His suffering, and in His death. That is the greatest possible gift that we can be offered: a share in the Cross of Jesus Christ. In His love for us, Jesus left a share for us. He did the vast majority of it; probably 99.9% He took for Himself because He knew that we were capable of only one little, tiny sliver. So, that is what He gives to us. And how often we have experienced that, when He lays that little sliver on our shoulder, we fall flat on our face. One little, tiny bit of the suffering of Christ and we complain. We struggle, we get angry and frustrated, and we wonder why. But we can take heart because, when we look at the Stations of the Cross, we see Our Lord falling three times under His Cross. It should be no surprise to us that we will fall under ours sometimes. But it is precisely in getting back up and continuing to struggle that we will become saints, that we will grow in holiness, that we will learn the wisdom of the Cross.
Saint Paul tells us that the cross is foolishness for the Greeks and it is a stumbling block for the Jews, but for those who believe in Christ, it is the wisdom and the power of Jesus Christ. It is the only means of salvation. So for us who believe in Jesus Christ, we should not reject the Cross, but we should embrace it. The saints prayed for the Cross. They prayed for suffering and they rejoiced in suffering because they knew it meant that other souls would be saved and that they were sharing in the very work of salvation. This is the glory that Saint Paul is talking about: He is offering his suffering for the good of the Church.
Then he talks about the mystery that the Gentiles are now co-heirs with the Jews and that all of us have an opportunity to go to Heaven. It is not by our own doing, we cannot save ourselves. If we suffered tremendously from this moment until the end of our lives, it would not be enough to bring about our own salvation. We must be clear about that. The suffering we endure is not so we can save our own soul – the Lord did that; He has already suffered enough to save all the souls in the entire world. But what He asks from us is generosity, that we will accept a share in His Cross, that with Him we would serve the needs of others.
All you have to do is look around to see the need. It is desperate. As Our Lord said in the Gospel, when He saw all the people lying prostrate from exhaustion, that they were like sheep without a shepherd. He could have stood in the middle of America in the 21st century and said the exact same thing. The people of our day do not know their Shepherd. They do not know the salvation that is being offered to them. They have sought everything, except the Lord, because they do not want to suffer. Suffering and the American Way do not seem to go together, so most people reject it. Now, they are lying exhausted like sheep without a shepherd. It is only through our suffering and our share in the work of Christ to serve the needs of others and bring them to Jesus Christ that we can help them to know that He has done the work for them, that He has suffered for them, and that He has brought about their salvation.
That is the mystery that Saint Paul talks about. He says that it is Jesus Christ in you, your hope of glory. That is what is ours. For us who know that mystery, for us who worship Him, for us who recognize what He did for us - now He is asking us to do the same: to take up the Cross and to offer our sufferings for others so that they will come to know Him and their souls will be saved. This is the dignity that is ours as members of Jesus Christ. It is the dignity for each one of us to be able to offer our suffering, in union with the suffering of the Lord, so that we can say with Saint Paul: "I make up in my body for what is lacking in the suffering of Christ, for the sake of His body the Church."
Note: Father Altier does not write his homilies in advance, but relies solely upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This text was transcribed from the audio recording with minimal editing.
ABOUT OUR GIFTS…
"There are different gifts but the same Spirit; there are different ministries but the
same Lord; there are different works but the same God who accomplishes all of them
(1 Cor. 12:4-6)
Dear brothers and sisters,
This reading is filled with so many riches. Many of us can benefit from pondering on some of them.
All of our gifts are from God. First we have the gift of life itself. He knew us before we were born and He gave us each, individually, the gifts that would give meaning to our own life. Some gifts are spiritual, some physical, and some are talents. Whatever our personal gifts may be, we need to recognize, refine, and nurture them in a way that is pleasing to God.
Many of our spiritual gifts will come from how we live our faith and through the sacraments. When we pray or attend Mass do we really place ourselves in the presence of God, or do we recite prayers just to say them or attend Mass but our mind is elsewhere? These are just two ways that many, if not all of us, struggle to perfect ourselves so that we may realize the fullness of the gift of Faith. It is a gift that needs to be nourished or there is no benefit to having it.
Physical gifts come in many forms. It is how we use these gifts to honor God that matters. We need to guard against pride and be humble with them because, after all, they are gifts from God. Think of our hands, heart, mind, and gender to name a few. These are physical gifts that we need to use with purity. God knows how each one of us uses these elements of our physical nature. Our responsibility is to keep them clean and pleasing to God. "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God." (MT 5:8)
Ministries and work go hand in hand. Whatever gift or talent we have been given as an individual is our life's work. Some are given more than others but how we use them can make a lot of difference when we bring them before the Lord. Do we use and nurture these gifts in a God-like manner? Have we lived our lives in each and every ROLE we hold in life for the greater honor and glory of God? These are two questions we need to ask ourselves, prayerfully.
If we look into the world of Faith, St. Paul is saying we have different gifts to share in the Church, different ministries, different works to accomplish. Notice that he does not say anyone does not have gifts. It is safe to say no one is without gifts of some kind they can use to further the kingdom of God. One day we will bring all of our gifts back to God, and on that day we cannot excuse ourselves, if we did not use them in a God-fearing manner, when we stand before the tribunal of Christ. Somewhere, somehow, we have things to do.
The Lord says: "to the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." (MK 4:25) So, let's all make it a point to practice our Faith, and pray to know our gifts, and how we can use them to further the kingdom of God. To achieve heaven. Or, we might lose them, or worse. We might lose our very selves.
Praised be God forever!
Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
Administrators of the BSP
From the Gospel reading: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Janet Klasson BSP
He spoke to them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened."
Through the above Scripture passage our Lord is telling us that our faith is not meant to be separate from our lives, nor just "mixed in", but that our faith should be the active ingredient of our lives. The yeast is what causes the bread to rise. In the same way, our faith must rise up every aspect of our lives—the ordinary becomes extraordinary when faith is the driving force behind all our actions.
So should it also be with our Rule. We have probably heard it said in the BSP that our Rule is not the object—growth in holiness is the object. The Rule is a means to the ultimate end of holiness. It is the leaven that turns the extraordinary ingredients of our lives into the bread of extraordinary holiness.
In the diary of St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, she relates what Jesus told her about the true value of living a Rule of life. Section 189 states:
"On one occasion, Jesus gave me to know how pleasing to Him is the soul that faithfully keeps the rule. A soul will receive a greater reward for observing the rule than for penances and great mortifications. The latter will be rewarded also if they are undertaken over and above the rule, but they will not surpass the rule."
This is an amazing statement. We may feel that the mortifications of the Rule are what our Lord values the most because we feel most deprived through our sacrifices. But we learn here that it is the day-to-day obedience to a Rule of life, the daily dying to self, that gives true value to our sacrifices. The Rule in its entirety, lived daily, is what lifts up our sacrifices to God.
The Rule may also be compared to the charcoal that is lit so that the incense may be burned and ascend into heaven. Without the charcoal, the incense goes nowhere. The Rule gives what we offer a great boost into the heavenly court.
To use another analogy, the Rule lays down the track so the train cars of our offerings may reach their destination.
Perhaps this is why our Lord made this remarkable statement to St. Faustina. A Rule of life can become tiresome. By definition it varies little from day to day, year to year. Familiarity with it may tempt us to dismiss it. We may become sloppy, and begin scanning the horizon for the next new thing.
But in an approved Rule of life the track has been laid and the destination is sure. The coal for the incense is always burning and ready for our sacrifices. The yeast has been tested. It will not fail.
Persistence in living a Rule is well worth the effort; the fruits are many, in us, through us, and around us. May our Lord grant us the grace of persistence so that our leaven will not fail and at the end of our days we may present him with a fragrant golden loaf of holiness.
Janet Klasson BSP - Canada
NO GREATER LOVE: by PAUL BEERY BSP - July 2008
"Consecrate them by means of Truth - Your Word is Truth. I sent them into the world, just as You sent Me into the world. I consecrate Myself for their sakes now, that they may be consecrated in Truth." (Jn. 17, 17)
Since the BSP retreat will be centered on our consecration to Jesus, it's only fitting to take a preliminary look at what that entails. St. Cyril of Alexandria, in his Commentary on the Gospel of John, says the following:
We know Christ offered His flesh for the life of the world from His own prayer, ‘Holy Father protect them,' and from His own words, ‘For their sake I consecrate Myself.' By saying that He consecrates Himself He means that He offers Himself to God as a spotless and sweet smelling sacrifice. According to the law, anything offered upon the altar was consecrated and considered holy. So Christ gave His own body for the life of all, and makes it the channel through which life flows once more into us. How He does this I will explain to the best of my ability.
When the life-giving Word of God dwelt in human flesh, He changed it into that good thing which is distinctively His, namely, LIFE; and by being wholly united to the flesh in a way beyond our comprehension, He gave it the life-giving power which He has by His very nature. Therefore the body of Christ gives life to those who receive it. It's presence in mortal men expels death and drives away corruption because it contains within itself in its entirety the Word who totally abolishes corruption." (Four Volume breviary, Saturday after the 3rd Sunday of Easter)
After pondering over St. Cyril's commentary, the words of Jesus from Jn. 17, 3 leapt off the page: "ETERNAL LIFE is this: to KNOW YOU the ONLY TRUE GOD, and JESUS CHRIST WHOM YOU HAVE SENT." The beauty and simplicity of this message is mind-boggling. Heaven begins on this earth, according to these words of Jesus, to the degree we KNOW the Only True God. Which leads one to the very first question in the old catechism on what comes after knowledge: "Why did God make me?" "To KNOW Him, LOVE Him, and SERVE Him in this life, and be happy with Him for all eternity." We senior citizens have had the benefit of a marvelous introduction to the Catholic faith by learning and living this simple phrase, a short yet comprehensive explanation of our purpose in life, of the reason for which we were born.
The only adequate response: "That they may be consecrated in Truth." We turn to the new Catholic Catechism on "The Consecrated Life," # 914 and following. "Christ proposes the evangelical counsels, in their great variety, TO EVERY DISCIPLE." As a disciple of Jesus, I firmly desire to be completely consecrated to God. As a happily married man, one of the best opportunities to do this is through the BSP, living the Rule of St. Francis to the fullest degree possible. # 916: "The state of consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a 'more intimate' consecration, rooted in Baptism, and DEDICATED TOTALLY TO GOD." We continue a long tradition, going back to the Old Testament, of those who are totally dedicated to God. For example Elias, Samson, and John the Baptist, he of the Nazirite tradition of which Jesus was associated.
Part of the 'One Great Tree with many branches' of consecrated life is explained in #930, Societies of apostolic life. "Alongside the different forms of consecrated life are ‘societies of apostolic life whose members without religious vows pursue the particular apostolic purpose of their society, and lead a life as brothers and sisters in common according to a particular manner of life, strive for the perfection of charity through the observance of the constitutions. Among these are societies in which the members embrace the evangelical counsels' according to their constitutions." Or for us, the Rule and Statutes. In chapter 31 of the Rule, St. Francis took the idea of being totally dedicated to God so seriously, that he considered the only legitimate way for the Brothers and Sisters of Penance to "depart from this brotherhood and from what is contained herein, is to enter a religious Order." That's how seriously I take it. To live the Gospel requires such a commitment. The call to holiness is not answered by those who are weak in the knees, or who lack courage. Responding to the call also gives us great spiritual intimacy with fellow seekers who have taken the same leap of faith and given their lives entirely to Jesus. We are united to them in the communion of saints as part of His Mystical Body.
In looking at several different translations of the Gospel of John, I found three words used for the same concept, at the beginning of verse 17, of John 17: ‘consecrate,' ‘sanctify,' and ‘dedicate.' To me, "consecrate" carries with it the fullest meaning of the term which Jesus would wish to convey. Is there a better way to respond to the invitation given to each disciple of Jesus than to consecrate his or her life back to Him? As Paul the Apostle says so succinctly, "I live, now not I, but Christ lives within me." What a challenge that is, to be merely a willing instrument of the Holy Spirit!
In his Apostolic Exhortation "Vita Consacrata," the Consecrated Life, Pope John Paul II states the importance of our place within the Church. "The consecrated life, deeply rooted in the example and teaching of Christ the Lord, is a gift of God the Father to His Church through the Holy Spirit. By the profession of the evangelical counsels the CHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF JESUS - the chaste, poor and obedient one - ARE MADE CONSTANTLY VISIBLE in the midst of the world, and the eyes of the faithful are directed toward the mystery of the Kingdom of God already at work in history, even as it awaits its full realization in heaven." (Introduction)
"New associations of evangelical life are also a gift of the Spirit, enabling the Church to follow her Lord in a constant outpouring of generosity, attentive to God's invitations revealed through the signs of the times. Thus the Church appears before the world with many forms of holiness and service, as ‘a kind of instrument or sign of intimate union with God, and of the unity of mankind.'" (pg. 100) The pioneers take the arrows. That just makes the journey a little more exciting!
To live the consecrated life requires GREAT FIDELITY TO JESUS, faithfulness to the point of martyrdom. We have the example of many Saints who died for the faith, of our holy father Francis, and in our day Mother Teresa. We live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience according to our state in life. As lay people "busy about many things" as was Martha, which requires a special commitment to the spiritual life, nicely outlined in the Rule. We live to do the Father's will by listening to the Word of God, to Jesus as He teaches us how to respond to the God who called us into being for the sake of an unending love affair. But especially we live in union with Jesus through Communion. As St. Cyril said: "The body of Christ gives LIFE to those who receive it. It's presence in mortal men expels death and drives away corruption because it contains within itself IN ITS ENTIRETY the WORD who totally abolishes corruption."
There is a beautiful prayer said by the Missionaries of Charity at this time that I would like to borrow, changing only the word "society," to "Association." Those of us weighed down by the corruption of sin desperately need the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
"We beseech Thee, O Lord,
mercifully pour into our Association
Thy Holy Spirit,
by whose wisdom it was created,
by Whose Providence it is governed and maintained
and Whose Love may enkindle in our Association
that same fire which Our Lord Jesus Christ sent down upon earth,
earnestly desiring that it should burn mightily, and so,
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy;
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work too may be holy;
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy;
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy;
Guard me then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy."
Paul Beery BSP
THE ADMONITIONS OF ST. FRANCIS
XIX. The happy and the unhappy religious
Blessed the religious who refers all the good he has to his Lord and God. He who attributes anything to himself hides "his master's money" (Mt. 25:18) in himself, and "even what he thinks he has shall be taken away." (Lk. 8:18).
The revised statutes are now posted to the web page at www.bspenance.org . If you would like a copy of them mailed to you as you don't have access to the web page just let us know and we will send you one. In general the revisions simplified the way we can live the rule but should not require any of us to live the Rule any differently than we have in the past. Remember, you can always do more. The changes were derived from questions on the Rule that have come up over the past years, or Father Altier, our Visitor, suggested them. If you have any questions regarding them please contact us at BSP headquarters at firstname.lastname@example.org , or drop us a line.
A LITTLE HUMOR PLEASE…
A passenger in a taxi leaned over to ask the driver a question and tapped him on the shoulder.
The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb, and stopped just inches from a large plate glass window.
For a few moments everything was silent in the cab, and then the still shaking driver said, 'I'm sorry, but you scared the daylights out of me.'
The frightened passenger apologized to the driver and said he didn't realize a mere tap on the shoulder could frighten him so much.
The driver replied, 'No, no, I'm sorry, it's entirely my fault. Today is my first day driving a cab...................I've been driving a hearse for the last 25 years.
Tracy Spenst BSP
( Tracy is the mother of six, and in formation in the BSP.)
IN TOUGH TIMES
Doubt is like an ocean wave being tossed about in a storm,
Fear can trap our mind like a moth to a flame,
Loneliness hit us like the extinction of the last breed,
Stress can shock our foundation like a lightening bolt to a tree,
This God knows how we feel,
So precious to Him are we,
That God became like us,
So that we could come to Him and be free.
Luis Rivera BSP
(Luis is a new inquirer in the BSP. He is in formation in the BSP. Please keep him in prayer.)
Jesus the Shepherd
mosaic, 5th century, in the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, Ravenna, 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!
"You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."