'FOLLOW ME!'
Luke 9:23

Monthly Newsletter of

The BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE

Butterfly Symbol of the BSP of Saint Francis

of
          St. Francis

September 2010

BONAVENTURE AND HIS LESSONS ON ST. FRANCIS:

Chapter I – St. Francis life in the World

St Francis

4. He withdrew from the busy life of his trade and begged God in His goodness to show him what he should do. He prayed constantly until he was consumed with a passionate longing for God and was ready to give up the whole world in his desire for his heavenly home and think nothing of it. He realized that he had discovered the treasure hidden in the field and like the wise trader in the Gospel he could think of nothing but how he might sell all that he had and buy the pearl he had found. He still did not know how to go about it, but at the same time he was forced to conclude that a spiritual venture could only begin by rejecting the world and that victory over himself would mark the beginning of his service of Christ.

5. One day as he was riding on the plain below Assisi, he met a leper. The encounter was completely without warning and Francis felt sick at the sight of him. Then he remembered his resolve to be perfect and the need to overcome himself first, if he wanted to be a knight of Christ. He immediately dismounted and ran up to kiss the poor man. The leper stretched out his hand, hoping to get something, and Francis put some money in it and kissed it. Then he mounted his horse and looked this way and that about the plain with a clear view in all directions, but there was no sign of the leper. He was thunderstruck but his heart was filled with joy and he sang God’s praises in a loud voice, resolving to do even more in the future. After that he began to frequent secluded spots where he could mourn for his sins, and there, as he poured out his whole soul with groans beyond all utterance, he was eventually found worthy to be heard by God, after long and importune prayer. One day as he prayed in one of his usual haunts, he became completely absorbed in God in the excess of his fervor. Then Jesus Christ appeared to him, hanging on his cross. His soul melted at the sight and the memory of Christ’s passion was impressed on the depths of his heart so vividly that whenever he thought of it, he could scarcely restrain his signs and tears, as he afterwards confessed towards the end of his life. He realized immediately that the words of the Gospel were addressed to him, “If you have a mind to come my way, renounce yourself, and take up your cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

Bonaventure—Major Life of St. Francis - Part I - (1263)

Father Robert Altier
HOMILY BY FATHER ROBERT ALTIER

In the Book of Sirach, we are told that we must forgive the injustices of our neighbors before we come to pray. And when we forgive, our prayers will be heard, Sirach says. The Lord goes even further than that. He tells us in the Gospel reading that we have to forgive from the heart, just as the king did who was settling accounts with his officials. When the one servant begged him for mercy, he wrote off the entire debt. And when a fellow servant begged mercy from the same servant who had been forgiven, he refused; he required that his fellow servant pay back the full debt that he owed and had him thrown in prison until it was done. When the master heard about this, he called back the same servant and then threw him in prison because of his lack of charity, his lack of forgiveness toward his fellow servant. Then the Lord at the end says, "Unless you forgive your brother from your heart, your Father in Heaven will treat you in exactly the same way."

Now, again, these are not the kinds of words we want to hear. The forgiveness of sin is something that is very difficult for many people to be able to accept. It is a struggle for people. Even though they have been to Confession and they know they have received absolution for their sins, they still walk away thinking that their sins are there. And so it is a struggle for us just to be able to accept the mercy of God, then it is a second struggle for us to act with the kind of mercy that has been shown to us. But that is precisely what is required of each one of us.

We read in the first reading about Sirach asking the question: "How can somebody come to the Lord and ask forgiveness, and then refuse to forgive in turn?" But just as difficult as it is for many people to accept God's forgiveness, it seems equally difficult, if not even more so, for these same people (or for others) to forgive. It is a very common thing when people come in, whether to Confession or to talk with a priest, and they are just seething with anger. Oftentimes, it is about something that may have happened a year or five or ten or even twenty or thirty years earlier. Their anger is eating them up on the inside. And when the counsel is given, "You need to forgive this person," the answer shoots back out of the mouth almost sooner than the advice is given, "I can't do that." "You have to forgive." And they come back with all kinds of excuses. "No, Father, if this had been done to you, you would not be able to forgive. You don’t understand. What this person did to me was so bad!" (Or whatever it may be - all the rationalizations that we have for not forgiving.)

Then we need to go back to the Gospel and ask ourselves, "Did the Lord tell us it was okay to not forgive under any circumstance?" The answer is "no". The Lord told us that we must forgive. And it is not just a little brushing aside of the thing; He said in the Gospel, "You must forgive from your heart." Now if you just think about this for a moment, since we are pretty proficient at being angry and holding grudges, we need to ask ourselves, "What good does it do?" Just think about an individual in your life toward whom you have held a grudge, toward whom you have been angry. Maybe there is somebody you are holding a grudge with even now. What is that doing to that person? You are so angry at this person that you are carrying around all of this darkness and all of this anger and the heaviness and the burden that goes along with it. What is that doing to that other person? Under normal circumstances, not a thing. What is it doing to you? It is eating you up on the inside. Some people get so angry and carry around so much that they start getting ulcers and heart problems. That's really worth not forgiving, isn't it? What good does it do? If somebody has done an injustice to you, what good does it do to hold onto it? None. Absolutely no good at all. So if you are hanging onto the anger to try to get even or to hurt the other person, it is not hurting them. You are the only one being hurt by the anger if you are holding onto it.

When we talk about forgiveness, we need to be very clear because I have found that this is a problem where a lot of people get stuck. They think that to forgive means to say it was okay for the person to do whatever it is they did. That is not what forgiveness means. God will never say that it was okay for you to sin - never. Yet at the same time, if you come before the Lord and beg forgiveness from Him, in His mercy He is going to forgive. That does not mean it was okay for you to go out and do what you did. So for us, when we are faced with the challenge of having to forgive somebody, it is not suggesting in any way that it was okay for the person to treat you in an unjust manner or for the person to do whatever it is that individual did wrongly; but what it is saying is simply, "I am not going to drag around all of this anger and all of this hatred and all of this heaviness and all of this darkness. I'm not going to drag it around anymore. It's crushing me and I need to let it go." That is all it is saying.

But it also, however, implies that the way we treat the other person must be with charity. If we are going to forgive them from the heart, it is not just a matter of self-therapy. "Since this is eating me up, I should get rid of it so that it's not causing me trouble anymore. Yet, if I see this person I'm going to let them have it!" That is not forgiveness. We need to have our hearts turned with charity. Remember, even in the worst case scenario, Our Lord told us we are to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors. So it is not an option for us to see if we can let go of some of the psychological pain while continuing to hold a grudge and just wait for an opportunity to get even if it should pop up somewhere along the line. We won't actively seek it out, but if it comes our way we're going to seize the day. We cannot do that. To forgive means we need to let it go. It does not mean it was okay, but it means we need to let it go.

Saint Paul told us that Jesus is the Lord of the living, as well as the dead. He is the Lord of the living, and He is the One who has given us the command that we have to forgive. If we are holding the grudges, if we are holding the anger, if we are nursing the wounds within, we are choosing death. The Lord is the Lord even of the dead - but we are like the living-dead if we are holding onto these things. If we want the life that the Lord is offering to us, that requires that we have to get rid of all of the works of death: the anger, the hatred, the revenge, the grudge, and all of these things. Those are works of death. They pull us down. They move us the wrong direction. They get us confused. We are not going to be able to think straight if we are holding onto all of these things. And they do absolutely no good at all for you or for the other person - or, for that matter, all the people around you who have to hear the same story rehearsed dozens and dozens of times about how horrible this person is and what they did. What good is it? Choose life. Choose the Lord of the living, the Lord who, from the Cross, prayed for the people who did this to Him. He prayed, "Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do."

We, of course, are very quick to respond, "Well, that person knew exactly what he was doing! So that is unlike the people who crucified the Lord because [that person] knew!" But in comparison to what we did to Jesus, what has that person done to us? A mere fraction of what we ourselves have owed to God. The Lord, in His mercy, has forgiven us when we have asked Him, and He requires - not suggests - that when we have been forgiven that we will treat our fellow servants the way the Master has treated us, which is to forgive them the way we expect God to forgive us. Remember that on the Day of Judgment, the things we have confessed and have been forgiven are gone; on the Day of Judgment, we will not hear about them. When God forgives, they are gone! It's over; it's done. And that is exactly what He requires of us, that we forgive from our heart, that it is done - it's finished, it's over, put it behind you. The Lord told us that anyone who puts his hand to the plow but keeps looking back is not worthy of the kingdom of Heaven. Why do we want to be stuck in the past in some hurt that happened back there when we have a whole world open to us if we would look forward? Why look at the injustice that another human person has done to us when we can look at the mercy of God? Why be filled with anger and hatred and revenge when we can be filled with charity and joy and peace if we look at God? Why look at the creature when we can look at the Creator?

There is no excuse - absolutely no excuse - that we have to refuse forgiveness. We need to practice that charity. This is part and parcel of what it is to be a Christian. It is what Our Lord has done for us, and it is what He requires that we would do for others in turn, to treat others as He has treated us - not as they have treated us. We take our cue from Jesus Christ. He is the One whom we profess to follow, and if He has demonstrated His love and His mercy to us, He in turn asks that we would do the same for others. That is the challenge He places before us today. So I will challenge you as well to look into your hearts and ask the simple question, "With whom am I angry? Toward whom am I holding a grudge?" and then pray for that person. Look at Jesus right here in the tabernacle, look at the crucifix and say, "Jesus, I forgive so-and-so (whatever the person's name is)." If the hurt is so deep that you have difficulty doing that then at least look at Jesus and say, "Lord, I beg of You the grace to be able to forgive so-and-so, to let go of this thing and put it behind me."

So, the bottom line is that you may need to go a little deeper and find that there is still more there, and you have to forgive at that level. Forgive to the best of your ability. Forgive from the heart and let it go. That is what Our Lord is asking. Out of charity for these individuals, look at Jesus, look at what He has done for you, and pray for them, forgive them, and do for them what Jesus Christ has done for you.

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

Bruce Fahey begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting and Shelley, his wife, BSP Administrators

ADMINISTRATOR'S MESSAGE...

From the Second Reading on the Feast of St. Bernard

I love because I love, I love that I may love."

Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside of itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love, I love that I may love. Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all He desires is to be loved in return...

St. Bernard

We hear a lot about love, in this age, but not in the sense in which our Lord called us to love. In the sense of the body, and physical love, and not in marriage. Love in the sense of the senses. Of the physical pleasure that it gives us. Not in the sense we are called to love.

We have always maintained that love if a verb. It requires action on our part to make it come alive. In our families it is measured by the spirit of the family. Every family has a spirit. If the spirit of the family is love then its members are bound in a union of friendship which is at one and the same time endearing and demanding. It demands we are attentive to those around us, to our family members. It demands we do good things for them and support good imperatives for them. We support, to them, the things that are good for them. God is the greatest good.

In our lives in the world it demands just as much. Most of us work with others in our jobs, or do things that affect others. It is an ongoing challenge to ask ourselves how we can be more loving, more Christ-like, in what we do to and for those around us. This isn’t so easy. Our jobs are diversified and it is safe to say that every member of this Association is somewhere in some different place than every other member. That is always true, and a condition of our lives in the world. This in itself demands we examine our lives and relationships to see how we can factor love into the lives of others. We each have to do it or it won’t get done. We are a drop in the ocean, Mother Theresa would say. Without that drop the ocean would be incomplete.

It is not as if love jumps off the wall and shows us how to be more loving. Love is a study. We have a day-to-day responsibility to examine ourselves and see if we have in fact been loving to those around us. We can’t ignore it if we want it to become real. It takes real effort. As we said last month, we need to think about this. We need to want to become more loving, or we won’t. Few have love as a natural disposition in the difficulties of day-to-day life, and of our lives in the world. All can attain it if they make it a goal, and have a good guide.

We have the best guide in the world to become more loving--Jesus Christ. His whole life, no matter how you examine it in the Gospels, was an act of love. When you consider that from the beginning of His Life He knew who he was, for God always knows Himself perfectly, unlike us, and God is love, you can see the fingerprints of His Nature in all that happened. He always poured out Himself for others. He was always concerned for others, not Himself. Nowhere do you see the Gospel talk about the ‘good times’ that Jesus and His apostles were having. The focus is always on serious things, especially the serious thing of loving others.

So must we pour out ourselves for others. Make ourselves the least in any picture. Like Jesus. We will have to work to become more loving, more giving. To give is to love, to give of ourselves in every situation, always working to be the least. As the Gospel last Sunday called us to take the least place at table, so also, we are called to take the least place in every situation, to elevate and honor those around us, to help others at every turn, even when it is painful, to forgieve, as Father Altier discusses today, so as to be forgiven ourselves.

So, love is a verb. God is love, and we need to become love in motion--enduring, prevailing, understanding, compassionate, in every situation, always making every contact with any person a good one. In our homes, our lives, and our work. If we try to do that we will find Love, and become love to those around us.

"The way we came to understand love was that he laid down his life for us; we too must lay down our lives for our brothers."   (1 John 3: 16)

Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
Administrators, Minnesota

Paul Beery

NO GREATER LOVE: by PAUL BEERY BSP

The greatest Commandment is this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)

What does that mean in practice for every follower of Jesus, especially those of us in the BSP? From Chapter 23 of the Rule of St. Francis: “Prayer, Praise, and Thanksgiving,” our holy father Francis tells us:

We friars minor, servants and worthless as we are, humbly beg and implore everyone to persevere in the true faith, and in a life of penance; there is no other way to be saved. With all our hearts and all our souls, all our minds and all our strength, all our power and all our understanding, with every faculty and every effort, with every affection and all our emotions, with every wish and desire, we should love and adore our God who has given and gives us everything, body and soul, and all our life; it was He who created and redeemed us and of His Mercy alone He will save us; wretched and pitiable as we are, ungrateful and evil, He has provided us with every good and does not cease to provide for us.

"We should wish for nothing else and have no other desire; we should find no pleasure or delight in anything except in our Creator, Redeemer, and Savior; He alone is true God, who is perfect good, all good, every good, the true and supreme good, and He alone is good, loving and gentle, kind and understanding; He alone is holy, just, true, and right; He alone is kind, innocent, pure, and from Him, through Him, and in Him is all pardon, all grace, and all glory for the penitent, the just, and the blessed who rejoice in heaven.

"Nothing then must keep us back, nothing separate us from Him, nothing come between us and Him. At all times and seasons, in every country and place, every day and all day, we must have a true and humble faith, and keep Him in our hearts, where we must love, honor, adore, serve, praise and bless, glorify and acclaim, magnify and thank, the Most High Supreme and Eternal God, Three and One, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Creator of all and Savior of those who believe in Him, who hope in Him, and who love Him; without beginning and without end, He is unchangeable, invisible, indescribable and ineffable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, blessed and worthy of all praise, glorious, exalted, sublime, most high, kind, lovable, delightful and utterly desirable beyond all else, for ever and ever.”

Such is our sublime calling, and we can let nothing deter us from living in the love of God for now and all eternity. That’s not an easy task, living as exiles in this vale of tears. Jesus has said we must hate our lives in this world. Why? Addressing God the Father, Francis prays: “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. And it was through our own fault that we fell.”

We are fallen creatures living in a fallen world, which is why we must live a life of prayer and penance. There is no other alternative. The gospel of acceptance and inclusion is a false gospel. God wills that all be saved, but on His terms, not ours. His is a Gospel of Redemption, of repentance, of the prodigal son coming back to the Father. The Father did not chase after the prodigal son in his loose living and tell him, “Oh, what you’re doing is just fine. I will be tolerant of your sins, and certainly not be judgmental.”

No, the prodigal son had to hit bottom, as we all do, and realize our salvation is in the will of God, not our own. He had to stop the evil he was doing, return to the Father in humility and confess his sins. So we too proclaim our unworthiness every time we receive Jesus through the beautiful prayer: “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. Only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

I write a lot about the fallen world we live in, for it is becoming increasingly hostile to people of faith. Next month I hope to share an outstanding address by a modern day St. Francis, Franciscan Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver. It was given August 24 to the Canon Law Association of Slovakia, and is titled: “Living within the truth: Religious liberty and Catholic mission in the new order of the world.” That “new order” amounts to various forms of Secularism. More from Archbishop Chaput next month, except the following short quote on the role of the faithful in the “new world order.”

The Enlightenment-derived worldview that gave rise to the great murder ideologies of the last century remains very much alive. Its language is softer, its intentions seem kinder, and its face is friendlier. But its underlying impulse hasn’t changed - i.e., the dream of building a society apart from God; a world where men and women might live wholly sufficient unto themselves, satisfying their needs and desires through their own ingenuity. This vision presumes a frankly “post-Christian” world ruled by rationality, technology and good social engineering. Religion has a place in this worldview, but only as an individual lifestyle accessory. People are free to worship and believe whatever they want, so long as they keep their beliefs to themselves and do not presume to intrude their religious idiosyncrasies on the workings of government, the economy, or culture.”

That’s how people of faith are being marginalized. Christianity is being rejected as the foundation of Western Civilization, replaced by Secular Socialism, which has a “nice friendly face” compared to the murderous ideologies of fascism, Nazism, and Communism. But its intent is the same: God-less government control, followed by socially engineered persecution of people of faith, especially Catholics/Christians. We in America are not used to seeing our freedom taken from us. However, an increasingly Christophobic federal government already has “hate crimes” legislation in place as the instrument to harass, sue, and jail those who dare proclaim the truth about the evils of homosexuality and abortion, for example, as has already happened in Canada and Europe. Once a majority of people become dependent upon the government instead of personal virtue and the grace of God, America will be “fundamentally transformed” from a free and independent Christian nation into a multi-cultural Secular Socialist entity which bears no resemblance to its former self. Dependent people will always vote for a political party with the largest “free” government handouts. All that the government creates is debt. The bigger the government, the bigger the debt, and the smaller the citizen. God has called us, the citizens, not to small, but to great things. We don’t need to be like Israel in the Old Testament, where the people wanted a King to rule over them like the surrounding pagan nations, for they had lost faith and trust in God (Book of Judges). Free people are supposed to be in charge of their government, not the other way around. When an Administration governs against the will of the people, a free people will no longer endure faith-less government oppression. That’s our American heritage.

Oops, there I go off the deep end again. I’m sorry folks, but I share the passion of freedom along with the love of God. When we misuse our God-given freedom, persecution follows as surely as night follows day. Perhaps that’s in God’s plan as a result of the despoliation of Western Christian Civilization, and the infidelity of the people of God. It’s the story of the human race since Adam and Eve: disobedience followed by punishment followed by true repentance. We in the West have been spoiled. Now it is imperative to live the greatest commandment in bad times as well as good times.

St. Francis was well aware of the human condition. From the same chapter 23, after saying, “...it was through our own fault that we fell,” he gives us the Good News.

Father, we give You thanks because, having created us through Your Son, by that holy love with which you loved us, You decreed that He should be born, true God and true man, of the glorious and ever blessed Virgin Mary and redeem us from our captivity by the blood of His passion and death. We give you thanks because Your Son is to come a second time in the glory of His Majesty and cast the damned, who refused to do penance and acknowledge You, into everlasting fire; while to all 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.’”

Paul Beery BSP
Morning Star Chapter
Minnesota

Janet Klasson

A MEDITATION: by JANET KLASSON BSP

From the First Reading of the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Thus says the LORD the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion! Lying upon beds of ivory, stretched comfortably on their couches, they eat lambs taken from the flock, and calves from the stall!

(Amos 6: 1a, 4)

The prophet Amos never minced his words. He did not say, “Umm...when you are done eating and drinking...if you would like to repent...ahem....I could, perhaps, um help you with that...if you want...”

No. What Amos said was: “Woe to you!”

Truth is, by definition, uncompromising. The truth hurts, as the saying goes. It may be spoken gently, or firmly, softly or harshly, but truth cannot be tolerant of that which is not true; for if there is more than one truth, there is no truth. A lack of truth can only result in chaos, as is evidenced daily in the secular news—and we know whose footprint that is!

Even faithful Christians are not immune to the lure of the broad highway. That is why it is so important to “keep to the prayers” as the Apostle exhorts us. Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco recently addressed the topic of truth in our age:

"No one is exempt from this climate of possible contamination that could impoverish the faith, but especially the very behavior of Christians....Being in the world means being exposed to all of the pressures and tensions and proddings that we know.”

He spoke of the importance of prayer:

"Prayer is contact with God, and God is truth....Certainly we need to dedicate time to prayer, each according to his own vocation, and draw close to those means that the liturgy and especially the Lord have put at our disposal: the Gospel, the book of Psalms and all of the other practices of piety....(Each of these are ways) that help us to find the truth of God and of man....We need to truly believe that God loves us: (a truth) which holds the power to change our life."

Pope Benedict XVI made the same point recently when he exhorted those at his Wednesday talk to continue their search for the "profound truth, "after the example of St. Augustine. As happened to St. Augustine, if we search for the truth, it will "find us, get hold of us and change our lives." And that is precisely why the world fears it so much. So many people today would rather chase a mirage than do the work necessary to capture the solid reality. They would rather have a cupboard full of cheap baubles than one pearl of great price, to live an illusion rather than live out their divine purpose. To distill it down: they would rather be sad and think they are happy than to live lives of unending joy.

That is the world we penitents find ourselves in today. We are called to do the work of preaching the truth, sometimes using words but often not, as our station dictates and our Lord wills. We are signs of contradiction, called to participate in the priestly action of Christ, through prayer and sacrifice. The world is changing—fast! We who know the Truth, Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, must maintain the peace, hope, and joy that being in communion with the God Who Is gives us. The truth has set us free, and the world should see it on our faces!

In his August 24 address titled, “Living within the Truth”, Archbishop Chaput issued a very strong call to be defenders of God's truth. (The document may be read in its entirety here: http://www.archden.org/index.cfm/ID/4396 )

Living within the truth means living according to Jesus Christ and God's Word in Sacred Scripture. It means proclaiming the truth of the Christian Gospel, not only by our words but by our example. It means living every day and every moment from the unshakable conviction that God lives, and that his love is the motive force of human history and the engine of every authentic human life. It means believing that the truths of the Creed are worth suffering and dying for....Living within the truth also means telling the truth and calling things by their right names. And that means exposing the lies by which some men try to force others to live.”

Our fight for the truth is primarily against the principalities and powers of the spiritual realm. The enemy is strong, but in Christ we are stronger. We must accept every gift and grace God longs to give us for our battle against the foe. This is our destiny and it is why we have been called to a life of penance in this time of plenty.

On the feast day of St. Rose of Lima, the Office of Readings quoted a beautiful passage from the saint of Lima. The words were comforting and edifying. As the world spirals deeper into chaos and farther from the truth, her words are perhaps more pertinent than ever:

Our Lord and Saviour lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty: 'Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven.'

As we live out our call to live the truth in love, in a world filled with fear, hate, and chaos, let us let us become beacons on the narrow way. May our holy angels keep us safe on the path, and may our prayers and sacrifices, through the grace of God, win souls for the Kingdom. Jesus we trust in you.

Janet Klasson BSP - Divine Mercy Chapter - Canada

From www.pelianito.stblogs.com August 21, 2010

2 John 1:9 Anyone who is so “progressive” as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.

My child, it is the Spirit of Truth that teaches truth. If you believe in the truth, you have the Spirit and in the Spirit you also have the Father and the Son, for the Trinity cannot be separated—where one member is, there also are the other two. Do not fall into error. The enemy of truth is cunning and lays innumerable traps for those who seek the truth. That is why I ask you to pray and fast. These are sure defenses against the lies of the enemy. Pray for those who have fallen into the traps, for they are many. Child I long to have these children back. What will you do to help me?”

Jesus I don’t have to show you my weakness, for you see it daily , but if you are asking, then it must be possible for me to help you. Show me what to do, then give me the courage and strength to do it, for the sake of the souls you love so much. Mother most holy help me to help Jesus. Amen

Author: Janet Klasson

MORNING STAR

NEWS ON THE ASSOCIATION

OUR MOVE AND OTHER NEWS

 We, Bruce and Shelley that is, are moving to northern Minnesota. Our new address will be: 65774 County Road 31, Northome, Minnesota, 56661 (we hate that zip code!). Our new phone number will be 218-897-5974. We have decided to make this move to facilitate our retirement--on our fixed income! For years we owned an old log cabin we had purchased from our parents and we decided to make it a lake home and live there in retirement. Well, we have accomplished our objective. We now have built a small lake home where the log cabin stood and will leave our home in Scandia permanently before the year is over. One of our children has purchased our home in Scandia.

 This has caused us to take a closer look at the structure of the BSP. We discussed this with Father Tony at the retreat and he said it should have no serious effect on us or our role in the Association, with which we staunchly agree! However, we do need to change the infrastructure of the BSP. Both he and Father Altier, our other Visitor, have felt for some time that we need a Mother Chapter for the Association to which all members, everywhere, belong. Preferably, this would be located in the diocese where we were first founded, the diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Accordingly, effective with our move, Morning Star Chapter, the first Chapter of the BSP, will become the “Mother” Chapter of every member, not just the Chapter of those that live in the Twin Cities. This change will accomplish what Father Altier and Father Tony have said we need to do.

There will be some members, those professed BSP members located in the Twin Cities, who will become the active members of the Chapter as will all who join the BSP in the actual diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. As Administrators, we will also be members of Morning Star Chapter, though residing some 200+ miles away. We hope we can form a local Chapter sometime too in Northome, but that will not change our status in Morning Star Chapter.

 This also means that other leaders residing still farther away, and every minister of every Chapter that forms or will form, is on the leadership team for Morning Star Chapter. Its total membership will be every BSP member or Inquirer across the globe, even if in a local Chapter. Its means of communication will be the newsletter. Its meeting, besides being monthly on a local basis, with Paul Beery currently acting as minister of Morning Star Chapter, will be the annual retreat, or if that ever gets canceled, another annual meeting to be announced. Leaders in Morning Star Chapter will be increasingly involved in the administration of the Association as time goes on.

If you have any questions on this please refer them to us, Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP, Administrators, at minncc@aol.com, or mail to us at our new address.

HANDBOOK:

The BSP Handbook is still a work in motion--now 1.5 years in waiting. The good news is that it is closer to approval, and we hope, the Imprimatur. We have made numerous changes to accommodate the wishes of the Censor Liborum of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and he says we are close to final approval, and the Imprimtur. Please keep this in prayer. It will be a good thing for the Association, and each of us.

Bruce and Shelley



The world calls for and expects from us simplicity of life, the spirit of prayer, charity towards all especially towards the lowly and the poor, obedience and humility, detachment and self-sacrifice. Without this mark of holiness, our word will have difficulty in touching the heart of modern man. It risks being vain and sterile.”
(Pope Paul VI, Evangelization in the Modern World)


The
BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE OF ST. FRANCIS

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

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

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

Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
Editors



Welcome to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance!

Website: www.bspenance.org
Email:
minncc@aol.com

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


Communication Center & Headquarters:

20939 Quadrant Avenue N - SCANDIA MN USA 55073
Phone: 651-433-2753 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              651-433-2753      end_of_the_skype_highlighting   

minncc@aol.com


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