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Stella Matutina » 2005 » May » 09, the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis blog
The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis
Stella Matutina

May 9, 2005

Your Goodness, Power, and Your Might

Filed under: Morning Star — Bruce @ 11:44 am

Your Goodness, Power, and Your Might,
light Wisdom always there,
Your Glory, Love, and Your Light,
show a cross we must bear .

God is always with us in His great Goodness, and He looks out for us all. It has always been so. He puts up with our great weaknesses, and “he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” (Mt. 5:45) It should always be our desire therefore, like St. Francis, to be not only among the just, but exceptional in our commitment and work for the Lord. The Lord gives us the Power to do wonderful things for love of Him, and in these things we should always seek to be holy, and extra-ordinary. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little ‘extra’. As Franciscans that extra is a deep dedication to the disciplines that St. Francis called us to exercise. To the elements of the Rules he gave us. To committed prayer, mortification, and simplicity in a spirit of poverty.

Mary once told the whole world that ‘you have no idea how powerful God is.” Imagine that. No idea! I can come up with some pretty hefty ideas of the infinite might of Almighty God but Mary says my definition would still fall short! We rest in the Might of God. We hope in it as we saw it in the life of Jesus, and in his servants, the Saints. God makes all things possible in His Might. Blessed be the Lord! We for our part must be faithful, and put some energy into our response to Him. That is the little extra again. Extra energy and commitment to God.

And in this there is great Wisdom. God is pure Wisdom, and all who abide in God and seek the things of God first are wise! As the Lord said: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and simple as doves.” (Mt. 10:16) To be wise we must seek Wisdom, and if we ask for Wisdom God will give it. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. ” (Jms 1:5) To follow St. Francis we need Wisdom, as he is an example to all on how to live for the Lord.

And yet, God in His Wisdom imposes crosses on us. In this way he tests us, “For whom the LORD loves he reproves, and he chastises the son he favors.” (Prov. 3:12) So St. Francis was not concerned about being tested. He would more likely have been concerned if he were not tested. And many of these crosses, most in fact, are often things we don’t expect, or things that don’t facilitate and simplify our journeys through life. As Franciscans the greatest cross we see today is the wholesale tendency among followers of St. Francis to withdraw from what he gave us as lifestyles in his original Rules. The Rule of the Stella Matutina movement, and now of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis, is the original Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, which has been abrogated by most modern Franciscans. All that is needed to live this movement is to accept this cross and try to live the life St. Francis gave us himself. We will be opposed. We will have a cross to carry, but how sweet it is to follow what St. Francis gave us himself, and to know we are following a Saint.