'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

December 2008

ON ST. FRANCIS…
St Francis wounded by the stigmata

CHAPTER VI

THE STIGMATA OF ST. FRANCIS


Lesson 2:

Francis was dumbfounded at the sight (of the angel from heaven) and his heart was flooded with a mixture of joy and sorrow. He was overjoyed to see how graciously Christ regarded hm, as he appeared to him so intimately in this miraculous vision. But the sift of the cruel way he was nailed to the Cross pierced his soul with a sword of compassionate sorrow. Then Christ who appeared to him visibly, granted him spiritual enlightenment and Francis realized that, although the agony of the passion was not in keeping with the state of a seraphic spirit, which is immortal, his vision had a deep meaning for him. It was set before his eyes that, as Christ’s lover, he might know he was to resemble Christ crucified perfectly, not by physical martyrdom, but by the fervor of his spirit. As the vision disappeared, after they had conversed mysteriously in great intimacy, it left his heart ablaze with seraphic eagerness and marked his body with the visible likeness of the Crucified. It was as if the fire of love had first penetrated his whole being, so that the likeness of Christ might be impressed upon it like a seal.

Lesson 3:

There and then the marks of nails began to appear in his hands and feet, the heads of which were in the palms of his hands and on the instep of each foot, while the points protruded on the opposite side. “The heads appeared black and round in his hands and feet, but the points were long and bent back; they rose above the surrounding flesh and jutted out avove it. The curved portion of the nails on the soles of his feet was so big and stood out so far that he could not put his foot firmly on the ground; a man could put his finter through the loop without difficulty, as I have been told by people who saw the stigmata with their own eyes. His right side was marked with a livid scar which often bled, and it looked as if it had been pierced with a lance. His habit and trousers used to be soaked with blood, so that the friars who washed them knew at once that Christ’s servant bore the likeness of the Crucified in his side, just as he bore it in his hands and feet.

Lesson 4:

Full of God as he was, Francis realized that he could not possibly conceal from his intimate companions, the stigmata which had been imprinted so plainly on his body. At the same time, he was afraid to make God’s secret publicly known and he was thorn into an agony of doubt—should he reveal what he had seen, or keep silent about it? His conscience was pricking him and he eventually gave a full account of the vision, although very hesitantly, to the friars who were closest to him. He told them, too, that Christ had revealed a number of secrets to him at the time of the apparition, which he would never communicate to any human being, as long as he lived. True love of Christ had now transformed his lover into his image, and when the forty days which he had intended spending in solitude on the mountain were over and the feast of St. Michael the Archangel had come, St. Francis came down from the mountain. With him he bore a representation of Christ crucified which was not the work of an artist in wood or stone; it had been inscribed on the members of his body by the hand of the living God.

Bonaventure—Minor Life 1263

Father Robert Altier
VISITOR'S MESSAGE:
Heaven is a Choice We Need to Make

Homily by Fr. Robert Altier
First Sunday of Advent

Reading I (Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7) Reading II (1 Corinthians 1:3-9)
Gospel (St. Mark 13:33-37)

Today we begin a new Church year, and this time of Advent is a time that people find sometimes rather confusing; it seems to be a time of contradictions. We look, for instance, at the readings we have in this time and it is a time of preparation as we prepare to celebrate Christmas. Yet, at the same time, the readings prepare us for the Second Coming of Christ. So we look backwards to the First Coming and we look forward to the Second Coming. It is a time of penance, so we wear purple. But it is not a time of penance in the sense that Lent is a time of penance: That is a time of reparation; this is a time of preparation. And so, it is to do penance as we prepare. Not to do penance so much because of what has happened, but rather preparing the soul for what is to happen. It is sometimes confusing for people when they look at all these different things.

And in the readings today, it would appear, once again, that there is another set of contradictions. For instance, we hear from Saint Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians that [we] have been endowed with all grace necessary to do all things and to be able to be faithful to the very end. Then we look at the first reading from the prophet Isaiah and the prophet asks the Lord, “Why have you allowed us to wander from the path?” We look at that and say, “But if we have all the grace to be able to remain faithful to the end and that God will keep [us] faithful to the end, how can we now turn around and ask, ‘Why have You allowed us to stray?’ Why have we become unfaithful if we have all the grace to be able to remain faithful?’” It does not seem to make a whole lot of sense to us. But, in fact, both are correct.

The fact of the matter is that God has indeed given to each one of us every single grace necessary to be able to be faithful. He has endowed us with all the grace we need to be able to do His Will, to know the movement of the Holy Spirit and to co-operate. The difficulty is not on God’s side; He has endowed us with all the grace. The difficulty is on our side because the other thing that God has given to us is free will. And because He has given to us a free will, He will not force us to do anything. God will not force you to stay on the right path. He will not force you to do good things. He will not force you to go to Heaven. God will not force us to do anything – we have to choose it.

The grace is there so that we know what we should do, and the grace is there to keep us on the right path. But that is our choice. And so when the prophet asks God why He has allowed us to wander from the path, it is the simple question of “Why have You given us free will? Why have You given us the ability to be able to choose what is wrong?” The reason is because Heaven would be useless for somebody who is forced to go there. If you are a puppet on God’s string and you have no choice but to do what He wants you to do and go to Heaven, it would mean nothing to you. But if you choose Heaven, if you choose to love God, if you choose what is right in the face of what is wrong, then the reward is going to mean everything to you. That is what the Lord wants. He wants people who choose to love Him, who choose to do what is right, and who choose to reject what is wrong. And that He leaves up to us. The grace is all there for us to do it. There is nothing lacking on God’s side. The only difficulty is for us.

Now we might try to put up the complaint that we do not know the path, but that is wrong. Jesus Christ is the way, and there is only one way. He told Thomas two thousand years ago, “You know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said, “We don’t know the way.” He said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” It is all there and we, above all people throughout history, have no excuse because the saints have all walked the path. Our Blessed Lady is the one who has given us the path. We have no excuse. We are members of Jesus Christ. We are children of Our Lady. We are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. None of us can suggest that we did not know the path. The path is brightly illuminated: it has been blazed by many that have gone before us. It is straight; it is narrow; and it is clear. The problem is not the path. The problem is not whether the path is clearly laid out. The problem is not whether the path is illuminated. The problem is that we like to get off the path and we like to do other things rather than walk on the path. There is no problem, again, on God’s side. The problem is on our side.

Now, the prophet goes on and prays to the Lord saying, “Would that You would rend the Heavens and come down, that You would show Yourself in mighty works!” That is going to happen, and we would like to sit back and say, “Well, when that occurs then I’ll change.” It will be too late when that occurs. Our Lord told us that we need to watch for the various signs, and there is one that stands out above all others, He said, “Watch for the signs in the sky.” Then He told us, regarding the coming of the Son of Man, that it is going to be like lightning flashing across the sky: You cannot anticipate it and it is going to be instantaneous. When the heavens are rended, it will be too late to turn around. We need to make a choice now. The Lord, in the Gospel reading today, told us simply to watch. He told us it is the gatekeeper who needs to watch for the coming of the master. Each and every one of us has been assigned by the Lord to be the gatekeeper of our own soul, to keep the gate of our heart so that it opens for the Master but it keeps closed for everything else. Are we watching? Are we staying on the path? Are we keeping ourselves in the state of grace?

The world is just about to enter into the worst phase that it has ever known. Things are going to get very ugly very quickly. Each one of us needs to make a radical choice and we need to make it now. We cannot say, “When the day comes then I’ll make the choice.” The day is here. You need to make a choice, and you need to make a radical choice. It is not enough to say, “I believe in Jesus,” and then live a pagan life. It is not enough to say, “Well, I go to Mass on Sunday, but on Monday morning nobody can tell the difference between me and my heathen neighbors because I live my life the same way they do – it’s just that I go to church.” That is not going to be enough. If we are going to profess to be Christians and particularly if we are going to profess to be Catholic, we had better live it. The Lord told us very clearly that from those to whom more has been given more will be expected. God has given us every grace – every grace – and He is going to expect that we are co-operating with Him. That means we have to be living a life of daily prayer. It means we have to be getting rid of sin in our lives. It means we need to break from the relationships that are leading us into sin. It means we have to make some changes in our lives to get on the path, to stay on the path, and to quit veering from it because there are all these other things that look rather enticing. We need to rid ourselves of evil and the sources of evil in our lives because the things that are coming are going to be such that anyone who is playing “footsie” with both sides is going to be cut off.

On the Day of the Lord, which is going to be coming within the next couple of years upon this world, those who are not on the right path, those who are not living according to the way of Jesus Christ, those who are not striving to be saints will be ruthlessly cut off. They will be no longer. So we need to make a choice. Choose Jesus Christ. Be watchful. The Second Vatican Council told us to watch for the signs of the times. It does not take a genius to be able to see what is going on in the world. And if we want to wallow in the world, we are saying “no” to God. Do not look at God and say, “Why do You allow me to stray from the path?” It is our choice to stray from the path, not God’s. We know what we are supposed to be about. We have a choice to make and it must be a radical choice to live the life that we profess, to live a life of holiness, to get rid of everything that does not lead us toward Jesus Christ. That is what we must be about.

Again, let me make very clear when I talk about this: The end of the world is not at hand. The world is going to go on for a long time but there are many in the world who will not, because when the Day of the Lord comes it will be decisive. It will be like the two-edged sword, cutting cleanly and surely. So we need to make sure we are ready because it will be like lightning flashing across the sky. Even though we can watch for the signs, we do not know the time. Look around and you can see the signs. Get your house in order and live according to the way of Christ.

Give yourself entirely to Jesus through His mother. Put yourself in her Immaculate Heart and you will be shielded and protected. That is the surest way. It is the way the Lord has given us and that is the choice we need to make. Jesus made that same choice and gave Himself to His mother. Now He offers the same choice to us. If we want to choose Him and we want to choose Him completely and perfectly, choose Our Lady. Let her protect you, let her bring you to the Lord. And from that protective place in her Immaculate Heart, you will be able to watch, you will be keeping guard at the door of your heart to keep out anything that is evil but to open only to the Master of the garden so that He can come in. That is what Our Lord wants from us. We are going to see extraordinary things in our day. The heavens will be rended and God will be working mighty deeds, but we need to make the choice long before that day comes. Be watchful and choose Jesus Christ.

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.

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

‘TIS THE SEASON’

Dear Friends,

We want to take this opportunity to wish all of our members, friends, and enemies a holy and happy Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season.

Hopefully we have all better prepared for the coming of our Lord through our prayers and sacrifices and the fast of St. Martin, but completely aside from that there is cause for joy here as the Church begins anew its liturgical year by celebrating the birth of Christ.

Every year the messages get repeated. The Scriptures inflame anew the desire we have to see the newborn Christ; to consider his birth and prepare to give birth again to Him in our own lives. Just as the Church begins anew we should begin anew. We should consider how we can better live the Rule. Live the works of mercy. Pray better. Be better people all around to all of those around us. It is a time for serious resolutions of change. Our fasting to prepare the way of the Lord is a call for us to better prepare our own hearts. To open ourselves wide to what Jesus wants of us. To see how we can be better people of God.

Yes, these preparations are intended to set the tone for the coming year. The penances of this season are the presage of the penances we plan to do throughout the rest of the year. We join Christ on his march from cradle to grave and having denied ourselves here we hope to merit a place in heaven, for it is the Savior who taught us what we must do. One of the most somber thoughts of Christmas, that Jesus was born to die, is a worthy meditation for us. We are born to die too. To die to ourselves and live for Christ and to show that most of all by being willing to sacrifice and live, without regard for self, for those around us. To give of ourselves to others.

As we strive to internalize the true message of Christmas let us realize anew that there is hope in this very dark world if we but follow the Savior’s call and example. Let’s make the giving of this season a presage of the giving of our lives to Christ and to others throughout the rest of the year. Let’s make our dreams and our actions cry out to God afresh of our love for our Savior in the manger, and his messages to us all. The call to His Peace. Let’s be like the Virgin, Mary, who surrendered herself to God and accepted what she could not understand simply because she knew it was from God. Let us give our gifts to God at the crib. The gift of our love, our devotion, and commitment anew to the messages, needs, and requests of our Savior. All He wants for us is best for us. Praised be Jesus, our Savior, forever! Merry Christmas to all!

Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
Administrators of the BSP

Janet Klasson
A meditation
From the First Reading, Third Sunday of Advent
by Janet Klasson BSP

"The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor." (Isaiah 61:1-2)

Advent--a season of hope. Hope is what the church in her wisdom proclaims to us as we begin our Liturgical year. As Cardinal Ratzinger once said:

"The purpose of the Church's year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart's memory so that it can discern the star of hope. It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us, memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope."
When we look around, there is precious little in this world to inspire hope in us. Dire events and calamities surround us. Each day's news brings new horrors and there seems no end in sight. What are these "memories of goodness" spoken of by Cardinal Ratzinger? In times such as these it is tempting to forget that there ever was anything good. Remembering, perhaps, brings more sorrow than joy. Those of us who bear the name of Christ, however, must be on our guard not to fall into this trap, no matter the circumstances. St. Paul tells us we must hold every thought captive to Christ. Our memories must be in continual reference to God, committed to goodness, and steeped in hope and promise.

The above Scripture passage speaks of the Lord's promise, the Good News. Even in bad times, f we keep the Lord's promise foremost in our thoughts, everything else will fall into perspective. It is the Christian's special challenge and duty to be a sign of hope at all times.

That we are called to penance is itself a sign of hope, for the Lord would not call us to penance if it did no good. It is a great prodigy that he uses our miserable little offerings, multiplied in the Two Hearts, to hasten the coming of his Kingdom. That is hope! Penance, linked to the sufferings of Christ, nourishes and sustains the church. Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich speaks about the indissoluble link between Christ, suffering, and the Church:
Even if there should remain but one Catholic Christian, the Church would again triumph since its foundations were not cast in the intellect or councils of men. (The Church) had never yet been without members praying and suffering for her. (The Lord) showed me all that He Himself had endured for her, what efficacy He had bestowed upon the merits and labors of the martyrs and He ended by saying that He would endure it all over again if it were possible for Him again to suffer.
What love! What hope!

The hope that we speak of in Advent is counter-cultural. It is hope rooted in the eternal, glorious, and true promises of Christ, not in the empty promises of the world, the flesh, and the devil. When so many do not seem to so much as desire peace, Christians anticipate the birth of the Prince of Peace. In a world that celebrates Christmas long before December 25, we wait with Mary in joyful hope through the last month of her pregnancy, a month heavy with promise. Our fasting during this season properly anticipates the feast of Christmas.

It is so easy to get caught up in the secular whirlwind of December and to arrive at Christmas utterly spent--in more ways than one. But if we wish to give the season of Advent its due, we should remember Mary, heavy with child. If we unite ourselves to her we will instinctively slow down and turn our hearts attentively to the Lord; if he calls, we must be ready for anything, even a rigorous journey.

These are the memories of goodness that open the doors of hope. That is the spirit of Advent, a spirit of waiting, readiness, and joyful surrender to the will of God, a willingness to be His agents in proclaiming the Good News to the poor in word and deed.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray that you will have a blessed Advent, leading to a holy Christmas filled with light, happiness, and peace.

Janet Klasson BSP - Canada

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

"I bring you GOOD NEWS of great JOY. Today a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign: you will find a baby lying in a manger. Suddenly 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.'" (Luke, Ch. 2)

The Incarnation is a great mystery, the depths of which we will only realize in heaven. For example: “A woman from the crowd called out and said to Him, ‘Blessed is the mother who bore you and nursed you.’ Jesus replied, ‘Rather, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.’” This passage from Luke (Ch. 11) highlights how Mary is twice blessed, not only having the incredible privilege of giving birth to Jesus Christ our Savior at Bethlehem, but also giving birth to Jesus in the hearts of His followers - and bringing that relationship to fruition - by showing how each of us can lead a life pleasing to God: we are to not only HEAR THE WORD OF GOD, but KEEP IT! Our holy father Francis has a few choice words on this subject:

“Brother Francis sends his humble respects to all Christians, to everyone in the whole world, imploring for them true peace from heaven and SINCERE LOVE IN GOD. I am bound to make known to them the FRAGRANT WORDS OF MY LORD. I decided to send you a letter bringing a message with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Word of the Father, and of the Holy Spirit, whose words are SPIRIT AND LIFE.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the glorious Word of the Father, so holy and exalted, whose coming the Father made known by St. Gabriel the Archangel to the glorious and Blessed Virgin Mary, in whose womb He took on our weak human nature. He was rich beyond measure and yet He and His holy Mother chose poverty.

It is not for us to be wise and calculating in the world’s fashion; we should be guileless, lowly and pure. We should be subject to every human creature for God’s sake. On all those who do this and endure to the last the Spirit of God will rest. He will make His dwelling in them and there He will stay, and they will be children of Your Father in Heaven whose work they do. It is they who are the brides, the brothers and the mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ. A person is His bride when his faithful soul is united with Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit; we are His brothers when we do the will of His Father who is in heaven, and we are mothers to Him when we enthrone Him in our hearts and souls BY LOVE with a pure and sincere conscience, and give Him birth by doing good. This too, should be an example to others.” (Letter to all the Faithful)
St. Augustine comments on this passage (Nov. 21, Presentation of Mary): “Stretching out His hand over His disciples, the Lord Christ declared: ‘Here are my mother and my brothers; anyone who does the will of My Father who sent Me is My brother and My sister and My mother.’ I would urge you to ponder these words. The Virgin Mary who believed by faith and conceived by faith, who was the chosen one from whom our Savior was born among men, who was created by Christ before Christ was created in her – certainly the blessed Mary did the Father’s will, and so it was for her a greater thing to have been Christ’s disciple than to have been His Mother, and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood. Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb Him whom she would obey as her Master.” This is difficult to comprehend. How can anything be more important than to actually give birth to the Savior of the world? Only one person was chosen and prepared for such an honor: Mary, “our tainted nature’s solitary boast.” But EVERY ONE OF US can imitate her in her discipleship: “Blessed are they who HEAR THE WORD OF GOD AND KEEP IT!” St. Augustine goes on to state that the Lord does not want people to seek happiness in a purely physical relationship. “Mary heard God’s word and kept it, and so she is blessed. She kept God’s truth in her mind, a nobler thing than carrying His body in her womb. The truth and the body were both Christ: He was kept in Mary’s mind insofar as He is Truth, He was carried in her womb insofar as He is man; but what is kept in the mind is of a higher order than what is carried in the womb.”

Then Augustine goes on to explain that the Church is the Body of Christ, with the Lord as its Head, each of us members of the Church and of Christ. “We are brothers and sisters of Christ, because although there is only one inheritance and Christ is the only Son, His Mercy would not allow Him to remain alone. It was His wish that we too should be heirs of the Father, and co-heirs with Himself.”

But how can we also be mothers of Christ? “Tell me how Mary became the Mother of Christ, if it was not by giving birth to the members of Christ? You, to whom I am speaking, are the members of Christ. Of whom were you born? ‘Of Mother Church,’ I hear the reply of your hearts. You became sons of this Mother at your baptism, you came to birth then as members of Christ. Now you in your turn must draw others to the font of baptism. You became sons when you were born there yourselves, and now by bringing others to birth in the same way, you have it in your power to become the mothers of Christ.”

That is how St. Francis and St. Augustine explain how we can be brothers and sisters and mothers of Christ. There remains one other important connection. If Mary is the physical Mother of Jesus she is also the Mother of the members of His Body, the Church. This reality not only follows logically, but specifically from the words of Jesus Himself. On the Cross, He said to John, representing every child of God born into the world: “Son, BEHOLD YOUR MOTHER.”

This is the beauty of Christmas. We not only call to mind a past event which doesn’t affect us today. Rather, we are intimately connected to that blessed event two thousand years ago when Mary gave birth to the Son of God - because she also gave birth to the members of His Body, the Church. How important is our own mother? They have given us birth, have shaped and formed us to become responsible adults. Mary does the same thing for us in the spiritual order, whether we are aware of it or not. If someone goes us great good, they deserve some kind of acknowledgement. How do we feel when we give of ourselves, or give some great gift to another, and they neither acknowledge it, nor thank us? We love to be appreciated, and we will do almost anything for those who show us their appreciation for our efforts.

We know from the revelation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that there is nothing He wishes from us as much as OUR GRATITUDE. We also need to BE GRATEFUL to Mary, our Blessed Mother, for giving birth to us IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, and sustaining us in our spiritual life. Anyone who fails to realize that fact suffers a great loss, by failing to understand God’s plan for salvation.

A great prophecy of Sacred Scripture is contained in Mary’s Magnificat: “Behold ALL generations WILL CALL ME BLESSED.” When we acknowledge Mary as “Blessed,” as our Blessed Mother given to be our Mother by Jesus Himself, we are being faithful to the Word of God. Recognizing that the birth of Jesus is “The Reason for the Season,” we also look forward to His Second Coming in glory. If we can see AND PARTICIPATE in that glory NOW, we have begun heaven on earth, and can truly join with the angels in singing: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth Peace – to those who hear the Word of God, and KEEP IT – on whom His favor rests.”

Paul Beery BSP
Minnesota

MORNING STAR: NEWS ON THE ASSOCIATION

A LETTER FROM THE ARCHBISHOP

What follows and is huge news in the BSP is a letter we received last month from our Archbishop, Most Reverend John Nienstedt. The letter fully embraces all that our previous Archbishop, Most Reverend Harry Flynn had endorsed for us and is a wonderful message to us all to continue to promote our vision and mission in today’s world. We have also included Archbishop Flynn’s letter in this issue.

For all, the mission and vision of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis are as follows:

THE MISSION OF THE BSP

The Mission, Purpose or Social Objective of the Association is to renew the lifestyle of the Rule of 1221, the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, as given to us by St. Francis of Assisi and approved by the Church, in our own lives and our modern world for the Love of God and as a Gospel witness to the world, so as to fulfill our Vision.

THE VISION OF THE BSP

The Vision of the Association is that we are a family of Catholic lay brothers and sisters who are seeking Union with God in fulfillment of the Gospel after the manner and according to the example of the early penitents in the Catholic Church, which included many Saints and Blessed.

The two letters follow just as they were received and newcomers, or leaders of Chapters especially in foreign towns or countries, may find these letters most helpful in explaining the BSP to their local bishops, which should be done as their groups grow. We have the support of the Church in living this life of penance that St. Francis gave us. Good news to all of us!

HANDBOOK

The Handbook is finished and we will begin publishing it after the first of the year. Look for details in January’s newsletter.

THE ADMONITIONS OF ST. FRANCIS

XXIV: Poverty of spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Mt. 5:3). There are many people who spend all their time at their prayers and other religious exercises and mortify themselves by long fasts and so on. But if anyone says as much as a word that implies a reflection on their self-esteem or takes something from them, they are immediately up in arms and annoyed. These people are not really poor in spirit. A person is really poor in spirit when he hates himself and loves those who strike him in the face (cf. Mt. 5:39).

Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."
(LK 1:38)


The birth of Jesus by Filippo Lippi
"Nativita'" (the birth of Jesus) with Saint George and Saint Vincenzo Ferrer
Author: Filippo Lippi (around 1450 - 1475)
Prato, Italy


The
BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE OF ST. FRANCIS

a.k.a. the BSP, is a non-profit Private Association of the Faithful, which is dedicated to renewing the ancient way of penance as contained in the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis of 1221 for lay people in our modern world. We have the blessing of the Catholic Church to do this through several of its bishops. If you are bound by another Rule of life in another profession of the way of St. Francis that does not permit you to enter other religious families you are nonetheless invited to become an Honorary member of our Association and add the elements of this beautiful way of life that Saint Francis of Assisi gave us to the lifestyle of your profession.

All members, and Franciscans, are welcome to submit articles for consideration for inclusion in this newsletter if they are directed towards the spiritual formation of members or are the outgrowth of the lifestyle of the Association. Just send them to the BSP at postmaster@bspenance.org. Feel free to share this newsletter with your friends or neighbors. It is intended to be the primary monthly communication of the Association. And if you can find it in your heart and in your budget remember that donations to the BSP are used strictly to promote the lifestyle and are tax deductible.

We remain, always, sincerely yours in the love of Jesus Christ!

Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP



Welcome to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance!

Website: www.bspenance.org
Email: postmaster@bspenance.org

In the world, but not of it, for Christ!


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postmaster@bspenance.org