The rule and life of the Secular Franciscans is this: to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people.Christ, the gift of the Father’s love, is the way to him, the truth into which the Holy Spirit leads us, and the life which he has come to give abundantly.
Secular Franciscans should devote themselves especially to careful reading of the gospel, going from gospel to life and life to gospel.
Today, I was approached by a young man discerning a vocation as a Secular Franciscan. As we began our brief meeting I said a quick prayer asking God to help me as I tried to answer his questions. Tonight in reading the rule, I came to that part of the rule that I first read and the part that I think of most often. I try to carefully read the gospel each day and to go from gospel to life and life to the gospel. I told this inquirer that I had fought the process at each step. He looked at me with incredulity, but I think it’s actually true. I was drawn to this life but I fought it at each step too. Recently I was elected minister of our own St. Irenaeus Fraternity and I fought that too. I am sure that I am unqualified to lead. Yesterday as I walked the trails at Mt. Irenaeus I had a chance to think and be grateful that I listened to the fraternity and took their counsel. I have been given the grace to lead and to serve and I’m grateful I like the reading in Exodus 4 where Moses is arguing with God over whether he will be able to lead the Israelites. I am a doubter like Moses and Thomas and most of the time I need to have my faith strengthened. “Go, then! It is I who will assist you in speaking and will teach you what you are to say.”–Exodus 4:12. “”My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” –2 Corinthians 12:9. His grace is sufficient and I am glad that it is. Peace.