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Stella Matutina » 2005 » June » 08, the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis blog
The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis
Stella Matutina

June 8, 2005

Ravaged lie his holy ladies…

Filed under: Morning Star — Bruce @ 8:59 am

Rules now by him not written,
govern what we are to do,
ravaged lie his holy ladies,
avoided sirens to his high virtue.

How can this be? How can Franciscans today change what St. Francis wrote. This is the greatest of mysteries. How can this make sense? Who dared do that after hundreds of years and so many Saints canonized from living his example and teaching? Someone, answer this question. Why! A good answer is not conceivable. Satan has won! Fasting and prayer and simple lives have not become outdated. In fact, they are more needed today then ever! And worse then that, these new rules are to govern what we are to do! We are told we must follow the new Rules, vague and weak as they often are.

If you try to live the original Rules that St. Francis gave us you will be criticized, fear not! Didn’t the Lord say “I promise you persecution besides!?? (Mk 10: 29-30)) Well, it is true for those who try to follow St. Francis today. The persecution is to come from living the Gospel, not avoiding it. Almost no one will criticize you if you don’t live the Gospel! You will be criticized if you speak well of the original Rules that St. Francis gave us. The Gospel being lived. You will be told: “We don’t do that anymore!?? You will most likely be condemned! You may even be ostracized from the Orders of St. Francis, if you are in one of his Orders, for promoting what he, himself, wrote. Fear not. Persist. For his Rules are not obsolete. Yes, they are avoided, and woe to those who say they are Franciscan but avoid or condemn what he gave us.

His ladies, his fair and holy ladies as he referred to them. The virtues. How many virtues St. Francis possessed. How well he walked with them. Lady Poverty, Lady Simplicity, and Lady Humility to name three. And while walking with these three he embraced Lady Chastity, always. How ravaged they are today. Who is even concerned about living poverty like St. Francis lived it. Very few. Who lives simplicity that way today? Certainly not many. We are all caught up in the consumerism and possessions, the freedoms and power of these times. And humility and chastity are ignored by so many of us, not to mention charity.

It has been said that more money was made in the world in the last 10 years than in the entire history of mankind! And despite all of the money, what has happened to charity. The ‘poor we will always have with us’ the Lord said (Jn. 12:8), and so it is! But should it be. The means to eliminate poverty we do have if we but share as we ought. We who say we follow St. Francis need to examine how we live the virtues he lived, which are so evident in the original Rules of life he gave us. We need to see how we strive more to avoid them, than embrace them, even though they are the keys to holiness. Even Franciscans often say that St. Francis is more to be admired than followed! Come Lord Jesus, guide us! We have so far to go yet.