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Stella Matutina » 2005 » June » 18, the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis blog
The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis
Stella Matutina

June 18, 2005

Words bent wild from his say…

Filed under: Morning Star — Bruce @ 12:49 pm

Guidance from those who know him not,
words bent wild from his say,
empty shown of what he had known,
fully modern to fit our day .

It is amazing how many people write of St. Francis today, and so definitively! Like they know him, when they do not. None of us can really know him as people knew him in his own day. We can only know him by studying what he gave us. And that is most apparent in the ancient and original writings about him. Read anew what we have been given, for what you write will be influenced by the culture around you and that culture is of the world and St. Francis was not of the world.

So, influenced by the age modern authors write. Some even fictionalize the lives of Saints! The storytellers of St. Francis and his Saints in this age stand the real potential to draw us far from what he gave us because they mostly want to make money, or gain fame. There is no need for more writing. Silence then to all modern authors! The words and original Rules of St. Francis, like the Rule behind the Stella Matutina movement, now the Rule of the BSP, the Rule of 1221, Memoriale Propositi, were simple and easy to understand. They need little explanation and much prayer to live. Like the Gospel.

But, look at the modern Rules of the Orders today. How much have they changed from what the founders gave us? Why! Tell us why they had to change? To fit the age? Why would we want to fit this age, so bent from the ways of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? And were other ages different? Why wasn’t the Gospel changed to fit those earlier ages? Why do we read, day after day, the same words and instructions given us by the Lord in His Gospel yet we say the words of His Saints must be changed to fit our age? We all need to wake up! We have become modern, and there is nothing holy about being modern except for what has always been holy. Prayer, fasting, simplicity and leading a sacramental life in union with God, and that is best found in His Church on earth, the Catholic Faith, which is the church that Jesus created Himself when He was with us. His Church. It was in this Church these things grew and formed and before others claiming the title of Christian even existed. It is in this Church they still exist, though largely lost to modern thought due primarily to the value put on leading lives of comfort and ease.

Show us modern Rules that call us to do more prayer or fasting or lead more virtuous lives than their original sources? There are none. Show us people today that bear the wounds of Christ like St. Francis did and we can listen to them, and you could safely bet a dollar on a dime that they would not tell us to pray less, fast less, or immerse ourselves in the treasures of this world. Yet the modernists will tell us that! Saints, wherever they can be found, will always point us to Christ in disciplined and holy ways. In the Catholic Church they will always promote the Eucharistic presence of Christ on the altar, a strong sacramental life of prayer, and the disciplines of self denial, simplicity, and self abnegation. We do not need to become modern. We need to follow Christ, and the best example of how to do that is St. Francis of Assisi, who himself bore the wounds of Christ, and observed six ‘Lents’ of 40 days each every year.