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This work addresses a need that was expressed to me by many Secular Franciscans when I was the Regional Minister of the newly formed Queen of Peace Region. That need is the desire of many Secular Franciscans to return to the simplicity and disciplines of the original lifestyle of the Third Order as envisioned and established by St. Francis himself. It is that need that lead to the creation and publication of this work, and the creation of the newly forming Stella Matutina (Morning Star) Movement among those that want it in the Secular Franciscan Order, which it also addresses.

REFLECTIONS IN A MORNING STAR focuses on themes of a spiritual nature which are consistent with renewal of the Secular Franciscan Order from within. It truly seeks to bring into perspective through Scripture, poetry, artwork, the original writings of St. Francis and quotations from the current Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order, the lifestyle that St. Francis himself wanted for us as secular people in the world.

It is consistent with the emphases of Vatican II, which in its address on the Renewal of the Religious Life stated: "Thus the Council rightly insists on the obligation of religious to be faithful to the spirit of their founders, to their evangelical intentions, and to the example of their sanctity."

My personal hope is that Franciscans everywhere will find REFLECTIONS useful for meditating on the spiritual significance of their personal profession to follow St. Francis. The basic unit of the Secular Franciscan Order will always be individual Franciscans living the charisms of their founder to the perfection he himself recommended for them.

Finally, I wish to thank all who helped me get this little work published. I never wanted to publish anything, or write poetry, so I thank God first for the inspirations needed to get it done and the friends in Christ to help do it. First among whom was my wife, Shelley, SFO, without whom it would not be! Next, I thank Mrs Theresa Ecker, SFO, and her friend Penny Knoll, for their secretarial support and adding beauty to it, and finally, my dear friend and spiritual director, Fr. Valerius Messerich, OFM, for his guidance and support.

May the Lord give us all His Peace!

Brother Not, SFO

BRUCE AND SHELLEY FAHEY, SFO

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