THE STATUTES OF THE
BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE (BSP) OF ST. FRANCIS
IN A SNAPSHOT
DAILY LIFE: Live and dress simply and modestly. Choose simple garments of solid, neutral colors or blue as defined by the Rule. Avoid flashy personal décor, unseemly movies, excessive TV, and needless communications. Convert your life to God. Wear a cross or crucifix visibly. Take the Blessed Virgin as mother and guide, and heed her messages to our world.
ABSTINENCE: Abstain from meat on everyday except Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays, Solemnities, and other necessary or family occasions. Pray an Our Father before and after all meals, or your regular meal prayer. Abstain from any other thing to give glory to God as you wish. Keep this all invisible between you and God.
FASTING: Fast on Wednesdays and Fridays from All Saints day to Easter, and on Fridays from Easter until All Saints day. (Solemnities and Octaves excluded) Fast daily, except Sundays and Solemnities, during Lent, and Advent. Fasting by Church regulations is eating two small meals that do not equal one regular meal and one regular meal daily with no snacking in between. Strict fasting may be done with the permission of one’s spiritual director. The perfect strict fast is on bread and water, according to Our Lady. Keep all this invisible: between you and God.
PRAYER: Pray the complete Divine Office daily. Or choose a different daily prayer option which can be one of the following: saying the complete rosary; spending an hour in mental prayer, or contemplation, daily; praying 12 Our Fathers, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s for Matins and seven for the other hours; or creating a serious personal prayer option with one’s spiritual director. Pray for the dead: 50 psalms, or Our Fathers with the Requiem Aeternam, for a recently deceased penitent. Pray the entire Psalter or 100 Our Fathers with the Requiem Aeternam for all deceased once yearly. Each day strive to do some spiritual reading. Make prayer the center of your life.
SACRAMENTS/OTHER MATTERS: Attend daily Mass if possible. Sunday and Holy Day Mass definitely. Go to confession at least monthly. Make peace with everyone, avoid idle talk, gossip, oaths, and street language of any kind. Pay tithes. Live the Gospel.
COMMUNITY LIFE: Meet with others of like mind, especially other brothers and sisters of penance, but also any other Third Order members or committed religious, each month. Celebrate the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours together. Review a portion of the Rule and share your journey to heaven. Celebrate your family!
APOSTOLATES: Practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in your own home, among your own relatives, and in the world around you. Do other good things as you feel inspired. Work for the Church.
Obtain permission of your spouse before entering the Association. Be willing to obtain a spiritual director and consult with them at least monthly. Once you profess to live the Rule, follow it for life unless entering a religious life.
“IN THE WORLD, BUT NOT OF IT, FOR CHRIST.”