THE LIFESTYLE OF THE
BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE
OF ST. FRANCIS
IN A SNAPSHOT
(SEE THE RULE AND STATUTES FOR MORE DETAIL)
DAILY LIFE: Live and dress simply and modestly. Choose simple garments of subdued solid 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, except in soups, casseroles, or gravies, 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 for 40 days before Christmas. 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 this all invisible: between you and God. On non-fasting days, three complete meals are permitted.
PRAYER: Pray the complete Divine Office every day. Or choose a different prayer option which can be one of the following: praying all four sets of mysteries of the 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 followed by the Requiem Aeternam; or creating a serious personal prayer option with one’s spiritual director. Pray for the dead: 50 psalms, or 50 Our Fathers with the Requiem Aeternam after each Our Father, for a recently deceased friend or BSP member; pray the entire Psalter or 100 Our Fathers with the Requiem Aeternam after each Our Father for all deceased once per year. Pray each morning: Psalms 51, 54,119:1-32, and the Creed; in the evening Psalm 51 and the Creed. 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 of St. Francis, 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 him or her at least monthly. Once you profess to live the Rule, seek to follow it for life unless entering religious life.
IN THE WORLD, BUT NOT OF IT, FOR CHRIST.
WEB PAGE: www.bspenance.org