October 4, 2015

Feast of St. Francis Post

Today is the feast of St. Francis. As the Roman-Seraphic Liturgy of the Hours puts it, 'St. Francis of Assisi, Deacon, Founder of the Three Orders.' So happy feast day to all the friars of the First Order, all the nuns of the Second Order, and to all the brothers and sisters of the Third Order, Secular and Regular.

Last night we had the Transitus--the prayer service that commemorates Francis's passing from this life on the evening of October 3, 1226. It was simple by the standard of what I'm used to with the friars in the States, but still beautiful. Our Father Guardian gave an encouraging homily, beginning from the Testament of Siena. It's a short enough text to post in its entirety:
Write that I bless all my brothers, those who are in religion and those who will be until the end of the world. Since because of the weakness and pain of illness I cannot speak to them, I reveal my will for my brothers in these three statements, namely: that as a sign and remembrance of my blessing and my testament, they love one another, that they love and observe our holy Lady Poverty, and that they always be faithful and subject to the prelates and all clerics of holy Mother Church.
So today I'm just praying for willingness and faithfulness regarding these three admonitions of our Seraphic Father.

I pray to love the brothers God has given me in my vocation to be a Franciscan friar, to always speak and act toward them with charity. To love my brother whether I find him helpful or not, whether I agree with him or not, whether I am edified by his visible behavior or if I endure the temptation of the flesh to consider him a bad religious or priest.  And in the same way I pray that God and my brothers would look past all the ways I give scandal and bad example by my laxity and disregard for what I have promised to them.

I pray for the grace to always nourish my love for my spouse Lady Poverty, and that the Lord would show me how to love her more completely in the circumstances in which I find myself by holy obedience. I pray to be able to notice, take, and thank God for the opportunities I am given to share in the suffering of his poor, as I pray to know and take the opportunities to make myself subject to them for his sake and for the sake of his Kingdom.

I pray that I might love the Church as the mother who has received me into her care, offering me a chance to be free of the misery that this world insists on for itself with its errors and selfishness. May I love her and surrender to her embrace always and in all things, even when she seems confusing or even unholy in some ways, because Christ himself loved her and gave himself up to make her holy. (Ephesians 5:24-25)



Louis M said...

Amen to all the above, fratello. Happy (belated) Feast Day, Father!

Brother Charles said...