Third Week of Easter
- Dan’s Deliberations, Discoveries, & Declarations
- Today in Catholic History
- Quote of the Day
- Today’s Gospel Reading
- Reflection on Today’s Gospel
- New Translation of the Mass
- A Franciscan’s Saint of the Day
- Franciscan Formation Reflection
- Reflection on part of the SFO Rule
Dan’s Deliberations, Discoveries, & Declarations:
On this Mother’s Day I wrote a little letter to my Mom in heaven:
I thought of you with love and a smile today, but this is truly nothing new,
I thought about you yesterday and the days before that too.
I think of you in silence, yet I often speak your name.
All I have are memories of you, and a picture in a frame.
Your memory is a keepsake, with which I’ll never part.
God has you in His keeping – – His hug of warmth and love,
But I’ll always have you in my life and in my heart.
I Love You Always Mom. Say “hi” to God for me.
Better yet, give Him a kiss and tell Him that someday
I also, pray to Him, for the grace to see.
Today is the Apparition of Saint Michael the Archangel in Monte Gargano, (near Naples) Italy in the year 492 AD. Saint Michael’s name means, “Who is like unto God”.
A man named “Gargan” was pasturing his large herds in the countryside. One day a bull fled to the mountain, where, at first, it could not be found. When its refuge in a cave was discovered, an arrow was shot into the cave, but the arrow returned to wound the one who had sent it. Faced with so mysterious an occurrence, the persons concerned decided to consult the bishop of the region. The bishop ordered three days of fasting and prayers. After three days, the Archangel Saint Michael appeared to the bishop and declared that the cavern where the bull had taken refuge was under his protection, and that God wanted it to be consecrated under his name and in honor of all the Holy Angels.
Accompanied by his clergy and town’s people, the pontiff went to that cavern. He found the cave already disposed in the form of a church. The divine mysteries were celebrated there, and there arose in this same place a magnificent temple where the divine Power has wrought great miracles. To thank God’s adorable goodness for the protection of the holy Archangel, the effect of His merciful Providence, this feast day was instituted by the Church in his honor.
(from http://www.magnificat.ca/cal/engl/05-08.htm website)
Today is also the 66th anniversary (1945) of “Victory in Europe Day” day (VE Day). VE Day officially announced the end of World War II in Europe. On this day, at 02:41 hours, German General Jodl signed the document of unconditional surrender, formally ending war in Europe.
Today in Catholic History:
† 535 – Death of Pope John II, [Mercurius], Italian (533-35)
† 589 – King Reccared summons the Third Council of Toledo
† 615 – St Boniface IV ends his reign as Catholic Pope
† 685 – Death of Benedict II, Italian Pope (683-85)
† 1521 – Birth of Saint Peter Canisius, [Pieter de Hondt/Kanijs], Dutch Jesuit
† 1721 – Michelangiolo dei Conti replaces Pope Clement XI, as Innocent XIII
† 1786 – Birth of Jea Vianney, French Catholic priest (d. 1859)
† 1828 – Birth of Sharbel Makhluf, Lebanese monk (d. 1898)
† 1895 – Birth of “Servant of God” Fulton J. Sheen, American bishop (d. 1979)
† 1969 – Pope Paul VI publishes constitution Sacra Ritum Congregation
† Feast/Memorials: Arsenius the Great in the Eastern Orthodox Church; Saint Desideratus of Soissons (d. 550); Saints Wiro, Plechelmus and Otger; Apparition of Saint Michael the Archangel
(From the “On This Day” Blog Site
“Today in Catholic History”
Quote of the Day:
Today’s reflection is about Jesus’ appearing to two disciples who are walking to Emmaus.
(NAB Luke 24:13-35) 13 Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, 14 and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. 15 And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, 16 but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19 And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. 22 Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning 23 and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. 24 Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the
prophets spoke! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. 29 But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. 31 With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. 32 Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” 33 So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them 34 who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
On most Sundays during the Cycle “A” Liturgical Season “Easter” season, our Gospel Reading for Mass is taken from John’s Gospel, instead of Cycle “A’s” usual Matthew’s Gospel. This week’s Gospel, however, is taken from the Gospel of Luke. (Are you confused yet?) As in last week’s Gospel (the appearance of Jesus Christ to the Apostles hiding together, as a group, somewhere in Jerusalem), today’s Gospel shows us how the first community of disciples came to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. In these narratives, we gain a unique insight into how the community of the Catholic Church came to be formed.
As near as bible scholars can tell, the Gospel of Luke was written 40 – 50 years after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension; most likely for people who had never physically met Jesus during His earthly ministry. In 70 AD, the Roman Army sacked Jerusalem, destroying the Jewish Temple, leaving not a stone upon a stone, thus fulfilling Jesus’ prophesies.
One reason why this account of Jesus Christ’s appearance to the two “followers” on the road to Emmaus was specially cherished by the early Catholic Christian community and incorporated into the Gospels, was because this account reveals what we do at each and every Catholic Mass.
A little “history” of the events in this particular Gospel reading:
Jesus’ death scattered His disciples. His death shattered their hopes and dreams; their “Messiah” was now dead. They hoped so much that He would be the one to redeem Israel; and they believed that “hope” was destroyed in His death. They saw the cross as a sign of defeat. Most of His disciples could not understand the meaning of the empty tomb until the “Risen”Jesus Christ personally appeared to them, giving them an understanding that seemed previously incomprehensible.
Emmaus was about “seven miles” from Jerusalem. In the original Greek language found in the Book of Luke, it is literally, “sixty stades.” With a “stade” being a measurement of 607 feet (Per NAB footnote), this equates to 36,420 feet or 6.9 miles. Because some old and historical manuscripts read that Emmaus was “160 stades” (more than eighteen miles) the exact location of Emmaus is disputed by some scholars. I believe 18 miles was too long of a distance for people to routinely travel, especially in the rough and robber-ridden wilds of Palestine. For this reason, I am in the belief of the former: a seven mile separation between Jerusalem and Emmaus.
Have you noticed how many of Jesus Christ’s resurrection appearances involved “food” in some way? Four of seven (or so) appearances involved eating, preparing, or supplying food in some way. Jesus must have been a Franciscan at heart!
The first appearance is to the women (including Mary Magdalene) who were to finish preparing Jesus for His final burial:
“At daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.” (Luke 24:1).
Then, the “Risen” Jesus Christ appeared to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus:
“And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” (Luke 24:15-16);
“It happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.” (Luke 24:30).
Next was His appearing to the ten Apostles, according to Luke:
“While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them.” (Luke 24:41-43).
And finally, He appeared to seven Apostles at the Sea of Tiberius, grilling food for them at the seashore (Can you say, “Bar-B-Q”):
“When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.” (John 21:9).
The event in today’s Gospel reading centers Jesus’ explanation and illumination of the Jewish Scriptures by the “Risen” Jesus Himself (the true “Christ”: the Word, Life, and Hope of Israel. And, the reading also focuses on the disciples recognition of Jesus Christ Himself being physically present with them when “breaking bread” during the evening meal. Then, at this moment, Sanctifying Grace opens their eyes to recognize Him as He really is.
When we read today’s Gospel, we may be amazed to learn that these two “followers” of Jesus could walk, talk, and share with Him, – – at length, – – yet not recognize Him until the last minute of their lengthy interaction with Him in this unique and very personal way. We discover, again this week (as in last week’s reading), that the “Risen” Jesus was (and still is) not always easily recognizable in our lives – – and something not even when we are present with Him at the breaking of the bread.
“Cleopas” and the other disciple walked with a person whom they believed to be a stranger. Only later in their communications and dealings with Him did they discover that this “stranger” was Jesus Himself – – in a Resurrected and Transfigured form. Through this first interaction with Jesus’ community of two, we learn to recognize Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, just as they met Jesus Christ in the “breaking of the bread”.
With His fellow travelling partners, walking on that dusty, hot road, Jesus references certain quotations of Holy Scripture and explains those references – – in relating to Himself without their knowing it yet.
“And he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.” (Luke 24:25-27).
The disciples on the road to Emmaus finally hear Holy Scripture, as interpreted by Jesus Christ Himself, in a way which never came to mind for them before. It caused their hearts and souls to burn intensely within their bodies. It was what they had been waiting to hear for all their religious faith lives. They heard Him, understood Him, and then believed:
“Hear me, all of you, and understand.” (Mark 7:14)
“And he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke’”! (Luke 24:25).
Is Jesus quoting from Isaiah in His rebuke of the two disciples? See what I mean:
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Was it not foretold you from the beginning? Have you not understood?” (Isaiah 40:21).
These two men did not recognize a “Risen” Jesus Christ until He had “broken bread” with them.
Jesus proclaims to them the message of His whole ministry on earth: a kerygmatic proclamation; good news to the poor and the blind and the captive. Here is an example of another kerygmatic statement:
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” (Luke 24:34),
Kerygma comes from the Greek verb “kerusso”, meaning to cry or proclaim as a herald, and means proclamation, announcement, or preaching. “Kerygma” is a Greek word used in the New Testament for proclaiming and/or preaching. Other examples include the following New Testament verses:
“In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea.” (Matthew 3:1);
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19);
“But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?” (Romans 10:14).
Imagine the feelings of the two disciples in today’s reading. They are leaving their Passover “community” in Jerusalem, probably returning home to Emmaus or elsewhere. Their friend and their reason to believe in the “truth”, Jesus Christ, had been tortured and crucified in a humiliating and horrifying way. Their hope is gone and they are probably in fear of retaliation from Jewish and/or Roman officials. They are bewildered and confused, trying to make sense of what had just occurred. These two men, as well as the entire Christian community, was wondering what their future would entail.
Jesus Himself approaches the two men on the road to Emmaus. They take Him for an unknown person, a stranger. Jesus asks them what they are discussing. He invites them to share their experience and interpretation of the events surrounding His crucifixion and death from their points of view. When the two disciples give their feelings and beliefs of what happened, Jesus offered His own interpretation of His crucifixion and resurrection, citing the Jewish Scripture:
“Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.” Luke 24:27)
In reality, and unbeknownst to these two men of faith, it was impossible for Jesus Christ to be held by a human condition such as a death on the Holy Tree. Jesus took this “finality” of a human condition, – – and changed it, turned it around, – – making His death a divine condition of redemption and salvation for all His followers.
In the encounter with these two disciples, we find the model for our Liturgy of the Word: what we do each time we gather as a Catholic Community, as a Catholic Church, in preparation for the Eucharistic Celebration at Mass. In the encounter of these two men with Jesus Christ, we can reflect upon our own life experiences, and interpret them in light of Holy Scripture, just as Jesus Himself did for them. In the “Liturgy of the Word” the great issues of life are addressed. Holy Scripture is used to help all of us to understand these issues.
The dialogue from the Liturgy of the Word is followed by the “Liturgy of the Eucharist”, our communal-personal “breaking of the bread”. In today’s Gospel reading, we also find a model for our Liturgy of the Eucharist. These two men, these two “followers” of Jesus Christ, invite the yet “unrecognizable” Jesus Christ to stay and eat with them. During the meal in which they shared in the “breaking of the bread”, the disciples’ eyes are made “un-blinded”! They finally recognized the stranger as truly being Jesus Christ, in His Resurrected and humanly perfected body. In the Eucharist, we also are allowed to share in the same “breaking of the bread”, discovering Jesus in our midst (though He has always been there). In the Eucharist, and in our lives, we gather together to “break open” the Word of God.
“And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.” (Luke 24:30)
For me, the events happening in today’s reading overtly suggest primarily a catechetical and liturgical reference, rather than an apologetic or teaching reference. (Teaching relates to a removing of intellectual impediments to Catholic faith, thereby enhancing believers’ confidence in the truth being taught; it also helps to weaken skeptics’ objections.)
Finally, at Mass there is the dismissal rite. We are not only instructed to go out to tell the “good news” (the Gospel) to other people in the way we live, in the things we do, and in the words we say, but also so compelled by the Holy Spirit to do so. Like the disciples who walked on the way to Emmaus, we are to witness to Jesus Christ’s presence in the world today.
Just as the disciples turned, and returned to Jerusalem to recount and relive their experience “on the road” to other disciples and Apostles, we too are sent from our Eucharistic gathering, the “Mass”. Our experience of Jesus in the Eucharist COMPELS us to share the encounter of our “discovery” with others: “Jesus Christ died, has ‘Risen’, and will come again.” (Jesus is alive, with AND within each of us!)
As the Apostles and His disciples were first-century witnesses to the resurrection, God calls us to be 21st-century witnesses to the same event. Two thousand years later, God still wants the resurrection to be at the heart and forefront of our faith. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:
“We bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this day he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus. The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community; handed on as fundamental by Tradition; established by the documents of the New Testament; and preached as an essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross: Christ is risen from the dead! Dying, he conquered death; to the dead, he has given life.” (CCC 638)
There is a consistent and on-going element found in several of the “Resurrection” narratives: not immediately recognizing the “Risen” Jesus Christ.
“And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” (Luke 24:15-16)
“They were so disturbed when they saw him hanging on the cross that they forgot His teaching, did not look for His resurrection, and failed to keep his promises in mind” (Sermon 235.1).
And, Augustine continues:
“Their eyes were obstructed, that they should not recognize Him until the breaking of the bread. And thus, in accordance with the state of their minds, which was still ignorant of the truth ‘that the Christ would die and rise again’, their eyes were similarly hindered. It was not that the truth Himself was misleading them, but rather that they were themselves unable to perceive the truth.” (From The Harmony of the Gospels, 3.25.72)
“After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country.” (Mark 16:12);
“But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost.” (Luke 24:37);
“When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.” (John 20:14);
“When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.” (John 21:4).
These two disciples of Jesus Christ, in today’s reading, had probably walked that same road from Jerusalem to Emmaus before. They certainly had read Holy Scriptures before. They had probably even shared meals with others before. Yet, not like this time, with Jesus Christ being in their personal, physical, presence. This meal was made different solely because it was presided over by the “Risen” Jesus Christ Himself.
They recognized Him in the “breaking of the bread”. That is the exact, same kind of presence we can experience in both the usually expected and uniquely unexpected ways of our lives. In these expected and unexpected ways, we can realize that the “Risen” Lord is with us (with me) in a personal and unique way.
As a disciple – – a follower – – of Jesus Christ, I personally experience Him in many ways in my life and lifestyle. (How ‘bout you?) Sometimes, I have learned to see Jesus in unpredictable ways such as under the clear, starry, night sky, or maybe in a beautiful sunset or sunrise. I also experience Jesus Christ sometimes when I think deep thoughts, or when I see other people, and yes, I see Him even sometimes in tragedy.
However, the only place where I can count on experiencing Jesus Christ, my merciful and magnificent Lord, is in the Holy Eucharist. He can come in a hundreds of different ways, and they are ALL beautiful and real. But, the one place that is predictable, and the one place where Jesus Christ is usually more intense, is in the Holy Eucharist, His true physical body, blood, soul, and divinity.
Why should we go to Mass? I can, and should, read Holy Scriptures at home, or even listen to them in my car and I-Pod. I can pray without going to a particular building at a specific time and having to be with others also not necessarily wanting to be there. I believe this is how most Catholics feel about attending Mass (SOooo SAD!). So, why go to Mass?
The answer is very simple. God is everywhere, and was everywhere, for these two men on that dusty, hot, country road connecting two cities. But there was a distinctive, more intense, more active presence of Jesus Christ with them, when they sat down to “break bread” that evening, with that “stranger” who became God before their eyes. I believe that when a Sacrament is celebrated, especially the Holy Eucharist, that is the kind of presence we can experience in a most personal way.
So why go to Mass? Because something different and unique can be found there!! To meet Jesus Christ fully and completely in this Sacramental way, to have Him speak His words to us, and to “break bread” with us, is to experience a special kind of regular, intense, predictable, and recognizable presence which is different – – more full and more complete, – – from any other kind of experience possible.
The “Risen” Jesus Christ is with each of us in a distinctive way at the Holy Eucharist at Mass and Adoration. His Presence had a powerful effect on the two travelling disciples when He “broke bread” with them that day. His Presence in the Holy Eucharist can have a powerful effect on me and you, in that same personal way. That’s why we go to Mass.
Someone that I have come to appreciate, and someone I watch on EWTN each and every week, wrote of his feelings towards the Holy Eucharist:
“There is no price too high, no sacrifice too precious, and no demand too great for the privilege of dining at the table where Jesus comes to us in the Eucharist.” (Marcus Grodi and others, Journeys Home, The Coming Home Network International)
I could not express this personal, internal emotion any better than this wise and sage man.
The “Risen” Jesus Christ comes among us in order to engage us, to connect us, and to draw us into living, dying, and passing through death to life, even now as we live. He still does this by sharing a meal with us in the Holy Eucharist. When you go to Mass and are offered the Holy Eucharist, are you ready for this kind of personal and powerful connection with Him?
How often do we fail to recognize the Lord when He speaks to our hearts and opens His mind to us? The Risen Jesus Christ is ever ready to speak His word to us and to give us understanding of His ways and of His (our Father’s) plan for salvation. Listen to the “Word of God” attentively, and allow His “Word” to change and transform you.
As the domestic or “Militant” church, we have the opportunity to make our time on earth a prayerful encounter with others, and with Jesus Christ Himself. We can share our encounters, interactions, and experiences of the day, thus connecting them with the encounters, interactions, and experiences of others. We should take time to reflect upon our life in the light of Holy Scripture, and to connect with Jesus in our unique and personal way – – in a one-on-one communication with our loving God and Savior.
“Prayer to St. Joseph for the Church Militant”
“O Glorious Saint Joseph, you were chosen by God to be the foster father of Jesus, the most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, and the head of the Holy Family. You have been chosen by Christ’s Vicar as the heavenly Patron and Protector of the Church founded by Christ.
Protect the Sovereign Pontiff and all bishops and priests united with him. Be the protector of all who labor for souls amid the trials and tribulations of this life; and grant that all peoples of the world may be docile to the Church without which there is no salvation.
Dear Saint Joseph, accept the offering I make to you. Be my father, protector, and guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me purity of heart and a love for the spiritual life. After your example, let all my actions be directed to the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and your own paternal heart. Finally, pray for me that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen”
(From http://www.ucatholic.com/catholicprayers website)
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
New Translation of the Mass
In November of 2011, with the start of the new Liturgical year and Advent, there will be a few noticeable changes in the Mass. It will still be the same ritual for celebrating the Eucharist. The Mass will still have the same parts, the same patterns, and the same flow as it has had for the past several decades. It is only the translation of the Latin that is changing.
The new translation seeks to correspond much more closely to the exact words and sentence structure of the Latin text. At times, this results in a good and faithful rendering of the original meaning. At other times it produces a rather awkward text in English which is difficult to proclaim and difficult to understand. Most of those problems affect the texts which priests will proclaim rather than the texts that belong to the congregation as a whole. It is to the congregation’s texts that I will address with each blog, in a repetitive basis until the start of Advent.
In the words of Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium, #11, the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of Christian life. Anything we can do to understand our liturgy more deeply will draw us closer to God.
When the Eucharistic Prayer begins, we will again respond:
“And with your spirit”
to the first line of the opening dialogue. The last line of that dialogue also changes. We now say, “It is right to give him thanks and praise,” but with the new text, it is simply:
“It is right and just.”
This will lead more clearly into the opening of the prefaces, which will commonly begin with the words:
“It is truly right and just.”
Material from “Changing How We Pray”, by Rev. Lawrence E. Mick
A Franciscan’s Saint of the Day: St. Peter of Tarentaise (c. 1102-1174)
There are two men named St. Peter of Tarentaise who lived one century apart. The man we honor today is the younger Peter, born in France in the early part of the 12th century. (The other man with the same name became Pope Innocent the Fifth.)
The Peter we’re focusing on became a Cistercian monk and eventually served as abbot. In 1142, he was named archbishop of Tarentaise, replacing a bishop who had been deposed because of corruption. Peter tackled his new assignment with vigor. He brought reform into his diocese, replaced lax clergy and reached out to the poor. He visited all parts of his mountainous diocese on a regular basis.
After about a decade as bishop Peter “disappeared” for a year and lived quietly as a lay brother at an abbey in Switzerland. When he was “found out,” the reluctant bishop was persuaded to return to his post. He again focused many of his energies on the poor.
Peter died in 1175 on his way home from an unsuccessful papal assignment to reconcile the kings of France and England.
Saint of the Day: Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.;
revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
(From http://www.americancatholic.org website)
Franciscan Formation Reflection:
Love of Life and Suffering
Identifying with Christ – Is this the real goal of my life? How much effort do I put into this?
Can my acceptance of pain I cannot avoid have a purifying role in my life? If I unite my sufferings to Christ’s, can it ease my pain as well?
What is MY sense of appreciation for all the things that the Word Made Flesh has suffered for me?
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO)
Rule #’s 8 & 9 of 26:
8. As Jesus was the true worshipper of the Father, so let prayer and contemplation be the soul of all they are and do.
Let them participate in the sacramental life of the Church, above all the Eucharist. Let them join in liturgical prayer in one of the forms proposed by the Church, reliving the mysteries of the life of Christ.
9. The Virgin Mary, humble servant of the Lord, was open to His every word and call. She was embraced by Francis with indescribable love and declared the protectress and advocate of his family. The Secular Franciscans should express their ardent love for her by imitating her complete self-giving and by praying earnestly and confidently.