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Stella Matutina » 2005 » June » 24, the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis blog
The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis
Stella Matutina

June 24, 2005

Glosses were added to passages fixed…

Filed under: Morning Star — Bruce @ 10:14 am

Unlike the glorious words of Your Son,
glosses were added to passages fixed,
when he wrote at Rieti the meat of our Rules,
what now we accept Francis would nix.

In all of the history of Christianity the Gospels have stood unchanged. Sure, there are various interpretations and translations. But, the fundamental message remains unchanged. The glorious story of the life of the Son of God and salvation of mankind cannot be changed. And there is an implied message that what the Church approves as its means and message to promote this same Gospel should not be changed either. It just makes sense. That is not what has happened to the message of St. Francis though, the one Saint who lived the life of the Lord about as literally as any human being could. His Rules were changed in our modern times.

At Rieti, it is established in the history of the Franciscan Orders, that the Lord admonished Brother Elias and the other brothers that the Rules of Francis were His, not Francis’, and they should be lived ‘without a gloss; without a gloss’. Now a gloss is an explanation of something written that is put in the margin or between the lines of an existing text to explain it, usually clarifying or changing what is written. The Lord instructed that no glosses were to be added to the Rules he gave St. Francis for us. If you don’t want to live the Rules as written, then leave the Order! Pretty strong words! Today they have been ignored, and the lay Order of St. Francis particularly rewrote their own Rule of life in 1978 and it does not even resemble the Rule St. Francis himself gave us. The Rule of the Stella Matutina movement; the Rule of the BSP, is the verbatim Rule of 1221 that St. Francis gave us, and that means it comes to us with the Lord’s approval.

This is not a condemnation of the modern Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis or any other modern Rule of any other Third Order, most of which were approved by the current Pope when they were drafted. It is an invitation to live the original Rule as having come to us from the Lord. The Second Vatican Council invited all Orders to return to the charisms of their founders.