Jesus' Crown of thorns, symbol of penitential lifestyle. We are committed to living the Franciscan Rule of 1221. We aren't a Third Order but a Lay Catholic Association. ...weaving a crown of thorns,
they placed it on Him. (Mk 15:17)

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The Franciscan Association of The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St.Francis (BSP) has a butterfly as its symbol. The Butterfly means the transforming union that we wish to attain, through a life of prayer, simplicity and self-denial. The BSP mottos are: 'Deny yourself, take your cross and follow me' and 'In the world, but not of it, for Christ'

         St. Francis

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... in the world, but NOT of it, for Christ!

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Fasting, hunger for God

Penance dances dreary; thoughts I cannot indulge;
How shine these things Francis knew,
When they are so negative, unhappy am I,
They leave me blue, though I bulge.

How did he mean, fasting by name?
Bread and water, one meal a day, or none at all;
Just the same did Jesus fast, or he, Francis?
I know both did so, and not small.
I ask, till I read the Rule he gave, and gospel about Dear Jesus written,
Why can't I do the same?

How do I do fasting when from fasting I refrain?
And too full to yet fill
Wait and hope on His strength,
Though no-prayer, and sin, remain.

How did Francis mean abstaining, like fasting the same?
From meat, or love, or words, or water, or sin?
Why fear I abstaining, when He did, on wood, slain,
From every selfish thing, including His own name.

Did he still mean so, if this meant suffering pain?
Fasting and abstaining, certainly it meant refraining,
Or partaking in what we don't want, quiet and meek,
Lady humility presiding us so last among many we gain.

What did he mean, make his Rules so demanding?
With groomed hair and washed faces to hide all from sight
Those who seek emptiness claim,
So what he knew is welcome, not commanding.

Jesus Chrucified for me!

Why did Jesus die on the wrought tree?
What void in us did He want to fill?
Persist in the Rules Francis gave and see,
But yes, in all we are asked, strive patiently.

Brother Not, sfo
December 1993

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The Butterfly is symbol of transforming union of the soul to God. God will give this grace to those faithful to walk the path of prayer and self-denial

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The Butterfly is symbol of transforming union of the soul to God. God will give this grace to those faithful to walk the path of prayer and self-denial