Session 10: Following Christ in a Spirit of Poverty, Detachment and Freedom
Themes: Obedience, Building the Kingdom, Way of the Cross, Poverty, Simplicity, Detachment, Beatitudes
READ: The Franciscan Journey
Ch. 18 Being Faithful
Ch. 19 A Simple Way to Live
Reflect on the Question at the end of each of these two chapters.
READ: FUN Manual The Rule of the SFO by Teresa Baker, OFS, p. 12-18
RULE of OFS:
10. United themselves to the redemptive obedience of Jesus, who placed His will into the Father’s hands, let them faithfully fulfill the duties proper to their various circumstances of life. Let them also follow the poor and crucified Christ, witness to Him even in difficulties and persecutions.
11. Trusting the Father, Christ chose for Himself and His mother a poor and humble life, even though He valued created things attentively and lovingly. Let the Secular Franciscans seek a proper spirit of detachment from temporal goods by simplifying their own material needs. Let them be mindful that according to the gospel they are stewards of the goods received for the benefit of God’s children.
1. Gaining inspiration from the example and the writings of Francis and, above all, filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, each day the brothers and sisters faithfully live the great gift which Christ has given: the revelation of the Father. They should bear witness to this faith before all: – in their family life; – in their work; – in their joys and sufferings; – in their associations with all men and women, brothers and sisters of the same Father; – in their presence and participation in the life of society; – in their fraternal relationships with all creatures.
2. Rule 10. With Jesus, obedient even to death, they should seek to know and do the will of the Father. They should give thanks to God for the gift of freedom and for the revelation of the law of love. In order to carry out the will of the Father, they should accept the help which is offered to them through the mediation of the Church by those who are given authority in her and by their confreres. They should take on the risk of courageous choices in their life in society with decisiveness and serenity.
1. Rule 11. Secular Franciscans are committed to live the spirit of the Beatitudes and, in a special way, the spirit of poverty. Evangelical poverty demonstrates confidence in the Father, creates interior freedom, and disposes them to promote a more just distribution of wealth.
2. Secular Franciscans, who must provide for their own families and serve society by means of their work and material goods, have a particular manner of living evangelical poverty. To understand and achieve it requires a strong personal commitment and the encouragement of the Fraternity in prayer and dialogue, communal review of life, and attentiveness to the instructions of the Church, and the demands of society.
3. Secular Franciscans should commit themselves to reduce their own personal needs so as to be better able to share spiritual and material goods with their brothers and sisters, especially those most in need. They should give thanks to God for the goods they have received, using them as good stewards and not as owners. They should take a firm position against consumerism and against ideologies and practices which prefer riches over human and religious values, and which permit the exploitation of the human person.
4. They should love and practice purity of heart, the source of true fraternity.